Rude Rich and the High Notes is a collective that started in 1998. What brought them together in the first place was a common interest in the original Jamaican music style of Ska, Rock Steady and Early Reggae (1960 – 1975). When they’re on stage or when you listen to their music at home, their sound will be as authentic as it was originally played in those days.
In 1999 their first album ” The Right Track” was released on the ‘Boombax’ label. In the mean time the band was playing a lot of national and international gigs. That years highlight was playing at Europe’s biggest Reggae festival ‘Summerjam’ Köln(D) and the renowned Lowlands festival in Biddinghuizen (NL). The press was writing about Rude Rich & the High Notes as being the hottest ska sensation and ” The best that Holland could provide”
In 2000 the band performed at the ‘Noorderslag festival’ in Groningen (NL) and began steadily touring Europe.
In 2001 their second album “Change the Mood” (Grover Records) was released in April. Ska legend Rico Rodriguez is also featured on this album. This was the start of a very fruitful collaboration with original Jamaican legends.
In 2002, non other then, Derrick Morgan ‘The King of Ska’ was the first to be backed by The High Notes. The first show they did with Derrick was at the ‘Skafest’ in Rosslau (D). This show was such a great success that it resulted in the release of a live album ” Derrick Morgan meets the High Notes Live” on the Grover label (D). The second in line that same year, was to be the ‘Godfather of Rock Steady’ Alton Ellis. Who started his career at Studio One and Treasure Isle, Kingston Jamaica, where he produced some of Reggae’s finest tunes.
In 2003 the High Notes invited Rico Rodriguez over to Holland to do some memorable shows. The High Notes were free to choose the repertoire, and came up with the classical roots album ‘Man from Wareika’ which Rico didn’t perform live for some twenty odd years. Again Derrick Morgan was invited over for a small tour in Holland, Germany and Switserland and during this period the High Notes recorded another album with Derrick Morgan in their newly build recording studio in Amsterdam, with a guest appearance by Rico Rodriguez. Together with Alton Ellis and Dennis Alcapone the band performed that year for the second time at ‘Summerjam’ in Köln (D) and in Potsdam (D) at the ‘Skafest’.
In 2004 they released their fourth album ‘Soul Stomp’. This album was recorded at the High Notes Recording Studio and was released on their own label “Rude Rich Records”. For the second time they were invited to play at one of Europe’s biggest festivals ‘Lowlands’ at Biddinghuizen (NL). They played a home match at the ‘Amsterdam Uitmarkt’ festival, which is the kick off for the yearly cultural season in Holland. In the, by now, highly successful series of the ‘History of Ska, Rock Steady & Early Reggae (part 4)’ they played some stunning shows with the legendary number one DJ from Jamaica, the great ‘Dennis Alcapone’.
In 2005 ‘Sunsplash Wiesen Austria’ was the Reggae festival that brought some of Jamaica’s well known legends together, such as Alton Ellis, Dennis Alcapone and U Brown, backed by the High Notes, now known as ‘Europe’s finest backing band’. Shortly after Austria the High Notes went to Belgium with Alton Ellis and U Brown to perform at the ‘Hove Live’ festival. Winston Francis (Mr Fix it) was next in line to be brought to Holland (History of Ska, Rock Steady & Early Reggae (part 5)).
Mr Francis was so impressed by the original sound of the band that he came back for more.
In 2006 they recorded a smashing Live DVD with Winston Francis at the annual ‘Dutchska’ festival at the ‘Melkweg’ in Amsterdam (NL). In the springtime they went to France to play at the ‘Léoska Festival’ in Leognan. Later that year they were asked to be the support act for the Legendary Famous Originators of Ska and Rocksteady…….’The Skatalites’! The first official 12″, ‘Mr Fix it’ by Studio One legend Winston Francis, was recorded at the ‘High Notes Recording Studio’ and released on the ‘Rude Rich Records’ label.
In 2007 they again were the headliners at the ‘Dutchska’ festival in Amsterdam (NL). For this occasion they dug deep into the musical legacy of Jamaica and came up with a steaming authentic strictly Ska Set. The ‘History of Ska, Rock Steady & Early Reggae (part 6)’ featured Jamaica’s finest voices of Rocksteady, Leroy Sibbles and Barry Llewellyn, better known as the Legendary ‘Heptones’. At one of these memorable concerts a DVD was shot, wich will be released somewhere next year. After this Rude Rich & The High Notes went to Switserland to be main act at the ‘Skarau’ festival. Back in Holland preparations began to release the ‘Winston Francis meets The High Notes’ DVD. Which took place at the P60, Amstelveen (NL). This happy occasion was hosted by Aldith Hunkar, one of Hollands top journalists and newsreaders. Once again The High Notes were invited to back up Derrick Morgan at one of Europe’s biggest Reggae Festivals, Reggae Geel (B). Right now we are working on the latest release on the ‘Rude Rich Label’ witch will be an album together with Derrick Morgan, recorded at the ‘High Notes Recording Studio’.
In the past nine years, they released 5 albums (lots of various-artist albums), one 12”, a DVD and done around 500+ live shows. Gigging the club circuit, as well as playing the biggest festivals in Holland and the rest of Europe. Rude Rich & the High Notes, playing the authentic style that they do, have placed themselves on the top of the scene. Always dedicated to play the original thing with great musical quality. As noticed by our many fans, the press and last but not least…..The Originators of this Magnificent Music.