Australian soulful roots-reggae collective Jahrukus join forces with Soul Messin’ Records to release a sunshine-drenched cover of David Bowie’s 1980 classic, “Ashes To Ashes”.
The B-side of the 7″ release is the infectious “Island Girl”, featuring a gorgeous vocal from the late Kingston, Jamaica singer Bunny Rugs of Third World and Inner Circle.
The two classy tracks are taken from the Melbourne-based band’s 2008 self-titled debut CD (and their sole recorded output ) – digitally remastered and now on vinyl for the first time. Hear both tracks, below….
Jahrukus (Jah-ruckus) pay homage to the early Tuff Gong era, active on the Melbourne club scene circa 2005-08, the five-piece ensemble won local and international acclaim and a clutch of major awards nominations and 13 years after “Ashes To Ashes” and “Island Girl” were first released, Soul Messin’ Records, Australia’s home of soul, roots and jazz drops the the two cuts.
Believed to be the first reggae version of Bowie’s timeless classic “Ashes to Ashes”, it was recorded above a crash-repairs shop in the south of Melbourne between one and five o’clock in the morning after a gig, and before the shop opened. It was a fan attending a concert who gave the band the idea, when they said: “This band is so good, you could re-work any song into a reggae jam”. So they did!
“Island Girl” penned by the band’s members: Heerah, Hirini, Kopa, Bekker, Clark and Mason, is their first original track released to wax, featuring Bunny Rugs joining the band for a one-off recording session during his brief tour to Melbourne, adding the authentic sounds of Jamaica to the band’s makeshift loft studio.
The lineup features:
• Tony Kopa: Maori lead vocalist known for his work with band The Truth. Tony has performed with acts such as Cold Chisel and INXS – currently touring with Jon Stevens.
• The late Dion Hirini: Maori guitarist and vocalist who worked with acts such as Renee Geyer, Ross Wilson, Kate Ceberano and Vika and Linda.
• Chris Bekker: South African bass guitarist and vocalist who has performed with Tina Arena, Mark Seymour, Richard Clapton and Ian Moss to name a few.
• Jason Heerah: Mauritian drummer and vocalist who has performed at the UK’s famed Glastonbury Festival and at The Royal Albert Hall in London, with his soul outfit Electric Empire. He rose to mainstream acclaim as a finalist on The X Factor.
• Jake Mason: Keyboards. Soul-Jazz organ maestro, twice nominated for an ARIA award. With his trio Cookin’ on 3 Burners, they recently received the APRA 1 Billion Streams award.
- Soul Messin’ Records is Australia’s newest soul and jazz imprint and home to Australia’s Cookin’ on 3 Burners, Jake Mason Trio and The Soul Messin’ Allstars.