Adding their all-star touch

Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

Friday, November 15, 2013

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This is the fourth of an eight-part series on reggae bands from around the world.

THE Easy Star All Stars band has made its reputation by producing reggae versions of some of pop music's greatest albums.

These include Dub Side of The Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006), Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009) and Easy Star's Thrillah (2012).

The albums are their take on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon, Radiohead's set Radiohead, The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Thriller by Michael Jackson.

Easy Star All Stars has also released original recordings such as the Until That Day EP in 2008 and First Light which came out in 2011.

The band is gearing up for shows to celebrate their 10th anniversary of Dub Side of The Moon, which founder and guitarist Michael Goldwasser credits with launching them.

Easy Star All Stars started as a house band for their label, the New York-based Easy Star Records.

"We had a plan to record singles with various singers and deejays that would eventually be compiled into our first album, Easy Star Volume One. Every time we had a recording session to lay down a couple of songs, as producer I would bring together whatever other musicians I thought would be best for that session to accompany me and Victor Axelrod on keyboards," Goldwasser told Splash.

That was 16 years ago. The band has evolved with all 'members' graduates of the New York music scene.

"There's no way to list all of the members. Dozens of musicians have passed through the band over the years. It's really more of a collective than a band," said Goldwasser.

He is the only original member, though other stalwarts participate in recording and touring.

Easy Star All Stars has played to audiences in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, South America, Europe, Egypt, Dubai and South Africa.

Goldwasser says he is happy with the current roots-reggae revival which involves a number of new Jamaican bands.

"I would love to see the next Third World, Chalice, or Zap Pow come onto the scene and start making waves internationally," he said.

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