Dig Deeper is honored to present Mr. Rocksteady himself, Ken Boothe – one of the most soulful voices of Jamaican music in a rare Brooklyn appearance, backed by local supergroup Crazy Baldhead, who will open the night with their own set.
Ken Boothe began his career in music in the early 1960s recording a number of duets with his neighbor Stranger Cole (whom many of you saw at Dig Deeper in 2011 also backed by Crazy Baldhead). Songs like "Artibella" and "Hush baby" helped provide the foundation of the driving rhythm of ska.
As the sound of Jamaica trended towards slower, more soulful rocksteady, Ken struck out on his own, recording the landmark LP "Mr. Rocksteady" with Coxsone Dodd – songs like "When I fall in love", "I don't want to see you cry", "Puppet on a string", and a scorching version of the Supremes hit "You keep me hangin' on" defining the sound of the era, and cementing Ken's place as a local hitmaker.
Through the late 60s and into the reggae era in the 70s he recorded an almost uncountable number of singles, 12"s, and albums which were immensely popular locally in Jamaica, but it was his cover of Bread's "Everything I own" that brought him international acclaim when it hit #1 in the singles chart in the UK. He remains one of the most prolific artists in the history of Jamaican music, continuing to record through to today. In 2003, the Jamaican government awarded him the Order of Distinction for his contributions to the country's music heritage.
Although his rocksteady and reggae hits have been cherished for years by fans of Jamaican music around the world – more recently his records like "Lonely teardrops" and "I've got you" have begun to receive attention from soul DJs as well, sending original pressings soaring in value.
Guest DJ's Deadly Dragon Sound System and Grace of Spades will join Dig Deeper residents Mr. Robinson and DJ Honky spinning soul and Jamaican 45s before and after the live sets.
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