Dakeye the comeback kid

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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Back in the day when white bands like Player were restricted to rock radio, their 1977 hit song Baby Come Back broke colour barriers in the United States. It caught the ears of Trinidadian Richard Marshall, known as Dakeye.

Eighteen years ago, as a member of the band Detour Posse, he covered Baby Come Back with Jamaican producer Fabian Cooke. It was released in 2001 as part of the 14-song album Chariots In The Sky, credited to Dakeye and Detour Posse.

“We needed a cover song for the album, and the drummer brought Baby Come Back and I always loved that song. So, we did it reggae style,” said Dakeye, who lives in Los Angeles.

The original was one of the biggest hits in the US for 1977 and guaranteed Player a lasting place on smooth rock radio stations. Baby Come Back is one of the songs Dakeye is currently pushing. He was recently in Jamaica working with producer Llamar “Riff Raff” Brown on the song Human Market Place, which he first recorded 35 years ago.

The new version of Human Market Place features saxophonist Dean Fraser and singer Rovleta Fraser.

Born in the south Trinidad town of Marabella, Dakeye has lived in the United States for over 35 years. Though he was weaned on indigenous calypso, he is strongly influenced by reggae greats like Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Alton Ellis and John Holt, as well as American soul acts Sam Cooke, Teddy Pendergrass and The Temptations.

That mix made him a shoo-in for lead singer of Judah Star, a band with whom he recorded the original Human Market Place in 1983. A decade later, he played a similar role with Detour Posse which included Antiguan keyboardist George Hughes (now with Ziggy Marley's band) and American guitarist Steve Verhault.

They supported marquee artistes including Levy, Shinehead, Sugar Minott, Eek-A-Mouse, Lady Saw, and Mr Vegas when they toured the US West Coast.

Dakeye is looking for solo success with the revived Human Market Place and Baby Come Back.

“I just hope for the best. I just want to let people know that I'm doing this from the heart; because music has never been a competition for me, it's a mission,” he said.

—Howard Campbell

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