Stateside Presents



Bowcat, Mr. Incommunicado

Tue, June 26, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Valley Bar

Phoenix, AZ

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

The veteran ska, reggae, saxophonist, David Hillyard, and his
group, Rocksteady 7 are currently booking concerts in North
America and Europe behind their May 2018 release of a new
album, ‘The Giver.’ (

Rocksteady 7 began through the meeting of Hillyard and veteran
percussionist Larry McDonald at a Skatalites concert and reflects their
common love of Ska, Reggae, Jazz, and Latin music. Hillyard is a 48 year old
music veteran who is credited with helping spread the gospel roots ska, reggae,
and Jamaican jazz in America in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is currently the
saxophonist of NYC’s classic ska group, the Slackers and has also played with Hepcat
and Rancid amongst 1000s of concerts and 100s of recordings. McDonald, who just turned
80, is a living legend, part of the first generation of Jamaican musicians to create Ska and Reggae
music in the 1950s through the 1970s. He played with Carlos Malcolm Afro-Jamaicans and played on numerous classic reggae recordings such as the conga breaks on Toots and the Maytals classic, Funky Kingston as well as tracks by Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Lee Perry. In the 1970s, McDonald moved to the United States and played with Taj Mahal and Gil Scott Heron. Most recently, in 2017, he has been on tour with Lee Perry.

Since their first album in 1999, Playtime (Epitaph), Rocksteady 7 has slowly built up a local and international following and over the years have received recognition in diverse music scenes. The title track of their first album was a Jazzy Nyabingi that appeared on the legendary punk compilation, Give Em The Boot. Jazziz Magazine noted "Hillyard can play." The African Beat magazine called the Rocksteady 7, "Real Musical Revolutionaries Who Cut The Competition."

Over the years, Rocksteady 7 has grown to a collective of numerous musicians based in New York City, California, and Europe and they have played 30-40 concerts a year in Europe and North America.

In July of 2017, David, Larry, and crew went into Hen House Studios in Venice California with the idea of making a new album in collaboration with vocalist, Sean Wheeler. Wheeler’s roots are in Punk, Country, Americana, and Soul via groups, Throwrag and the duo, Sean & Zander. He has a been a long time friend of Dave’s and this comfort and ease is reflected in the fearlessness of the arrangements

Their album, ‘The Giver’, mixes together roots Jamaican music and American Soul with Sean’s distinctive vocal stylings and a strong dash of social commentary. As Hillyard says, “The way things are, you can’t help but be political. Everything is on the line.” The album title track is an original collaboratively written by Hillyard and Wheeler recalls Bill Withers and is a hopeful message for our troubled times. A cover of country singer, Glen Shirley’s ‘Measure of a Man’, fuses gospel sounds with a swinging ska beat. The mournful bluebeat ballad, ‘Ulysses’ makes a civil rights statement and features a guest harmonica
solo by Micah Nelson (Willie Nelson’s grandson, current member of Neil Youngs’ touring band). There also some instrumental explorations, one of which is a scorching ska version of John Coltrane’s classic ‘Song of the Underground Railroad.’

David Hillyard & The Rocksteady 7 with a lineup featuring Hillyard, McDonald, and Wheeler are currently looking for bookings between May-September 2018 in Europe and North America.
Rocksteady 7 albums

Playtime (Epitaph) - 1999
United Front (Do Tell/Brixton) - 2003; Re-release 2015 (Org Music)
Way Out East (Brixton) - 2007
Get Back Up (Brixton) - 2009
Friends and Enemies (Jump Up) - 2013
The Giver (Org Music) - 2018

A Selection of Other Albums featuring David Hillyard as band member, soloist, sectional player, or producer

David Hillyard/Glen Adams - Hits of Jackpot (Ska in the World) - 2008
David Hillyard - California (Big Tunes) - 2014
Green Room Rockers - Self Titled (Jump Up) - 2010
Hepcat - Out of Nowhere (Moon) - 1993
Rancid - Life Won’t Wait (Epitaph) - 1998
Show Me Island - Ring Around And Run - 2016
Skinnerbox - What You Can Do What You Cant (Moon) - 1997
The Slackers - Better Late Than Never (Moon) - 1996
The Slackers - Red Light (Hellcat/Epitaph) - 1997
The Slackers - The Question (Hellcat/Epitaph) - 1998
The Slackers - Wasted Days (Hellcat/Epitaph) - 2001
The Slackers - Peculiar (Hellcat/Epitaph) - 2005
The Slackers - Self Medication (Indication) - 2008
The Slackers - Rocksteady Swindle (Hellcat/Epitaph) - 2010
The Slackers - Self Titled (Special Potato) - 2016
The Stubborn All Stars - Open Season (Another Planet/Priority) - 1995
Victor Rice Octet - At Version City (Version City) - 1999
Westbound Train - Come And Get It (Epitaph) – 2009

A Selection of Other Albums featuring Larry McDonald as a band member or guest percussionist.

Joe Gibbs – Scorchers from the Early Years 1967-1973 (2009)
Larry McDonald – Drumquestra – 2009
Gil Scott Heron – Moving Target - 1987
The Slackers - Red Light (Hellcat/Epitaph) - 1997
Soulfly – Primitive - 2000
Taj Mahal – Brothers – 1977
Toots and the Maytals – Time Tough (Anthology) - 1996
Peter Tosh – Bush Doctor – 1978
Bunny Wailer – Black Heart Man - 1976
Lee Perry - Super Ape - 1977
Lee Perry - Return of Super Ape - 2017
Venue Information:
Valley Bar
130 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85004