CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Pomona, Ontario, Fontana
MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Jerry Case (bass, vocals); Simon Washburn (guitar, vocals); Frank Thornton (trumpet, flute, vocals); Thomas Case (tenor sax); Ryan Schmollinger (drums); Nic Hanks (drums); Luis Flores (lead guitar); John “Musclemouth” Lugo (trombone); Robert Valdez (keys); Sal Correa (percussion); Josh Divicenzo (tenor sax)
The Skatalites, The Ethiopians, The Heptones, The Melodians, Pat Kelly, The Maytals, The Wailers, Desmond Dekker, plus American jazz and soul artists
“In My Life”/”Hong Kong Flu” seven-inch single (MossBurg, 2009)
Ska and reggae acts are ubiquitous for making families like the Gosselins and the Duggars seem wholly commonplace. That’s ’cause they’re usually riding to their gigs in vans where there are no empty seats. Assemble the rhythm section, top it with your lead players and affix a horn ensemble to the whole affair, and next thing you know, you’ve got enough musicians to effectively construct a reasonable army of rock bands.
However, that’s part of the magic that gives acts from these genres their well-rounded sound. For instance, the dude with the congas and the shaker is just as essential as the guy in the front with the electric guitar. And for many, it’s that egalitarian, all-for-one/one-for-all mindset that finds such acts livin‘ on a cohesive plateau, both personally and musically.
The Bashments hail from this exact school of thought—together they’ll attack their musical endeavors like university coeds flock to a freshly-tapped keg. According to bassist/vocalist Jerry Case, the band’s goal is to formulate the finest ska, rocksteady and reggae vibes, concurrently clutching that 1960s Jamaican spirit, from which most of their influences originate.
“And, for the pure passion and love of the music,” he adds. “[We] started out this way, and the passion still runs in our spirits.”
Such passion can also be found in The Bashments’ recordings. For example, there’s a stellar, sax-fronted dancehall-ready version of the Beatles’ “In My Life” available on the band’s MySpace site. But you’ll do yourself one better by actually picking up the band’s newly-minted vinyl single and nab your groove from the grooves. In fact, you might be able to get more of the recorded Bashments, as they anticipate wrapping an EP by summer’s end. They’ll just need to line up their datebooks first.
“It is a bit difficult to coordinate schedules around ten people’s lives,” says Case, noting that the band is spread across the Southland, “but the outcome is what makes it really rewarding.” We wouldn’t want it any other way (or size).
The Bashments at Ska In The Park ‘09, American Legion Post 79, 2979 Dexter Dr., Riverside, www.myspace.com/paragonbookingagency. Sat, June 27, 11AM. $20.