Easy Star’s Thrillah Michael Jackson Tribute Album

Easy Star’s Thrillah
Easy Star All-Stars

Easy Star’s Thrillah (Easy Star Records ES1034, 2012)

Reggae band Easy Star All-Stars is known for its successful reggaefied tributes to various popular artists and recordings, including Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006) and Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009). To celebrate Michael Jackson’s birthday, which is on August 29th, the Easy Star All-Stars are releasing their new album titled Easy Star’s Thrillah this week. Easy Star’s Thrillah is the reggae adaptation of one of the greatest selling records of all time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller. In addition, the band will also go on tour, starting in September.

Easy Star All-Stars is a reggae reggae collective with a rotating lineup of musicians and singers. The and arranger is Michael Goldwasser on guitars, keyboards, backing vocals and percussion. Easy Star’s Thrillah brings back several of the reggae luminaries from previous albums, such as vocalists Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Steel Pulse, Luciano, Mojo Morgan (Morgan Heritage), together with guest instrumentalists such as Yossi Fine (David Bowie, Lou Reed, Stanley Jordan), Joe Tomino (Dub Trio/Matisyahu), Andy Farag (Umphrey’s McGee), and horn tracks by funk/hip-hop band Hadag Nachash.

We’ve always tackled the greats – The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead – but while we wanted to take on another huge album, we also wanted to blaze new trails,” says says Easy Star Records co-founder Lem Oppenheimer. “In Thriller we found those new trails in a number of firsts for the series: the first album by an American artist, the first non-concept album, the first R&B/soul record, as well as the first release from the 80s.”

For me, I was most excited for Thriller,” says Michael Goldwasser. “I was always more of an R&B/soul and reggae kid growing up and I have an intense personal connection to Michael Jackson’s music… Writing the arrangements for this album was a cool challenge. I didn’t have to try to make non-dance music into dance music as on our previous albums because the original Thriller is so danceable already, but I needed to find ways to make each song groove in a different way from the original version. I didn’t want any of the arrangements to be obvious in that regard.”

In great reggae tradition, Easy Star All-Stars have slowed down the tempo of some of Michael Jackson’s
most famous songs, including the hit ‘Thriller.’ Easy Star’s Thrillah is a winning mix of reggae, dub and R&B.

Easy Star All-Stars US Tour Dates:

Sep 07 – Madison, WI at High Noon – w/Cas Haley
Sep 08 – Clarks Grove, MN at Shangri-La Festival at Harmony Park
Sep 09 – Des Moines, IA at Wooly’s – w/Passafire
Sep 10 – Lawrence, KS at Granada Theater – w/Passafire
Sep 12 – Fort Collins, CO at Aggie Theater – w/Passafire
Sep 13 – Boulder, CO at Fox Theater – w/Passafire
Sep 14 – Denver, CO at Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom – w/Passafire
Sep 15 – Aspen, CO at Belly Up – w/Passafire
Sep 16 – Salt Lake City, UT at Urban Lounge – w/Passafire
Sep 18 – Santa Barbara, CA at SoHo – w/Passafire
Sep 19 – Solana Beach, CA at Belly Up Tavern – w/Passafire
Sep 20 – Los Angeles, CA at El Rey Theatre – w/Passafire
Sep 21 – San Francisco, CA at Slim’s – w/Passafire
Sep 22 – Santa Cruz, CA at The Catalyst – w/Passafire
Oct 04 – New York, NY at Irving Plaza – w/The Aggrolites, Passafire
Oct 06 – Carrboro, NC at Cat’s Cradle – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 07 – Washington, DC at Howard Theatre – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 09 – Ann Arbor, MI at Blind Pig – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 11 – Chicago, IL at Reggie’s – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 12 – Waterloo, ON at Starlight – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 13 – Toronto, ON at Lee’s Palace – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 14 – Syracuse, NY at Westcott Theater – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 16 – Boston, MA at Paradise – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 17 – Stowe, VT at Rusty Nail – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 19 – Charlottesville, VA at Jefferson Theater – w/The Aggrolites
Oct 20 – Philadelphia, PA at The Blockley – w/The Aggrolites

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