When he’s not vocalizing, skanking and generally fueling the festive fray stewed up by local 10-piece ska outfit The Apes FLA, Ed Lowery serves as the unflagging ambassador of Florida ska music. His most recent endeavor is Closer Than You Vol. 3
, a compilation showcasing the Sunshine State’s profuse pool of ska talent and released on Lowery’s own Citrus Records with distribution 24 Hour Service Station. A successful Kickstarter campaign paid for the start-to-finish production of 1,000 pressed copies of the comp and more than 25 of today’s most significant acts are represented over two discs and 43 tracks.
Disc one leans to classic ‘60s Jamaica and traditional ska sounds, with heavy influences of vintage soul, R&B, rocksteady and reggae infused all throughout; Magadog, Lowery’s former band with late musician Jim Pedigo, has a few cuts on here as do The Apes, The Duppies, Rocksteady@8, Spread the Dub, Control This and The Freecoasters, among others.
Disc two takes a more modern fusion turn. Heavier ska-punk is the primary sound of this set, with bands like UNRB, General Tso’s Fury, Victims of Circumstance, Chilled Monkey Brains, Johnny Cakes & the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso, Rude Squad, Broseph Skalin and Can’t Do It branching off into all sorts of different aesthetic territories – rumba, metal, calypso, pop, jazz, alt rock and bossa nova included. In sum, there’s something that should appeal to any sort of ska fan, be they purists or not, as should the six bands that play the release party (and appear on Closer Than You
) this Saturday night at Crowbar. Pick up a copy of the album there, or wait until its official availability on CD Baby Tue., Aug. 12
. Read an in-depth interview with Lowery about the Florida ska scene and how the comp series came about here
Closer Than You Vol. 3 Compilation Release Party with The Apes FLA, Control This, UNRB, SAGANAKI BOMB SQUAD, The Freecoasters and The New Rulers, Sat., June 28, 7 p.m., Crowbar, Ybor City, $10 advance/$13 dos (all ages).