…ok i just got back last night from Birmingham England and the sessions with Ranking Roger and Ranking Jr. were “off the hook” great!!! I was there for a week and experienced some great moments. on the first day, Roger and I went to Handsworth and had ackee and saltfish at his favorite jamaican restaurant and that night we went out and saw a reggae band at one club and some punk bands at another spot in downtown Birmingham.
the next night i rode with him and ranking Jr. down to Coventry where they were performing live as “The Beat”. It was an anniversary/benefit for 2-tone records and the place was packed with ska memorabelia and old school ska heads skanking…and the dj’s before the live bands played some sweet vintage ska which reminded me a lot of the Denver Vintage Reggae guys here in Denver(Scott Damnit and Dj Tone)…and before the show i hung out at another west indian/jamaican restaurant club for some jerk chicken and killer dancehall sound system tunes.
sunday was a day off and i kicked it off with an english breakfast of kipper snacks, beans and toast and then walked the streets and gardens and parks for about 4 hours listening to the spring birds and wow what an experience…in the afternonn i chilled at a pub(it was st. Patrick’s day) and enjoyed some pints of Guinness and watched soccer with locals.
monday and tuesday were solely dedicated to tracking vocals in Roger’s new studio. he is a HUGE fan of all things space(like me) and built a studio in his backyard in the shape of a space ship…it looks like the “jupiter 2” from the show “Lost In Space” that i used to watch as a kid. all of his and Ranking Jr’s ideas were pulled together and/or improved that day and the vibes were pure and fresh and we had a blast…i’m really excited and this new album is gonna be really nice sounding so i appreciate you all being patient while i mix it all together.
oh and two last things…Roger has a bengal cat named “Shocka” and this guy is great. every time i sat down, he crawled in my coat, literally in my sleeve and just wanted to hang out in there….and he has a sweater leash thing that’s cool so he can go on walks which he takes quite seriously…shocka enjoys things for sure….and secondly, Roger’s friend Pauline made us great coffees throughout the day and she gave me a secret about how to make nescafe taste so good. you have to put the cream or whole milk in FIRST before you pour in the hot water so the water doesnt burn the coffee grinds…i tried it this morning and its my new thing so big thanks to pauline and shocka and BIG BIG thanks to Ranking Roger and Ranking Jr. for sharing the good vibes to me as friends and singers….stay tuned for the album this summer!!!!