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February 24, 2024

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Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars
Ram Di Dance (Moon Ska Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars play traditional ska and rocksteady, at times even throwing in a reggae touch. Hailing from Germany, Moon Ska has once again brought them to U.S. soil. On their latest disc they continue where they left off on DANDIMITE, bringing a fresh and innovative twist to the traditional sound.

"My Sound" kicks off the CD. Reggae vocals lead the band over a twisty number that jumps from a nice upbeat that grabs you and starts to dance with you to a straight reggae sound. The conversion is a smooth one, which helps to emphasizes the dance grooves on this number. Horns creep their way in, while the drums throw down a few quick beats which jumps the band into some more ska. Jumping back and forth between these two styles, they blend them nicely and create a song that will make you shake and move. "I Know" finds Dr. Ring Ding dueting with Doreen Shaffer, a wonderful combo. His vocals are soft and soulful, while her vocals are sensuous and full of warmth. The music is calm and breezy, with the guitar taking command and leading the band through a slow dance number which will just fill your body with love. Not to be outdone, the keyboards add a lot of sunshine to the mix, as they help heat things up. With all this power and soul in one song, you might believe that things would start to fall apart as one thing over powers another. But that never happens here. Everything is played to perfection, melting with one another nicely. "Dance All Night" gives you a little more speed to dance with. As they pick things up a bit you will too. Sharp horns stab the background, while the drums beat intensely, always careful not to be overbearing. The guitar is present, but while it is serving up the upbeat it hides behind the vocals. But when the guitar throws some jazzy blues riffs your way, it takes total control over the music. "Song For My Father" is a well crafted instrumental. Their single purpose with this number is to get you to dance (most likely the purpose for the whole album), which they successfully accomplish with brilliant horn lines, soft percussion, light bass, and the guitar which is only second to the horns. "Call Di Doctor" starts out with a kinky female voice asking for a doctor, and then the doctor comes on and with the help of the band gives her a healthy dosage of the music she craves. Once again Dr. Ring Ding spreads the Jamaican reggae sound into his voice, giving the song a nice groove which shakes your body wild, all on top of the hot ska dance melody. A very deadly combination, because once it penetrates your ears you're body will be moving non-stop. The only thing I don't like about this song is the "hiccup" sound which comes on half way through the song. I can't tell if it's an instrument or some bad backing vocals. Either way, it dampers the moment a bit. But they do regain their composure, so it's no big deal. "Spanishtown Road" finishes off the CD with some Latin ska grooves and a touch of dub.

Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars have done it once again. They've put together a great CD with many different influences, while still staying deep in their traditional roots. If you liked the last CD, you'll love this one. And if you haven't heard them you'll be in for a real treat when you do! I'll give this CD an A.

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