Traditionalists or progressives? Fronted by the charismatic Jamaican-born singer and songwriter Nee Nee Rushie, the seven-piece New York band The Big Takeover plays original music that is rooted in and reverent toward the genres and rhythms of Jamaican pop: reggae, rocksteady, ska. They are devotees of Desmond Dekker and the way the old school did it. At the same time, The Big Takeover crosses lines and blends traditions like global pop fusionists. Their deceptively complex arrangements and big hooks connect with the spirit of Motown and the uptown sophistication of the 21st century retro soul and R&B revival scene.
That rich sound, along with their rigorous performing schedule and studio work, has been paying off. In 2018, the Big Takeover completed a successful 12-state tour. They were enthusiastically received by 10,000 at Omaha’s Jazz on the Green festival. They delivered an outrageously infectious and nuanced acoustic performance on the popular reggae-centric Sugarshack Sessions. Meanwhile, their current standalone single “Rainboots” has scored big with the discerning tastes at National Public Radio. The Big Takeover has appeared live in studio on several NPR stations, while “Rainboots” is in rotation on all of them.