Hear why two legendary SiriusXM reggae radio hosts, Pat McKay and Dermot Hussey, can't get enough Island Head. Within an hour of hearing "Punky Reggae Party" by Island Head, program director Pat McKay added "So Much Trouble In The World" to the playlist on her station, The Joint. Pat said; "I feel so especially blessed to share this brilliant work with our audience. Island Head is an important project to reggae.”
Take two legendary reggae guitarists, add one of the most influential keyboard players in Pop/R&B history, layer two of the most eclectic horn players in the world on top of some of the funkiest rockin’ New York City bass and drums, then…let it simmer down.
The debut album by the band Island Head plays music for people who love the islands, the beaches, the lifestyle and most of all, THE MUSIC! It is reggae at it’s core and also has elements of jamband rock, jazz and funk. The players in this all-star line-up have won Grammys, played on, arranged, produced and written hit songs, appeared on television, in movies and toured the world.
Using mostly compositions by Bob Marley, this band combines the essence of their collective musical lifetime experiences. “We take the listener on a musical journey to a fun place where there is jamming, dancing, laughing, partying and all the things that everyone loves about music. We wanted to make a recording that would remind us why we are musicians.
Meet the Musicians
ANDY BASSFORD – guitars
Andy has performed or recorded with nearly every major reggae artist and producer of the classic era. The thousands of sessions he has played on include 8 Grammy nominated albums and 2 winners in the reggae category -True Love with Toots and the Maytals (with Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, and Trey Anastasio of Phish) and Jah Is Real with Burning Spear. Other recordings include Rihanna, Natalie Merchant, and Monty Alexander and the Harlem-Kingston Express, During his 5 years in Jamaica he was lead guitarist for Lloyd Parks & We The People. He toured with Dennis Brown 8 years, Yellowman for 2 years, Toots and the Maytals for 22 years, and Super Cat for a year. He was also house guitarist for Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One label for 17 years. Andy received an award from the Jamaica Federation of Musicians in 2003 for Outstanding Contributions to the Development of the Jamaican Music Industry. “As a non-Jamaican, to have my peers in the JFM honor me like this still amazes me.”
BILLY MESSINETTI – drums & producer
Billy was a founding member and principal songwriter for the 80s rock band Shelter (Polygram Records). He’s done studio work with Isley Jasper Islely, Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Carmine Rojas (Bowie), The Suits with Kathleen Turner, Paul Shaffer, Elliot Randall (Steely Dan), Lenny Pickett (SNL band), George McCrae and Brass Construction. As musical director, Billy has appeared on The Morning Show (FOX-TV), Happy Hour (Fox Business Network) and LIVE with Regis & Kelly, leading Central Park Orchestra. He produced a series of drum and percussion performance disks for Beatboy Drum Sequences featuring Nigel Olsson (Elton John), Ramon Yslas (Backstreet Boys), Richie Gajate Garcia (Diana Ross), Eddie Bayers (legendary Nashville drummer) and Rod Morgenstein (Winger/The Dregs).
DAVID FRANK – keyboards
Keyboardist/composer/producer/arranger David Frank is known as the founding father of electronic pop/R&B and half of the pioneering synth duo The System. Known for their innovative hits “You Are In My System” and the number one R&B/number three pop classic “Don’t Disturb This Groove”. Frank’s post-System success includes songwriting/production/performance on Christina Aguilera’s multi-platinum single,”Genie In A Bottle”. His resume’ lists Phil Collins (Sussudio), Steve Winwood (Back in the High Life), Chaka Khan (I Feel For You) , Eric Clapton, Michael McDonald, Mick Jagger, James Morrison, The Pussycat Dolls, Jordin Sparks, Annie Lennox, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Phoebe Snow, Robert Palmer and many more.
DON HARRIS – trumpet & arranger
American Idol has Don on-call to do arrangements for their contestants. He has performed with The Allman Brothers Band as part of The Juke Horns and tours with Nile Rodgers & Chic. Don’s work includes American Idol’s Melinda Doolittle’s debut CD, horn arrangements on Yankee Great Bernie Williams’ Grammy nominated record “Moving Forward”, a 2010 Grammy nomination for arranging and performing on an album by Spyro-Gyra. Don has performed or recorded with James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Joss Stone, Lynard Skynard, Stevie Wonder, Wynton & Branford Marsalis, Michael Bolton, Tower of Power, Bobby Caldwell, Michael McDonald, The Temptations, Celine Dion and The Four Tops.
MIKEY ‘MAO’ CHUNG – guitar
Jamaican musician Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung along with Sly & Robbie, backed Peter Tosh on Mystic Man, Wanted Dread and Alive, and Bush Doctor, playing guitar and synthesizer. He played for Lee Perry's band The Upsetters and the Compass Point All Stars (Island Records). He has recorded for Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare on their recordings and played guitar for Black Uhuru. He has worked with many Jamaican and international artists since, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Serge Gainsbourg, Bette Midler, Big Mountain, Art Ensemble of Chicago, James Brown, Garnett Silk, Joe Cocker and Sinéad O'Connor.
NEIL JASON – bass
Neil is a New York City studio musician who has played on over 400 albums. The artist’s Neil has recorded and toured for are the elite of the music business including John Lennon, The Plastic Ono Band, Hall & Oates, Grace Slick, Diana Ross, David Sanborn, Roxy Music, The Brecker Brothers, Narada Michael Walden, Billy Joel, Cindy Lauper, Gene Simmons and John McLaughlin (we could go on). Neil recently has been subbing with Paul Shaffer & The CBS Orchestra on David Letterman’s show.
TIM CAPPELLO – saxophone
Timmy has recorded and toured with Tina Turner, Peter Gabriel, Eric Carmen, Carly Simon and Ringo Starr’s All Star Band. From 1984 to 1999 Cappello was a member of Tina Turner's band. He starred in Tina Turner's music video for "We Don't Need Another Hero," the title track for the Mel Gibson-Tina Turner film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. From then on, Cappello acted in several films and television series, including Hearts of Fire (with Bob Dylan), Tap (with Gregory Hines), and The Lost Boys, in which he performed a single from the movie soundtrack. Cappello's television credits include The Equalizer and Miami Vice.
DAVE O’DONNELL – mix engineer
Dave is a Grammy-winning Producer-Mixer-Engineer. Recordings Dave has worked on have been nominated for 18 Grammys and won 9 times! His credits include the classic “October Road” along with 3 other albums by James Taylor, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Lyle Lovett, Rod Stewart, Joss Stone, Ray Charles and The Bee Gees. Dave has been nominated for individual Grammys for Best Engineered Album for his work with John Mayer, Aaron Neville and Deborah Cox. In 2010 he won a Grammy in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category for the Kurt Elling album, Dedicated To You.