Keith & Tex Back With A Vengence [Photos]

Keith and TexRocksteady legends Keith Rowe and Phillip Dixon, otherwise known to the world as Keith and Tex (of Stop That Train fame), reformed last year and are making the most of lost time. The broke up 45 years ago due to many reasons but are back and making the rounds of festivals around the world including Hamburg, Germany last year.

They recently stopped in Los Angeles and San Francisco making their Westcoast debut. Coming up this month they make stops in London at The London International Ska Festival then head to Belguim, Italy, Switzerland, Germany for two stops including the Freedom Sounds Festival in May.

Reggae Steady Ska site did a great in-depth interview with them last year before their first show back together as a duo in Hamburg. This is the story of Keith & Tex. And it is quite a story, even by Jamaican standards. Kingston, Jamaica, 1967. It’s the height of the rocksteady era, when two young teenagers, Keith Barrington Rowe and Tex Dixon, enter Derrick Harriott’s studio. They are about to record a bunch of self-penned songs – which today are considered some of the finest rocksteady tunes ever. Two of them – “Stop That Train” and “Tonight” – have been covered, re-cut, overdubbed and sampled so many times that every reggae fan knows them by heart. The two singers themselves do not have much time to revel in their success, because both have to leave the country soon after as their families emigrate to the USA and Canada.

As usual the incomparable Monkey with a Camera, Robert, AKA OldHCDude was live and direct at a show in Los Angeles and captured prime photos of the festivities. This guy gets everywhere with his camera. The backing band for the shows were an LA all-star collective featuring Queen P (Ocean 11), Nathan Ranking, Joseph Quinones (The Delirians), Robert Sotello (Arise Roots/ Allentons) and others from the cream of the the talent here in Los Angeles.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.