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  • McDaniel Professor plays for troops...                                                                        By Megan McKeever, Carroll County Times Staff Writer

Reviews

Baltimore Magazine. January 2006. John Lewis

THE PLAYERS BAND: Can a reggae band rock? On its third CD, The Players Band proves that it definitely can. An eight piece, the group makes the most of a muscular horn section (featuring Nick Reider on Trumpet, David Blackstone on Trombone, and Michael Gorman on Baritone Sax), that like the Skatalites, punctuates its rock steady tunes with shots of bouncing, upbeat brass. Funky songs such as "Joe's Song" show it can also cut deep grooves out of Joe Ross's nimble bass playing, Andy Schneider's drumming, and Dan Schneider's chicken-scratch guitar. In fact, "Halftime" exhibits a near-encyclopedic knowledge of classic soul that mixes nicely with its rocking take on reggae and ska.

 

Michael Buckley. March 2003. 103.1 WRNR Radio
Annapolis / Chesapeake Music Guide

This could be the hottest act in the area right now. The Players are as advertised, they are ‘players’. I'm always a sucker for a great horn section. The music has p-a-r-t-y written all over it! Get up for a whole heap of fun, from top to bottom this debut album [Hate the Game] from The Players is really great. The tracks are about half studio recordings and the other half live soundboards. The mastering is such that there isn't a lot of sonic difference between the two halves. That's a pretty amazing feat, not all that easy to do, which is why live tracks are tacked on these days as bonus material. The vocals here remind me a bit of another Baltimore based band, the Junkyard Saints. The lyrics are right smart, mostly original, and also include pure ska adaptations of material by rappers Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G. (Dave's Song) and the bands Sublime (Same in the End) and the Scofflaws (Nude Beach). I love the instrumentals ‘Mama’ and ‘Rub a Dub’ (Vic Rice mixes). The horns are delicious. The live tracks will give you a taste of the band many folks told me stole the night at this year's First Night Annapolis celebration. I knew from the first notes I heard on Damian's Thursday night local music show on 103.1 WRNR that these guys are the real deal. If you want to dance, this is the stuff that good times are made of!”

 

Viking Remedy Magazine (France). March 2003

THE PLAYERS: hate the game 2003 nous amène cet album d'un nouveau venu sur la scène Ska américaine! Si vous aimez les TOASTERS ce CD est pour vous! Mais la musique des PLAYERS va pourtant au-delà du son propre au TOASTERS... en effet les 15 morceaux de cet album incorporent bien plus d'influences que la bande à Buckett, on y trouve du Jazz, de la soul (pas mal même) ou bien ce rock US si typique qui donne là un Ska débordant d'énergie et avec une pêche qui me fait dire que le Ska US devra désormais compter avec ces p'tits gars là! Des p'tits gars qui ne trichent pas puisque la moitié de l'album est enregistré LIVE et que le résultat sert à lui seul de preuve quant à la qualité musicale du groupe! D'ailleurs certains ne s'y sont point trompés puisque 2 titres de ce hate the game sont mixés par Victor RICE (des SLACKERS).”

English Translation

THE PLAYERS: hate the game THE PLAYERS are certainly one of the best new act on the US Third wave Ska scene for 2003... and the energy i've found on these 15 tracks with Jazz, Soul and the typical US Rock sound give one of the best way for Ska in the USA! So the result is (with a part of LIVE recordings and a part of studio productions) the album you need to start this year with brand new ears! Maybe it's time to have a new TOASTERS! And don't miss the 2 mixes by Victor RICE (from THE SLACKERS).”

 

Laurin Wollan. February 2003. Music Monthly

[The Players] ooze class and the horns are just damn big. The best thing about [Hate the Game] is that they have some studio tracks mixed with the live cuts and the living vibe of their fun music is what really helps you hear why you need to go see them. The ska and jazz mix well makin’ this almost big band swing at times with a razor edge of irrefutable cool.”

 

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