Traditionalists or progressives? Fronted by the charismatic Jamaican-born singer and songwriter Nee Nee Rushie, the seven-piece New York band The Big Takeover plays original music that is rooted in and reverent toward the genres and rhythms of Jamaican pop: reggae, rocksteady, ska. They are devotees of Desmond Dekker and the way the old school did it. At the same time, The Big Takeover crosses lines and blends traditions like global pop fusionists. Their deceptively complex arrangements and big hooks connect with the spirit of Motown and the uptown sophistication of the 21st century retro soul and R&B revival scene.
That rich sound, along with their rigorous performing schedule and studio work, has been paying off. In 2018, the Big Takeover completed a successful 12-state tour. They were enthusiastically received by 10,000 at Omaha’s Jazz on the Green festival. They delivered an outrageously infectious and nuanced acoustic performance on the popular reggae-centric Sugarshack Sessions. Meanwhile, the band has faired well with National Public Radio- making stops into NPR stations all around the US.
The bands latest single is a cover of Sophia George’s 1985 Dancehall hit – “Girlie Girlie.” It was recorded as part of a UK compilation album containing 40 covers of classic Trojan Records hits from artists across the world. It was produced by Manuel Quintana (Rachel Yamagata, Robbie Dupree, among others) & Rob Kissner, and mixed by Grammy Award Winning engineer Danny Blume.
The Big Takeover has shared the stage with such acts as: The Wailers, Sister Sparrow & Dirty Birds, The Meditations, English Beat, Jefferson Starship, Ryan Montbleau, Pete Seeger, John Brown ’s Body, The Slackers, Beres Hammond, Sister Nancy, & many others.
“Their performance stands alongside memorable recent shows by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and Lake Street Dive. Spectacular.” -Micah Schweizer, Wyoming Pubic Radio
“The Big Takeover successfully joins the popular music movement, while still paying homage to their influences in reggae and ska music.” – Sammy Steiner, NYS Music
“Think back to the Desmond Dekker era of Jamaican pop and you’re on the right track. But the Big Takeover would be equally at home in the Motor City — especially if the Spinners and the Slackers magically ended up on the same bill.” -Jane Dunlap Sathe, Pulse
“With songwriting, this band unleashes creativity with a celebratory grandeur.” -John Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal
NeeNee Rushie – Vocals
Rob Kissner – Bass
Guthrie Lord – Guitar
Roger LaRochelle – Drums
Chas Montrose – Saxophone
Andrew Vogt – Trombone
Manuel Quintana – Percussion/Drums
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Burlington VT
Sugarshack Sessions, Bonita Springs FL
Jazz On The Green, Omaha NE
World One Festival, El Cerrito CA
Mountain Jam Festival, Hunter NY
Nectar’s, Burlington VT
Helsinki Hudson, Hudson NY
Asheville Music Hall, Asheville NC
Garcia’s, Port Chester NY
Manifestivus, Cabot VT
Bud Light Reggae Fest, West Dover VT