Newtown Rocksteady released its first full length album, ‘East of the Tasman’ in December. The release coincides with the band’s 10 year anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s rocksteady craze. They are on tour to promote its release from December to January.
‘East of the Tasman’ is a milestone for Newtown Rocksteady. It’s their first full-length album after ten years together as a band and has been a collaborative effort throughout its production. Penned by various members of the band, the songs were recorded in-house on their ‘new’ ’70’s analog mixing desk by bass player Mike Duffy and mixed and mastered by the same. The songs range from straight up, horn-heavy ska through lovers’ rock and classic rocksteady to dark spacey reggae.
This summer is the band’s 10th anniversary as mentioned. It is also the 50th anniversary of the rocksteady craze that swept Jamaica from ’66 to ’68 and of ’67’s summer of love. This is Newtown Rocksteady’s summer of love. The temperature’s up, and the prodigal sons are returning. Chris Winwood, lead vocals, and Thomas Owen, saxophone and vocals are returning from living in Paris and the Yukon respectively for the love of rocksteady music and the enthusiastic audiences that attend Newtown Rocksteady shows. That equates to the full complement of 13 musicians on stage mustering all the lustre at their disposal.