Mash It Up Volume 4
by Maria F. Suran
DVS delivers another great addition to the Mash It Up series with Mash It Up Volume 4, a diverse sampling of some of Boston's best ska. Joining some of Beantown's old favorites, like Bim Skala Bim and Skavoovie, are some great new acts like S.M.A. and Big D and the Kids Table. Some old favorites have returned to bring us more of that ska we know and love. "Riverboat"'s smooth mellow sound reminds us why Skavoovie and the Epitones are one of the best traditional ska bands today. Volume 4 gives us a few new versions of some beloved classics, brought to us by some of Boston's favorites.The Allstonians offer us their swinging version of the time-old favorite "Mood for Ska," and Bim Skala Bim skanks it up with an upbeat "Run Joe." Brass Planet (headed by Vinny Nobile of Bim Skala Bim) makes a grand entrance with "Why Can't We?," a fun medley of horns that makes you want to get up and skank. Beat Soup brings us an energetic "Something to Be," and Steady Earnest comes back with "Scrumpy." DVS introduces us to Dion Knibb and the Agitators, who combine the great vocals of the son of Lloyd Knibb with the efforts of local keyboardist Ken Stewart (Skatalites, Toots and the Maytals) and members of Steady Earnest to produce a great mix of rocksteady and roots. Reaching back into the archives, we come across Ska'd for Life. Though short-lived, they created some of the most unique ska ever to come out of Boston. Today, the city's steadily growing scene has produced a wave of dynamic, progressive ska bands, such as Big D and the Kids Table, and S.M.A., who have combined various musical influences and instruments with ska to give rise to some of the most entertaining and unusual sounds heard in the world of ska today. What do you get when you combine an endless supply of energy with a powerful mix of ska, punk and funk? Big D and the Kids' Table! This band gets a crowd moving like no other. S.M.A. hails from western Massachusetts, and offers us "Number One," a great song off of their first album. And last but not least,Mr. Beautiful returns once again to Mash It Up to share "The No No Song." DVS has done it again. So pick it up!