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A 6'6" frame steps onto the stage. The music builds. Suddenly a voice rings out; a voice that captures and dominates and thoroughly engulfs the crowd. Eek-A-Mouse has arrived.With his signature vocal style, a combination of singing and toasting/deejaying with a strong percussive element, Eek-A-Mouse is recognized as one of reggae's most dynamic performers. His legions of uncommonly devoted fans point to his wit and humor, his biting social commentary and his infectious energy as what keeps them coming back for more.Born Ripton J. Hylton into the Trenchtown of the late '50s, he began singing early and cut his first single at the age of 17. Seven years later he scored a chart hit with "Wa Do Dem" a song that permanently etched his vocal zeal into reggae history. That same year (1981) he took Sunplash by storm; 12 months later "Wa Do Dem" was a major label LP and The Mouse was loose on the world, with a relentless touring schedule."Skidip" his next album was not as strong as his debut, but he quickly followed it up with "Mouse and the Man" and "Mouseketeer" which proved him irrepressible, as did releases "King and I", "Eek-A-Nomics" and "Mouse-A-Mania," dropping hits like "Ganjasmuggler," "Wild Like a Tiger," and "Assassinator."

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival


More recently, his 1995 Island release "U-Neek," opted for a more polished sound, incorporating elements of hip-hop and R&B. Many "eeksters" revolted to "Black Cowboy," out the following year, went straight back to his old-school sound.The epitome of The Mouse would be the time he was jailed in New York City early in his career. Shows had to be postponed, and he was released 3 days later with no charges brought against him. When at last he arrived onstage, he was wearing a striped prison costume, carrying a ball and chain, and firing a whole new repertoire of sounds he had composed in the pen. Get ready for a blistering show; get ready for Eek-A-Mouse!

- MW


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