By Elizabeth Kieszkowski
Photos by Cindy Ellen Russell
The ska, roots and reggae show with Chris Murray Combo, Black Square and Go Jimmy Go was a major happening down in Waikiki. By the time Go Jimmy Go came on, it was wall to wall people, so warm and packed in the room that you were lucky to have already found a chair, spot of floor or wall to stake out for your own.
The crowd was wide-eyed and enthusiastic in the early hours; by the end it was a mixed bag of surfers, ska-lovers, locals, and tourists.
It’s lucky that we walked in early, when Black Square was going off, with its party-time horn section and in your face attitude, because the opening band hit just the right combination of good music and welcoming crowd. Members of the band kept the energy high when they would break off and skank their way through the crowd. Josh 86, singer and bandleader, was in fine form, smiling his way through a set that lasted nearly an hour.
Chris Murray has been an independent flag-bearer for rock steady, ska and reggae music for at least 10 years now. He has a solid discography, including two albums out in the past three years, one solo album and one with his Chris Murray Combo. The harmonies from his Combo were nowhere in evidence Friday night, but he confidently sang his way through a smooth set of uplifting, classic music.
The band started out early with Murray’s “Rocksteady,” and that pretty much set the tone for the night — easygoing and entertaining..
Murray was part of a combo on Thursday night, with a bass player and drummer. Thursday night’s show was the first in three for Oahu: Thursday night in Waikiki, Friday night at Anna’s in Moiiliili, and Saturday night at Breaker’s in Haleiwa.
Go Jimmy Go has been killling it for years now, and Friday night was no exception. The bar was packed from front to back for their exuberant set.
Get the details on Chris Murray’s appearances on Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19 in our Nightclubs calendar at www.staradvertiser.com/tgif.