Stephen Jackson, lead singer of The Pietasters

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The first time I ever saw The Pietasters, a ska band out of Washington DC, opening for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in 1997, I was hooked. The band straddles the line behind the two-tone sounds of ska’s second wave and the more punk elements of the third wave. And after seeing The Pietasters four times in concert, it’s one my favorite ska bands of all time. That’s why it was such a pleasure to have lead singer Stephen Jackson on the podcast.

During our chat, we discuss the rise and fall of ska’s popularity and how The Pietasters factored into it, how Jackson marries singing in a touring band with fatherhood, Jackson’s goal when he’s writing song lyrics, and if ska is too juvenile for a middle-age listener to appreciate.

Plus, we talk about the last time I saw The Pietasters when half the band was drunk and the bassist jumped into the crowd and disappeared for the rest of the night and how The Pietasters got a one-night gig as James Brown’s backing band.

Interviewed on 3-12-14

A few examples of the Pietaster’s work.

(To hear Drinking and Driving, skip to 44:37)

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