David Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 live!



Arno Vivo - Lungarno Buozzi Pisa (PI)


David Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 in concerto ad Arno Vivo venerdì 27 luglio dalle ore 21:45 alle ore 23:59

Il progetto nasce dall’ incontro del sassofonista David Hilyard (Slackers, Hepcat, Rancid) e Larry McDonald (Toots amd the Maytals, Peter Tosh, Lee Perry) e si arricchisce poi con musicisti da New York, California ed Europa.
L’ ultimo album “The Giver” mescola insieme il Roots con il Soul grazie alla collaborazione con Sean Wheeler.

Rocksteady 7 began through the meeting of David Hillyard, The veteran ska, reggae, saxophonist, and veteran percussionist Larry McDonald at a Skatalites concert and reflects their common love of Ska, Reggae, Jazz, and Latin music.
Hillyard is a 48 year old music veteran who is credited with helping spread the gospel roots ska, reggae, and Jamaican jazz in America in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is currently the saxophonist of NYC’s classic ska group, the Slackers and has also played with Hepcat and Rancid amongst 1000s of concerts and 100s of recordings. McDonald, who just turned 80, is a living legend, part of the first generation of Jamaican musicians to create Ska and Reggae music in the 1950s through the 1970s. He played with Carlos Malcolm Afro-Jamaicans and played on numerous classic reggae recordings such as the conga breaks on Toots and the Maytals classic, Funky Kingston as well as tracks by Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Lee Perry. In the 1970s, McDonald moved to the United States and played with Taj Mahal and Gil Scott Heron. Most recently, in 2017, he has been on tour with Lee Perry.
Since their first album in 1999, Playtime (Epitaph), Rocksteady 7 has slowly built up a local and international following and over the years have received recognition in diverse music
scenes. The title track of their first album was a Jazzy Nyabingi that appeared on the legendary punk compilation, Give Em The Boot. Jazziz Magazine noted “Hillyard can play.” The African Beat magazine called the Rocksteady 7, “Real Musical Revolutionaries Who Cut The Competition.”
Over the years, Rocksteady 7 has grown to a collective of numerous musicians based in New York City, California, and Europe and they have played 30-40 concerts a year in Europe and North America.
In July of 2017, David, Larry, and crew went into Hen House Studios in Venice California with the idea of making a new album in collaboration with vocalist, Sean Wheeler. Wheeler’s roots are in Punk, Country, Americana, and Soul via groups, Throwrag and the duo, Sean & Zander. He has a been a long time friend of Dave’s and this comfort and ease is reflected in the fearlessness of the arrangements
Their album, ‘The Giver’, mixes together roots Jamaican music and American Soul with Sean’s distinctive vocal stylings and a strong dash of social commentary. As Hillyard says, “The way things are, you can’t help but be political. Everything is on the line.” The album title track is an original collaboratively written by Hillyard and Wheeler recalls Bill Withers and is a hopeful message for our troubled times. A cover of country singer, Glen Shirley’s ‘Measure of a Man’, fuses gospel sounds with a swinging ska beat. The mournful bluebeat ballad, ‘Ulysses’ makes a civil rights statement and features a guest harmonica solo by Micah Nelson (Willie Nelson’s grandson, current member
of Neil Youngs’ touring band). There also some instrumental explorations, one of which is a scorching ska version of John Coltrane’s classic ‘Song of the Underground Railroad.’
David Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 with a lineup featuring Hillyard, McDonald, and Wheeler are currently looking for bookings between May-September 2018 in Europe and North America.



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