Home Read Classic Album Review: Greg Milka Crowe | Bhakta Basics

Classic Album Review: Greg Milka Crowe | Bhakta Basics

The Winnipeg ska mainstay grooves on the old-school tip with this authentic album.


This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


WHERE YOU’LL FIND THEM: Where the Prairie meets the ska.

FILE UNDER: Madness with method.

LOWDOWN: Now that all the trendhoppers have jumped off the ska bandwagon again, there’s more room for the true believers. And they don’t come much truer-sounding than Winnipeg ska mainstay Greg Milka Crowe. For his aptly solo album Bhakta Basics, the former singer-guitarist of Whole Lotta Milka and The Wedgewoods grooves on the old-school tip. These 16 tracks resurrect the celebratory offbeat grooves, scratchy textures, supple horns and poppy melodies of classic Jamaican bluebeat, with snatches of reggae, rocksteady and dub tossed in for good measure. The only things that break the spell of anachronistic verisimilitude are Crowe’s vaguely punky vocals, his left-leaning lyrical content, and covers of Billy Bragg’s Help Save The Youth Of America and Paul McCartney’s I Will. If he keeps this up, the bandwagon’s gonna get crowded again mighty soon.