Dr. Ring-Ding & the Senior Allstars
Ram Di Dance
Moon Ska Records
Dr. Ring-Ding & the Senior Allstars are nothing short of amazing! Last year’s Dandimite! was probably the year’s best ska release, and still logs regular playtime on my CD player, a year after its US release. Now their follow-up, Ram Di Dance, looks set to do the same thing all over again. Simply put, Ram Di Dance is 12 tracks of traditional ska heaven. It’s completely addictive, too; once you start listening to this record, you’re compelled to play it over and over and over…
Singling out just a few tracks from the record is very difficult, as it’s a great listen start to finish. The outrageously infectious “My Sound” kicks off the record with some amazing toasting from the good Doctor, and sets the mood for the whole album. “Call Di Doctor” is another sure favorite, with Andre Meyer’s seductively evil bass line driving the tune. There are two fantastic ballads, the sweetly romantic “Your Sympathy,” and a beautiful duet between the Doctor and the legendary Doreen Schaffer on “I Know.” “Over the River,” “Dance All Night,” and “Bad Company” are all straightforward ska numbers sure to get you singing along. You’ll also encounter jazzy instrumentals with incredible horn work (“Call 809” and especially “Song For My Father,” with some outstanding solo work) and some interesting dub and reggae experiments (the title track and “Run Run”). Really, though, there isn’t a bad track on the record.
I still find it almost impossible to believe that these guys are German. I envision the guys pictured in the libretto miming in front of a curtain, while a crew of old-school Jamaican musicians toils away in obscurity just behind it. The music is that authentic. In a year that has already seen some pretty amazing discs from Hepcat and Eastern Standard Time, among others, the Doctor and his boys still stand head and shoulders above their competition. Pick up Ram Di Dance at any cost, you won’t regret it. Moon Ska Records, PO Box 1412, New York, NY 10276, http://www.moonska.com .