Friday, March 18, 2005

Dread Zeppelin

What do Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley and reggae music have in common. One would think nothing at all but there you have Dread Zeppelin. Channeling the musical spirits of Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, and Bob Marley to create a unique novelty rock sound that is surprisingly good and is heartily endorsed by no less than Robert Plant himself. Led by one Tortelvis, a 300-pound Elvis impersonator, the lineup also included guitarists Jah Paul Jo and Carl Jah, bassist Butt-Boy, percussionist Ed Zeppelin, and drummer Fresh Cheese. Don't forget Charlie Haj (the man who hands Tortelvis his water and towels on stage). I think these guys were hanging out one night and after smoking some good weed they thought hey we should try this it sounds cool.

Dread played their debut live gig on January 8, 1989 (the 54th anniversary of Elvis' birth), the CA-based group performed reggae-influenced renditions of classic Led Zep anthems capped off by Presley-like vocals. By 1990 the group released their first album Un-led-ed which contained all zeppelin covers. Dread Zeppelin's second album, 5,000,000, followed in 1991 and contained zep songs and a few original compositions. Even after all these years of listening to these guys time after time, it's still funny. But even more amazing is the fact that this was ONE TIGHT BAND. Brilliant guitars, loud drums, and incredible production tells you these guys are a serious band. I may not win a lot of popularity contests for saying this, but, with the exception of "Nobody's Fault" I like their versions of the Zep songs better. Even Robert Plant said he thought their version of Your Time is Gonna Come was better than Led Zeppelins original version. Now that's high praise.

At first I couldn't decide between Black Dog or Stairway to Heaven for the featured mp3, but on further review I have decided on

Stairway to Heaven by Dread Zeppelin (6.08 mb)

Have a great weekend all.