The 2015 edition of Rhythm Express evolved from those inspired sessions with Ernest Ranglin. Ranglin stuck around and played guitar on the first singles with the band, “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” featuring Selena Evangeline lead vocals and guitar, and “Midnight Confessions,” featuring popular Canadian multi- Juno Award nominated reggae artist, Ammoye.
2010 Juno award recipient and five time nominee, reggae artist, Jesse “Dubmatix” King settled in on electric bass and recording engineer Shane ‘Shaky J” Forrest – guitar. The players share a mutual admiration for those great studio rhythm sections dating back to the 60s’ and 70s’ - Federal Records in Jamaica, Muscle Shoals, Stax, Motown, The Wrecking Crew in Los Angeles.
Everton Paul’s home basement studio (Side Door Records) is the perfect set-up. All of the equipment is there – Shane Forrest is one hell of a recording engineer and guitar/bass man. The room is good vibes - resplendent in Jamaica chattel color scheme, - old school funk and the growing number of first rate musicians engaged in the recording process is remarkable.
The horn sections range from Heavyweights Brass Band trombonist – Christopher Butcher, Cuban trumpet virtuosos Alexis Barro and Alexander Brown, - trumpeters William Sperandei and Rebecca Hennessy, tenor sax man Michael Arthurs, and alto sax – Bobby Hsu. The percussionists are amongst Canada’s finest; Jorge Luis “Papiosco” Torres (Hilario Duran Band), Magdelys Savigne (Jane Bunnett’s, Maqueque) and Paul himself.
The voices are some of the most celebrated in Canada – Selena Evangeline, Gavin Hope of the Nylons, Michael Dunston – Soul Stew, Ammoye Evans and Aria Zenua.
Each month since January 2015 the Express quietly dropped a single on YouTube and CBC Radio. The response has been terrific. “I’ve given plenty thought about where we are today with sales and marketing and realistically understand the music world outside is over-saturated and there is much disconnect. Getting people to listen to any recording is a mammoth proposition so we decided to unveil the album one track at a time so people could hear the depth, talent, spirit and artistry in each song. Once completed we knew there were no dead spots; wasted space and the joint effort is something you can play top to bottom; absent filler.” says King.
Since January the band has released the instrumental, “Before the Rain” with Ernie Ranglin, – covers of Ann Peebles, “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” the Grass Roots, “Midnight Confessions,” Allan Toussaint’s “Yes We Can Can,” The Specials - “You’re Wondering Now” – Jimmy Forrest instrumental –“Night Train” – Don Hathaway/Michael Dunston’s – “The Ghetto/Black Lives Matters” – Marlena Shaw’s, “Woman of the Ghetto,” the Temptation’s “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” - the classic reggae instrumental “Double Barrel” Jimmy Cliff’s – “The Harder They Come,” and most recently a remake of Millie Small’s, “My Boy Lollipop” featuring newcomer Aria Zenua from the first ska session produced by Ernie Ranglin in 1964. Scheduled for November – Baby Huey’s, “Hard Times” featuring Michael Dunston.
The big party and release night comes Sunday October 25, 2015 – a double soul bill with the Blackburn’s at Lula Lounge. Each paying attendee gets a copy included in price of admission of Soul Explosion ’69.
released February 1, 2016
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