Artist of the day: The Apes
The Apes are a 4-months-young octet featuring members of Magadog, Gwan Massive and Rude Squad. As most know, Magadog were a Florida ska institution for almost 20 years. When it came time to close shop, frontman Ed Lowery didn’t monkey around when it came to forming a powerful new ensemble.
The Ape list: David Akright, bass; K. Paul Boyev, lead guitar; Monica Delgado keys and vocals; Dan Gravelle, guitar and vocals; Ed Lowery, vocals; Lee McElhaney, tenor sax; Carlos Velez, drums; and Bill Riemer, baritone sax. There’s nothing primitive about this finely tuned group of simians; they lay down a solid hybrid of traditional ska, skinhead reggae and ’60s soul.
“I would say that The Apes have a heavier emphasis on rocksteady reggae, along with traditional ska, but also a heavy influence of ’60s soul,” Lowery said. “This project is like a rebirth for me. I think enthusiasm reflects. Positive energy with the music brings out positive work. … The horn section guys are both real schooled, they’ve played in a lot of projects. They’re very enthusiastic, which makes it special.”
The Apes will open for The English Beat on Feb. 7 at Jannus Live. For more on the band, click here for Aaron Lepley’s story.