The Slackers

Victor Ruggiero Vocals, Piano, Hammond B 

Marq Lyn (Q Maxx 420) 

David Hillyard Saxophones 

Marcus Geard Upright and Electric Bass 

Ara Babajian Drums 

T.J. Scanlon Lead and Rhythm Guitar 

Glen Pine Vocals and Trombine 



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The Slackers

How do you capture the power and spirit of your live show when going from a sweaty, fan-filled club to a frosty, sterile studio? If you’re the Slackers, you use the stage as your studio. When the veteran New York ska/reggae band tracked the bedrock for their new studio disc, Peculiar, that’s exactly what they did.

With a batch of new tracks, some social and political songs, others touching on family and loved ones, the Slackers returned to one of their favorite haunts, Ernesto’s in Sittard, Holland, where they’ve cut a pair of live albums. In front of another batch of sweaty, easy-skanking Dutch ska freaks, the band cut the core of Peculiar— the rhythm tracks. After stripping out the rhythm tracks from Ernesto’s, the Slackers overdubbed vocals, horns and guest spots from the likes of Alex Desert of Hepcat back home at ex-Slacker Jeff “King Django” Baker’s New Jersey studio, and in L.A.—where they used some of the very instruments heard on some of Motown’s later-era classics.

As a result the band has blended the best of both worlds: the clarity and balance of a studio record with the spirit and fever they’ve generated onstage across the globe for nearly 15 years.

“A lot of times our records are groovy and mellow, and the live experience is a little more aggressive and over the top,” says trombonist/vocalist Glen Pine. “When you go into a studio, your head’s in a different place, but when you’re live, you have to project. Sometimes that’s fantastic for you as a player, because you have to pull it out of you.” Initially the Ernesto’s plan was merely an experiment. “But after we heard it,” Pine says, “We were like, ‘Wait, we’d be real hard pressed to beat that in the studio, because the vibe is there, we’re feeding...

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