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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » A NEW BAND, JORDAN DIAS & THE REBELISTIC, SPECIALIZES IN THE CLASSIC BEAT OF ROCK STEADY!

A NEW BAND, JORDAN DIAS & THE REBELISTIC, SPECIALIZES IN THE CLASSIC BEAT OF ROCK STEADY!

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL—

 IT’S been 50 years since singer Hopeton Lewis recorded Take It Easy, reputedly the first rock steady song. A fledgling band is hoping to make its name as fans celebrate the sound’s golden anniversary.

Jordan Mais and the Rebelistic Band are a nine-piece rock steady unit that was formed one year ago, comprising mainly graduates of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

They have kept a busy itinerary recently, performing in diverse areas such as rural Portland, urban Waterhouse and corporate New Kingston.

They are scheduled to drop Irresistible, their first song, this week. It is part of an EP earmarked for release late this year.

 Like most of his bandmates, the dreadlocked Mais is in his 20s. He discovered rock steady as a boy listening to his father’s music collection, which included songs by Alton Ellis and Delroy Wilson, two of the genre’s giants.
HopetonLewis1

“You have to love rock steady…lot of original love songs, great singers. To me, rock steady is our (Jamaicans) soul music,” he said.

Being original, Mais added, is important to Rebelistic, which rehearses regularly to capture a sound made famous by bands like the Soul Vendors and Supersonics during the 1966-68 rocksteady era.

Though Rebelistic performs hits by Ellis and Wilson, writing their own songs is also key.

“We don’t do a lot of covers ‘cause we’re not a cabaret band. We have a culture in our hands and part of that culture is being original,” Mais stressed.

While the genre responsible for countless timeless rhythms, many classic rocks teady songs by Ellis, Wilson, John Holt and Ken Boothe were cover songs. In 2004, British singer Bitty McLean released On Bond Street, an album done to classic beats recorded by the Supersonics at producer Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle studio.

Alton Ellis

Alton Ellis

A modern rock steady set, it produced the monster hits Make It With You and Walk Away From Love which remain popular in Jamaica.

Rebelistic would love to make a similar impact on Jamaican youth, many of whom Mais believes are indirectly into rock steady.

“They will hear a song and say, ‘Mi know da chune dey’ but don’t even realise its rock steady. So, in a way they are embracing the music,” he said.

Bitty McLean

Bitty McLean

The Rebelistic Band are: Andrew O’Gilvie (keyboards), Horatio Thompson (bass), Akili Peynado (guitar), Keybon Robinson (drums), Deanroy Brown (trumpet), Collington Davis (saxophone), Trina McIntosh and Nicola Parchment (vocalists).

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