Coming from dub to dance underground
VAIL – Fazal Prendergast has matched strings with just about every figure of talent that has come out of Jamaica over the last 30 years.He’s the real thing.And, having been credited with partaking in some of the first dub music ever created – backing Augustus Pablo Horace Michael Sawby in Rockers Allstars Band – Prendergast is running the show with his latest band, Yellow Wall Dub Squad.In the 1970s, Prendergast worked in Kingston, Jamaica, for Rockers International. During that time, he recorded with Delroy Williams, Ricky Grant, Jacob Miller and Hugh Mundell before playing with Israel Vibrations. In 1977, he and the band opened for Bob Marley and the Wailers at the International Year of the Child Festival.
“I’ve played with a lot of different musicians,” said Prendergast from Boulder earlier this week, in the midst of Dub Squad’s current tour around Colorado and the west coast.”I have two (other) Jamaicans in Yellow Wall Dub Squad – one’s on drums, one’s on bass. We pick the artists we want to work with.”Yellow Wall Dub Squad is traveling with its four core components, although it sometimes adds a horn section to its live delivery.Prendergast is on exclusive guitar duties, Alton Vanhorn plays drums, Stevie Love plays bass and keyboards were recently taken over by Byron Neal.The band is working on a new studio album to add to its repertoire of live recordings. The live dub/roots reggae sound is one that has moved many an audience in Yellow Wall’s three-year lifetime. The boys of Dub Squad are no strangers to sharing the stage. Strangers in the audience leap onto it all the time to dance … or strip … in the middle of a set.
“These things happen,” said Prendergast in his deep Jamaican accent. “Once we had two girls on the stage, dropping their pants. The music turned them that way. The music gets them there. In Jamaica, we’d call them go-go dancers. People want to dance. Dub music is dance music.”Dub music is based on drums and bass. In Yellow Wall, however, Prendergast’s instrument obviously plays an important role, and the guitarist has sited many sources of inspiration through his years of playing, including Marley.”I didn’t talk to him too much,” Prendergast said of Marley. “I just listened to him. I know Rita very well. All the guitarists from Jamaica are (inspirations). But I can’t say I play just one way. I’ve been around. I listen to jazz, punk rock … all those kinds, I can take something from.”Prendergast said he gets into cycles of listening to one sort of music. Right now his tastes ere to a more relaxed sound.
“Smooth jazz is what I’ve been listening to,” he said. “Smooth jazz, a nice glass of wine, a hot tub and a spliff. That’s about all it takes.”Yellow Well Dub Squad play tonight at 8150 in Vail Village. Those wanting a fix of live tunes on the west side of town can check out Pond Rock at the Sandbar in West Vail.Pond Rock are a three-piece from Santa Cruz, Calif. Guitarist John Cragie, bassist Jay Stafford and drummer/vocalist Matthew Westerman started playing college house parties together three years ago and have since released their first album, “House of Peace and Love.” Each band member contributes to the jam-rock sound from a different angle of influence. Westerman finds vocal inspiration in Steve Winwood and Chris Connell, Craigie is a fan of Sound Tribe Sector Nine and Stafford has been influences by the sounds of Radiohead and Pink Floyd. The band describes its music as “groovy, trancy, high-energy dance.”The next in the line of sensitive, singer-songwriters graces 8150 Friday night in the form of Donovan Frankenreiter. Frankenreiter, who, like his good friend Jack Johnson, hails from the California surfing community. He sounds very similar to Johnson, who produced Frankenreiter’s new self-titled album on Brushfire Records.
Warsaw Poland Bros., a high-energy outfit with a horn section from Arizona, throw down some bouncing ska Friday at the Sandbar. For those who have never seen Warsaw, the band has an uncanny ability to jump for hours on end while simultaneously delivering fiery strains of what’s been described as everything from punk to rock to swing to world music. All this while allegedly playing more than 300 shows a year.For some underground house, turntable veteran DJ Micro will be dialing beats at 8150 Saturday. According to his website, http://www.djmicro.com, Micro has been known to “whip dance floors into a frenzy” and was a pioneer of the underground New York house scene. In the 90s, Micro teamed up with Vicious Vic to form Progression, which released the single “Reach Further.” Micro has also made a name for himself making remixes for various artists. His repertoire includes a version of “The X Files” theme song.On Sunday night, four-piece punkers Pepper from the Big Island of Hawaii rock 8150. The band grew up in Kona, but have established a hard sound not unlike that of the SoCal punk/reggae scene. Often compared to Sublime, Pepper also hearkens back to its surfing lifestyle for inspiration.
For more information on shows, contact 8150 at 970-479-0607, or the Sandbar at 970-476-4314.Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado