In our 11 year history we’ve written, performed and published over 40 original songs. We took 15 of them and made Best of Two, our third full length release combining ska, reggae, funk, rock, soulful r&b, afrobeat, and klezmer. Danceable, listenable, enjoyable original music.
The month of September of 2004 inspired us to set in motion a series of events that would forever change the local ska music scene – for the better. Trumpet player Bryce Blilie and trombonist Bob Strootman tagged long time guitarist Matt Bertrand, fanatical and phenomenal trombonist and singer Eric Johnson, superb bassist Dan Arlig and hard hitting drummer Ryan Lodgaard to complete the experiment.
We’ve produced 3 albums, performed over 100 local shows at bars and clubs, played during half time of Minnesota Roller Girls (all girl roller derby) matches, joined other acts at the “FistFull of Ska” ska fest in Des Moines Iowa, opened for The English Beat, and was a sponsored artist on the soundtrack for an internationally syndicated TV series “Veronica Mars”.
We were also members ska bands back in the 90’s such as Suspect Bill, 3 Minute Hero, and Ten Cent Fun, hence the “secondhand” reference in our name.
From Matt’s densely rhythmic stylings to Eric’s smooth vocals this album encompasses our song writing aspirations and ventures into new genres outside of the standard set of ska/reggae/dancehall. We immensely enjoy all forms of music, and our recorded performances of original music perfectly illustrates our hard work and dedication.
11 years and 40+ original songs later with the help of producer Jonathan TeBeest we present to you, Best of Two.
The Secondhand Ska Kings are:
Eric Johnson – lead singer & trombone
Bob Strootman – trombone & vocals
Ryan Lodgaard – drums & aux percussion
Dan Arlig – bass
Matt Bertrand – guitar & vocals
Bryce Blilie – trumpet & vocals
Special thanks to producer Jonathan TeBeest, woodwinder Paul Gronert, song master Greg Reirson and illustrator Alex Pederson for all the extra time and sacrifice that went into creating this one of a kind work of art.