1592 (Eric Abbey, Jeremy Abbey, Italo Cianfarani, Steve Caldwell and a cast of drummers and musicians) builds their sound from roots-reggae, rocksteady and its influences. Since their 2007 debut, The Rise of the Fallen, 1592 has won a number of Detroit Music Awards and has performed with The Skatalites, Toots and the Maytals and the English Beat. Their new record, This One’s for You All, is an honest and tasteful throwback that presents an extraordinary range of diversity in sound and feel.
Throughout Detroit’s 1990s “third wave” of punk-infused ska, lead vocalist, keyboardist and trumpet player Eric Abbey spent seven years fronting Superdot. He left the group to move to Manhattan, where he crafted the songs that would eventually become Fallen. “Detroit… was still in the background of everything that I did, so that feel came through a lot with the mix of the two cities,” he says. “I’ve always come from a punk background so I always write darker lyrics, or darker chord structures. I think that’s what really makes our group different.
“The whole point of 1592 and reggae and rocksteady in general is to try to get that groove focus… it’s meant to be pretty simplistic. But then we try to add layers of complexity to it.” Elements of 2-tone, jazz, R&B, soul and dub are given degrees of predominance over self-aware and socially conscious lyrics. “We work with a lot of reggae artists,” he says. “There’s something that they vibe about us and the music because we have that kind of darker tinge to it.
“I think a lot of people try to sound like somebody else,” he points out. “If you’re trying to put something on, or fake appearance, people in Detroit don’t have time for it. They read right through it. Unlike other cities, Detroit is… hardcore when it comes to that. Nobody can be fake here and survive.
“It’s really hard to play in Detroit. It’s hard to book shows. It’s hard to get crowds. And because of that, when there’s a great show in the city it’s the best feeling in the world.”
1592’s This One’s for You All record release party w/ Mayaeni and more • Saturday 10/23, 9 p.m. • Black Lotus Brewing Company • 1 E. Fourteen Mile, Clawson • free • myspace.com/1592dub