Robustos The New Authentic

Jerk it up baby! I haven't heard anything this deeply into a hip, R&B and ska groove in a long time. They've got a wet, up front '70s organ sound that is just outstanding. Actually, this is a band filled with excellent musicians through and through, and Tonya Abernathy is a top-notch lead singer. The only thing I could have done without is the lacklustre cover of "Heard It Through the Grapevine." "Don't Be Down" makes amends for that as a wonderful trad-ska romp à la "007," and the same goes for their version of "Lullaby of Birdland." "King of Thieves" and "Creepin' Around" are also fine examples of their infectious, head boppin' ska. (Beatville)