Ska and Reggae


Ska emerged in the early '60s as a precursor to reggae by Jamaican musicians influenced by the New Orleans R&B that reached the island over radio. Early bands from this movement including Skatalites and Toots & The Maytals developed the distinct rhythms and arrangements now associated with the style. In the late '70s the music saw a revival in England when young British acts fused the recent sounds of punk rock with the style. Ska revivalists featured racially integrated lineups and bold political statements. The lead group from this time was The Specials, who formed the independent label 2-Tone. The scene cultivated by The Specials included Madness, The (English) Beat and The Selector.

Ska music saw it's third wave begin in the mid to late 80s with bands that further further mixed punk rock with the 2-Tone sound like Fishbone, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Operation Ivy. Furthermore a strong roots ska scene was emerging in New York City with The Toasters and Moon Ska Records. The style's popularity peaked in `96 with bands like Rancid, No Doubt, Sublime, Goldfinger, Reel Big Fish and the Bosstones all making huge waves in the mainstream.

While the popularity of the style has waned over the years, a small but devoted group of bands like The Slackers and The Planet Smashers have carried on the style into the new millennium.

Recent Reviews


Recent News

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones / Street Dogs / The Interrupters
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones will be hitting the road for a series of shows in the Northeast this July. Most of the dates will have the Bosstones headlining with support from the Street Dogs and The Interrupters, but the final show…
2015-05-28 14:30:01

Hepcat, The Slackers to headline Victoria's 16th Annual Ska & Reggae Fest
The lineup has been announced for Victoria's 16th Annual Ska & Reggae Festival. Some of the highest profile headliners include Hepcat, Morgan Heritage, The Slackers, Mustard Plug, The Real McKenzies and more. The event takes place in Victoria from July…
2015-05-13 09:30:01

The Specials (UK)
The UK-based ska band The Specials will be touring through the UK and Ireland in March. Dates can be seen under Read…
2014-02-26 14:00:01

Big D and the Kids Table: "The Noise"
Big D and the Kids Table has just released a little music video for their song "The Noise." The song comes from 2013's Stomp /…
2014-01-29 13:00:02

Voodoo Glow Skulls (CA/Mexico)
Ska act Voodoo Glow Skulls have announced a few tour dates for the next couple of months in their home state of California and down into Mexico. The band most recently released Break The Spell in 2012. You can click Read More for the…
2014-01-06 13:00:01

Incident at Big D and the Kids Table show in Poughkeepsie, NY
Eyewitness reports are claiming that Big D and the Kids Table frontman David McWane was choked by a security guard during the band's set at the Loft in Poughkeepsie, NY last night. Thus far, just one slightly confusing video from the show had made its way onto YouTube in which uploader Steven Duffield claims, "A…
2013-10-24 16:00:01

Big D and the Kids Table: "Stepping Out"
Big D and the Kids Table have released a skateboarding video for their song "Stepping Out." The song appears on the band's latest album Stomp / Stroll , released this year. The long running ska act will be playing The Fest 12 this month, and…
2013-10-22 10:30:01

Spring Heeled Jack USA / Obi Fernandez / Sammy Kay and the Fast Four
Ska outfit Spring Heeled Jack USA have announced four reunion shows this month.…
2013-10-21 16:30:01

Mephiskapheles (US)
Reunited devil-loving ska band Mephiskapheles are hitting the road this fall and winter, including a date opening for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Hometown Throwdown in Boston,…
2013-09-30 13:00:01

Bad Brains feat. Angelo Moore (Fishbone): "Ragga Dub"
The AV Club has revealed a new video from Bad Brains for "Ragga Dub." The song features Angelo Moore of Fishbone and is part of the new Dub Rockers Vol. 1 compilation, which merges Jamaican reggae artists with some of their American and…
2013-09-19 17:00:01

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