Every once and awhile you come across a classic song that sticks to the inner walls of the brain like sweet candy. Such is the case for Rueben “Andy” Anderson and Joanna “Joey” Dennis’s, “I’m Wondering Now,” released on C and N - J.A Records in 1964 as the duo, Andy & Joey with backing from one time band members of the original Skatalites – Lloyd Knibbs, drums and Nerylynn Taitt, guitar. There’s a connection between Taitt and the Express – Taitt was drummer and studio owner (Side Door Studio) Everton “Pablo” Paul’s second bandleader when growing up in Jamaica.
While searching for great material two years back for the Rhythm Express the song caught our attention; perfect for matching with our front line singers; Selena Evangeline, Gavin Hope and Stacey Kay. There’s a terrific, yet brief version from the V festival in 2009 with the Specials, who recorded the song on their debut, The Specials produced by Elvis Costello in 1979. It is said, the album was a” defining moment in the UK ska scene,” and guest, Amy Winehouse, who herself recorded and released as a single in 2007.
The “Queen of Ska,” Doreen Shaffer teamed with the Skatalites in 1994 and recorded on the Grammy nominated side, Hi-Bop Ska. Shaffer fought the hard battle in a male dominated genre opening the way for singers Phyllis Dillon, Dawn Penn and Hortense Ellis.
The Rhythm Express is ever evolving. In keeping with 2015 and the band’s scheduled “one single” a month concept – “You’re Wondering Now” feels like the perfect May warm-up to summer - the kind of song and performance that makes rolling down the windows and welcoming a warm transitional breeze most desirable. It’s the ceaseless groove and three part harmonies, which linger long after the song fades.
Selena Evangeline sings this, –harmonies and lead vocal backed by the rhythm section – Everton “Pablo” Paul drums, Jesse “Dubmatix” King bass - Shane “Shaky J” Forrest guitar, and Bill King – arranger/keyboards, Christopher Butcher of the Heavyweights Brass Band – trombone – newcomer to the Express – Rebecca Hennessy, trumpet and Bobby Hsu, alto saxophone.
We’d also like to welcome singer Michael Dunston to the collective. In the coming weeks and months Michael will be featured on several classic sides with the band.
released February 1, 2016
Writer(s): Lloyd Brivett, Lester Sterling, Johnny Moore, Thomas McCook, Don Drummond, Joey, Skatalites, Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Knibb, Andy, Jerome Haynes, Donat Roy, Jackie Mittoo.
Copyright: Embassy Music Corporation, Sparta-florida Music Group Ltd.
Producer: Bill King/Arranger
Engineer: Shane “Shakey J” Forrest
Mixed: Forrest, King, Paul
Recorded at: Side Door Studio 2015
all rights reserved