Easy Star All-Stars is a reggae collective with a rotating roster of musicians and singers founded by Michael Goldwasser, Eric Smith, Lem Oppenheimer & Remy Gerstein of the New York City-based Easy Star Records. Their latest tribute album, Thrillah, debuted on the Billboard Reggae Chart at #1 on Aug 28, 2012.
My absolute favorite song from Easy Star All-Stars is their version of Michael Jackson’s iconic “PYT”, interpreted and sung by Kristy Rock. As far as I’m concerned, the Easy Stars would do best to utilize Kristy on more of their tracks because her voice is the star of the show that gives their covers the sultry sound that keeps audiences captivated .
Without Kristy, I’m not sure the band would have had me so eagerly awaiting the Thrillah release date. In fact, PYT is the track that Los Angeles music guru Raul Campos chose to preview for the then-not-released album on his nightly radio music show, Nocturna, on L.A.’s KCRW 89.9.
On their 2009 album, Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band, the collective takes on some of the The Beatles most iconic songs, including “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Getting Better”, a super-fun version of “When I’m Sixty-Four” and Kristy Rock singing “She’s Leaving Home”. These four songs make their version of the legendary masterpiece Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band a real-standout.
I’m not a huge fan of Pink Floyd, but in 2003’s Dub Side of the Moon, The Easy Stars do a fabulously sophisticated and complete reinterpretation of Pink Floyd’s iconic Dark Side of the Moon, and they do a grand, slow-jammed version of “Money”.
Thankfully, this band has worldwide following, so if you live in South America, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Europe, Bahrain or the United Arab Emirates, you’re likely to find the Easy Stars rocking music festivals and small, intimate venues somewhere near you.
Check their website for tour info, so you don’t miss the opportunity to groove out with this fun cover band the next time they play on your part of the planet.