Music Reviews

John Tesh and Friends

In a Ska Mood

Brummagem

Okay, so the thought is enough to make a grown man cry for his mommy. The finished product really isn’t bad, though. TV host and New Age legend John Tesh teams up with some of the old masters for some surprisingly good takes on old ska favorites. I was afraid to put this disc in my CD player, but after I did, I couldn’t take it out!

The Skatalites join Tesh for an amazing rendition of “Spred Satin,” which includes a Tesh piano solo that has to be heard to be believed. Ken Boothe adds his incredible voice to an updated version of his own “Arte Bella,” which almost tops the original. The real kicker, though, is when Tesh does a version of Don Drummond’s “Man in the Streets,” playing all the instruments himself. I didn’t know Tesh could even PLAY trombone, much less play it so well. Even more shocking, though, is his choice to cover the late Judge Dread’s naughty favorite “Big 6.” It’s really kind of funny to hear a voice you’re used to hearing giving the nightly entertainment news saying such things!

This record is a hell of a lot better than it has any right to be. I’ve heard that if it does well, his next project will be a disc of 2Tone covers, redoing the entire first disc of the legendary 2Tone Collection. Personally, after this disc, I can’t wait to hear him tackle the Specials; it can’t be worse than their latest! Brummagem Records, P.O. Box 60666, Beverly Hills, CA 90210; http://www.teshsteady.com


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