Spread the Dub
South Florida being the tropical paradise it is, it’s no surprise we’d be home to a party-friendly reggae-ska band like Spred The Dub, who’ve been making the tri-county rounds (and venturing several steps beyond) since forming in 2007.
What’s surprising is how few vintage-minded reggae bands live here. Sure, there’s always the steel drum guys playing covers in weekend pickup groups on the beach. But a soul-and-blues-based rocksteady act has been a mirage in these parts since the latter days of the 90’s, when bands like Jive Step Bunch and Magadog ruled these shorelines. And even they were overshadowed by the comical clown music that was latter-day ska before it mercifully went out of fashion.
Maybe it’s the way that pork pie hats go well with tailored suits and jazz influences make everything fancy, but there’s no denying the durable sophistication and appeal of old-school ska and rocksteady.
Spred the Dub began as revolving players united by a need to jam rocksteady and dub. They coalesced into a core unit with a focus. “We like to call it good-time reggae, but it’s a mix of ska, a little punk, a little r&b, soul. It’s very eclectic,” band members said in April during an interview and live radio performance with Kenny Walker of 102.7 The Beach.
They’ve been a go-to local opener for international reggae acts including The Skatalites, Black Uhuru and Yellowman. Their regular Monday night gig on Clematis Street in downtown West Palm was named best weekly party by Broward Palm Beach New Times in 2014. And they’re now Miami New Times’ best band of 2017.
This month, Mick Swigert (vocals), Kevin Johnson (bass), Ryan Cross (drums) Sam Zpendyk (trombone) Eric Cohne-Greenberg (keyboards) and Hunter Hutchings (guitar) will release the band’s third album of original songs, “Friends and Enemies.”
“We went all out to record and produce something we are really proud of,” the band says. “Working at Power Station Recording Studios [in Pompano Beach] with engineer Paul Kronk was a blast and made it easy for us to get our ideas on to tape.”