RUDER THAN YOU was founded in 1989 at Penn State University and relocated to Philadelphia in 1991. While ska and reggae stylings have always provided the common musical thread, over the past 18+ years they've been mixing in dancehall reggae, hip-hop, rocksteady, and rub-a-dub, even adding elements of funk, jazz, and punk - to create their own unique sound. Arguably the most popular ska-influenced Philadelphia band - ever, Ruder Than You's musical madness has the power to pull people onto the dance floor.
In 1992, MOON RECORDS, a.k.a. MoonSKA NYC, jumped at the chance to put out their debut album, Big Step, and its follow-up Horny for Ska in 1996. By the mid 90s the group had morphed from a five-piece into a nine-piece outfit and captured a passionate, loyal following in the Philly and New York areas, selling out shows regularly. The group toured nationally, regularly opening up for groups like the Skatalites, Steel Pulse, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Blink 182, Desmond Dekker, Ziggy Marley, Special Beat, Bad Manners, Fishbone, Yellowman, Eek a Mouse, No Doubt and countless others. Ruder CDs were released in Japan and England, and songs can be found on dozens of ska compilations far and wide.
Moon Records went out of business in dramatic fashion in 2000. A bit gun shy of small indie labels, the band self-released their long-awaited third album, PHILLY STYLEE, in early 2005 on their own Gods Ghetto label. The CD features the late Trish Johnson on bari-sax and several top Philadelphia guest musicians including Philly jazz trumpeter extraordinaire, John Swana. Philly Stylee was recorded in spurts during the Third Wave ska heyday between 1996 and 1999 with final vocal overdubs and mixes completed in 2004. The CD was excruciatingly long in the making for many reasons, not the least of which included the demise of the bands label Moon, a 3-year incarceration of lead singer and toaster Freddie 3D Weaver, and the death of bari-sax player Trish Johnson, who was killed in a late night car accident in 1998 returning from a solo jazz performance. Despite these obstacles, after taking a nearly 3-year hiatus, the band started back up in 2003 and completed the CD that even the most hopeful fans had given up on.
The bands current roster is packed with veteran members including the Round Mound of Dub Sound - singer Freddie Weaver. Band leader Doug Dubrosky still sings and plays tenor sax. He and Don Pancoe on bass hail from the earliest days of RTY. Rod Martino and Chris Klimchak fill out the lineup on guitar and trombone, respectively. Larry "Ace" Snell of the Toasters and Public Service sits on the drum throne.
So, whether it be on the CD player, web, or HOPEFULLY live in concert, you are oh so encouraged to let your mind and body succumb to the rude, rude, Philly-Stylee sounds of those brothers of love, Ruder Than You.