Music

Michael Rose does ska

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Thursday, October 17, 2019

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IT'S not common for a roots-reggae star and a Venezuelan musician to get together and make a ska album, but that's exactly what Michael Rose and Dario Adames did last year.

The unlikely duo worked feverishly on recording sessions over seven months that resulted in Ska Ska Ska, Rose's album that was released in August by InnerCat Music Group, an independent company in Miami.

Rose has a rich catalogue of roots albums as lead singer of Black Uhuru, and as a solo act. Yet, when he and Adames met last year in South Florida, the latter said Rose wanted a change in direction.

“When I came to Miami Michael told me, 'I want to do a ska album. I don't see much ska around (in Jamaica) and we have to re-create the sound',” Adames recalled in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

Ska Ska Ska contains 11 songs produced by the 41- year-old Adames, who also played all instruments. He first met Rose 20 years ago when the Jamaican artiste performed in his hometown of Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

At the time, Adames was the drummer for a local reggae band called Negus Nagast Yelijosh which recorded a song, Politrical Game, with Rose. He said the sessions for Ska Ska Ska went smoothly thanks to the veteran singer's prolific songwriting.

“He writes a lot of songs, he has a book this thick (gestures a wide gap) with lyrics. I would come up with a couple of chords and then we would say, 'let's record that'. It was a very natural process, very organic,” Adames recalled.

The stocky musician says he discovered the sounds of Bob Marley and Israel Vibration as a teenager. Later, he got into ska by listening to The Skatalites and British band The Specials.

While playing with Negus Nagast Yelijosh In the late 1990s, he backed or befriended artistes such as Rose, Mystic Revealers, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Neal “Mad Professor” Fraser when they performed in Caracas.

Most of his career has been with Caramelos de Cianuro, a journeyman rock band from Caracas.

With production completed, Adames shopped Ska Ska Ska to InnerCat Music Group which has a number of Latin artistes on its roster. The company also has Alkaline on its books.

Rose and Adames are scheduled to start filming a video for the album's lead single, Everybody Gwan Ska, this month, with a promotional tour earmarked for early next year.


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