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Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros

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(1999 – 2002)

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros were an English band formed by Joe Strummer in 1999 that went on to make three albums prior to Strummer’s untimely death in 2002. Musically, the band continued the genre-mixing that Strummer was known for during his time with The Clash. Elements of reggae, jazz, funk, hip hop, country, and of course punk rock can be found in the three Mescaleros releases. Many of the members of the Mescaleros were gifted multi-instrumentalists: the original line-up consisted of Strummer on vocals and guitar, Antony Genn on guitar, Scott Shields on bass, Martin Slattery on keyboards and guitar (as well as flute and saxophone on select songs), Pablo Cook on various percussion instruments, and Smiley (aka Steve Barnard) on drums. Richard Flack also appeared on various effects and instruments.

The band rose out of Strummer’s work with Pablo Cook and Richard Norris. The three of them originally came together to write the soundtracks for two short films, Tunnel of Love, and Question of Honour. The song “Yalla Yalla” was originally written by this trio, and mixed by Antony Genn. Once Genn was brought on board, a new song “Techno D-Day” was recorded, at which point Strummer, at the behest of Genn, began recording a new record.

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