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Keyser Soze’s The Remedy, CD Review

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A Fun and Funky Fresh Breath of Reggae

Keyser Soze: The Remedy, CD Review

Keyser Soze: The Remedy, 2013. Image Courtesy of Keyser Soze.Usually when you think of reggae, you immediately think of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff or Peter Tosh. While reggae has actually been around since the 1960s, it’s heavily evolved over the decades, infusing elements of other genres such as jazz, funk and soul.

Keyser Soze is a six-piece unit from Reno, Nevada, that has been around since the late 90s, and their devotion to the heart of ska, reggae and rocksteady is quite evident in their recordings and killer live shows. The group has released three albums thus far: the fun and funky Revenge in 2003, But Not For You in 2013 and their most recent release, The Remedy in late 2013.

Right from the start, The Remedy has a fun and engaging energy that will make you want to get up off your butt and dance. If you’re a fan of bands like MadnessUB40 and The Specials, then you’ll want to give The Remedy a whirl.

The opener, “The Season”, has a nifty ska influenced groove, especially the rhythm section of Mike Mayhall on Bass and Jon Hall’s kicking drum beats. Ryan Hall’s guitar adds a nice layer of texture, while Rodney Teague’s trombone solos gives the song an extra groovy kick.

“Do” also has a funky vibe to it as well, with a smooth and soulful sax solo by Jammal Tarkington. Tarkington’s scratchy sax opens the funky and deep “Catch Your Breath”, which also features sexy and smoky vocals from guest Lauren Nagel…seriously, this is a great number!

“Remedy” is quirky and bouncy fun, as is “Dance With Me”. Mayhall’s bass has an incredibly fluid feel here as if the music were floating effortlessly on the ocean. “Firehouse Sound” is a slow jam that ventures oh so slightly into psychedelia, while at the same time maintaining a hypnotic and intoxicating beat.

“Soul Ska” is a rather short, but infectious and upbeat little number that’s just flat out fun. The same can be said for the catchy “Dreidel Dub”, which ventures into heavy funk territory, while featuring dreamy solos by Tarkington on sax and Chris Williams on trumpet.

Clearly, Keyser Soze are having a blast and aren’t afraid to experiment a bit with a variety of styles. The Remedy is an absolutely enjoyable, vibrant and fun album, with a tight and exuberant groove. It’s one of the most fun and entertaining albums that you’ll ever hear.

Dave Bower is Co-Publisher of The Free George. Image Courtesy of Keyser Soze.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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