Title
Artist
Label
Format
Date

Piping Hot
Dr. Ring Ding Ska-Vaganza
Gecko Rex / Pork Pie - Broken Silence
CD / Digital Release
November 30, 2016

Track list
  1. Piping Hot
  2. Mother Of Four
  3. You've Done Me Wrong
  4. All The Way To The Moon
  5. Freedom Of Thought
  6. The Bird
  7. Dancing With The Fat Man's Lady
  8. Charles Birk
  9. Sammy Don't Go Out No More
  10. All Because I Love You
  11. Trafficker
  12. Noah
  13. What They Say
  14. El Cant Dels Ocells
  15. Don't Give Up
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Münsteraner ska, reggae and dancehall don Richard A. Jung a.k.a. Dr. Ring Ding began his professional career in 1987 playing trombone with El Bosso & Die Ping Pongs, one of Germany’s most famous ska bands. His experience in El Bosso led to his life long love for Jamaican music. By early 1993 he had formed his very own band, Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars, and over the next ten years they would release five albums, numerous singles, and two excellent albums backing legendary Jamaican vocalists Doreen Schaffer and Lord Tanamo. American releases on Moon Ska and Jump Up! helped solidify his fan base in the United States, and soon Dr. Ring Ding was enjoying a worldwide audience for his snappy vocal style and tremendous musicianship. Dr. Ring Ding is not only a popular live performer, he is a studio musician, arranger and producer in many different music genres such as swing, rhythm & blues, hip hop, rumba and punk, but, above all, in reggae, dancehall and ska.

The recently reviewed "Bingo Bongo" was the sophomore album of Dr. Ring Ding Ska-Vaganza and actually, even 4 years after its release, the debut album "Piping Hot" deserves its own review too. Besides Dr. Ring Ding as its vocal and trombone frontman, he formed the band in December 2011 with members of Barcelona's Freedom Street Band (formerly known as Ranking Soldiers), of course long-time musical companion Markus Dassmann, American songstress Stephanie K. on backing vocals and a Spanish & German mixture of hornsmen and percussion. Special guests each on different tunes are marimba player Altfrid M. Sicking and legenday first lady of ska Doreen Shaffer. The result is a great ska album, firmly rooted in its tradition, yet sounding fresh tune after tune.

The album opens with its stomping ska title track "Piping Hot" and then Dr. Ring Ding sings the very funny "Mother Of Four" and a tune that definitely could have been on any 60s vocal ska album "You've Done Me Wrong". "All The Way To The Moon" is a wonderful sweet love song inspired by Sam McBratney's beautiful children's book "Guess How Much I Love You" and "Freedom Of Thought" is based on the German folk song "Die Gedanken Sind Frei". The very upful original "The Bird" with its irresistable "Tweet tweet tweet" chorus is way slower, over a reggae instead of ska beat before returning to high paced ska for the excellent "Dancing With The Fat Man's Lady, the instrumental jazzy tribute to his 'Pépé' "Charles Birk" and the very entertaining "Sammy Don't Go Out No More".

A lot of the vocal tunes on this album once more show that not only musically Dr. Ring Ding's compositions grab the authentic traditional ska vibe, but so do his lyrics! Another sweet love song, calypso style, is "All Because I Love You" to which Altfrid M. Sicking adds something extra with his marimba followed by the instrumental "Trafficker" and the biblically inspired (not a strange thing for someone born into a parsonage) "Noah". Almost 'proverbial' ska in "What They Say" seldom is the truth. With all the Catalonian in the band it might not be a surprise that a ska-reworking of this 'secret anthem' of Catalonia is included before the album is closed with a splendid take on Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" sung together with the first lady of ska, Doreen Shaffer. A smashing closer of a must have album for lovers of traditional ska in particular and music lovers in general!