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Spring Heeled Jack

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Spring Heeled Jack U.S.A. was a third wave ska band based out of New Haven, Connecticut. The band was formed by guitarist/vocalist Ron Ragona and drummer Dave Karcich in 1991. After a short breakup, Ragona and Karcich reformed the band with a new lineup. This lineup would record two albums before announcing a hiatus in 2000. While the band members moved on to new bands, their intention was to play the occasional reunion show. This idea was would never come to fruition due to Karcich’s sudden death in 2002 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

The Early Years

Shortly after forming the band, Ragona moved to Boston, to play guitar for Skavoovie and the Epitones. After six months in Boston though, Ragona returned to Connecticut and reformed Spring Heeled Jack. The only other returning member would be Karcich. By the time the band decided to record its first demo tape, the lineup consisited of Ragona on vocals and guitar, Karcich on drums, Mike Pellegrino on vocals and guitar, Rick Omonte on bass, Chris Rhodes on trombone, Pat Gringas on trumpet and James Riley on saxophone. The demo tape was titled CT Ska and was released in 1993. The band played many shows and soon had a devoted following amongst the strong New Haven ska scene. The band would also contribute studio and live songs for various ska compilations over the next few years.

The Moon Ska Years

The band’s popularity did not escape notice by Moon Ska Records, the label owned by Robert “Bucket” Hingley, of The Toasters.

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