November 10, 2009

Vic Ruggiero: The Intersection of Ska and Old Time Jazz

Oftentimes, the best music travels by word of mouth from friends. For me, that's the case with Brooklyn ska band The Slackers—a band I might've never heard about if not played endlessly by a good friend. Fronted by the charismatic and often self-depricating singer Vic Ruggiero, the Slackers came about in the early 90s ska resurgence that saw bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish rise to soaring—albeit brief—heights. While the Slackers might not have caught on fire like those bands, they've also never suffered from a lack of inspiration. The group, so far, has hammered out 18 years of consistently great garage- and soul-friendly ska.

At the forefront is the distinctly Bronx-accented Ruggiero. Along with playing with the Slackers, the songwriter has spent the last ten years recording three solo records: all dominated by the acoustic guitar and a love for old-time big band music, the blues, and jazz. Perhaps Ruggiero's greatest solo accomplishment is the breezy "Lonely Nights"—a duet with fellow ska maestro Lisa Müller of the German group Black Cat Zoot.

Vic Ruggiero Ft. Lis Muller - "Lonely Nights" (from Something In My Blindspot)
The Slackers - "Rude and Reckless" (from Redlight)

Buy it at Insound!The Slackers

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