In many cases, the most-often overlooked member of the band is the rhythm guitar player. However, in the style of music called ska, the rhythm guitarist provides the punctuation that gives the music its distinctive feel.
Ska came from Jamaica in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. It’s an outgrowth of Caribbean calypso and a precursor to reggae and dancehall music. Two of the first hits to bring world-wide attention to ska were “My Boy Lollipop” by Millie Smalls and “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff. In the 1970’s, ska had a big influence on English groups like The Police, The Specials and later, No Doubt (with Gwen Stefani) and has maintained its influence to this day. One group whose music shows a ska influence is the American band Train. Their song “Drive By” is the subject of this “Learning New Songs” story.
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