Ruth Eckerd Hall presents UB40 Legends Ali, Astro and Mickey on Friday, September 22 at 8 pm. When three founding members of UB40 – vocalist Astro, keyboard player Mickey Virtue and legendary voice of UB40 Ali Campbell rejoined forces – the spirit of their old band UB40 was never going to be far from the surface. All three were founding members of the iconic Birmingham reggae troupe who topped the United Kingdom singles chart on three occasions and sold 70 million records as they took their smooth yet rootsy musical blend to all corners of the globe.
Having reiterated their credentials as consummate live performers with triumphant gigs this year in places as far flung as Nigeria, South Africa and Papua New Guinea, Ali, Mickey and Astro are now turning their attention to the studio and a new album, Silhouette, that is an inspired mix of freshly-minted new songs and sparkling, reggaefied cover versions of classics by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Chi-Lites and others.
Silhouette, recorded in London’s legendary RAK Studios, plays unashamedly to the trio’s strengths. Ali’s voice remains as strong as ever – rich, melodic and instantly recognizable. With the redoubtable Astro lending strong vocal support and Mickey’s keyboards to the fore in a new band that includes a three-piece horn section, their lithe but potent sound should delight fans old and new.
Among the album’s highlights is the title track and first single Silhouette. A 1957 hit for the American doowop group The Rays. Silhouette also includes an upbeat reggae interpretation of Any Time At All (from The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night album), a cover of Bob Dylan’s enigmatic 1966 single I Want You, an inspired take on The Chi-Lites’ Yes I’m Ready and many more.
Tickets priced at $60, $49 and $35 will be available at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office, by calling 727.791.7400 or visiting www.RuthEckerdHall.com. The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm and one hour prior to show time.