You think you know Rocksteady… You’ve been listening to it for years, you can navigate the subtle differences between the various JA styles and you fancy yourself somewhat of an expert on the matter.
I know, because I once felt the way you do, I used to think that I knew Rocksteady. But compared the man, Brian Keyo, you and I don’t know jack.
The name may not ring a bell, but if you’ve got more than a handful of killer Trad Ska or Early Reggae compilations, you probably own one of Keyo’s gift’s to the world. Not only does he have a massive collection which has served as the basis for many of his comps, but he’s also been given unprecedented access to music vaults and written some of the most definitive liner notes about this music. These liner notes are where Keyo’s legacy really shines. Remember how you don’t know anything about Rocksteady? Well, what you DO know was probably taught to you by Keyo in one CD booklet or another. He’s a major player, for sure and you can learn even more about the man in an amazing three-part interview over at Go Feet Radio (highly recommended!).
Now Keyo has written a Primer for Rocksteady: From The Aces to The Zodiacs over at his site, Tallawah.com. The introduction alone is so informative, I challenge you to NOT learn something new before the primer even begins!
So yeah, maybe we don’t know all that we thought we did about our beloved music- but at least we’ve got Brian Keyo on our side, sharing his fire!