“When I first tried Markbass I was so amazed, so blown away,” says Robbie. “Robbie Basspeare playin’ a Robbie bass using a Markbass amp equals death! The wickedest sound you can ever get from a bass.”
When it comes to reggae bass playing, no one comes close to having Robbie’s influence or resume. As one half of the Riddim Twins, a duo that he shares with drummer Sly Dunbar, Shakespeare has played on an incredibly long list of albums, including an estimated 200,000 tracks. In addition to recording and producing albums for reggae artists including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, U Roy, Culture, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Jimmy Cliff, Mighty Diamonds, Sugar Minnott, Pablo Moses, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Augustus Pablo, Yellowman, and Black Uhuru, he and Dunbar have also supplied their rhythmic and studio expertise to such pop and rock stars as Mick Jagger, Joan Armatrading, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Cyndi Lauper, Yoko Ono, Grace Jones, Sinead O’Connor, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Britney Spears, Simply Red and Ian Dury, just to name a few.
With their own albums, they set the standard for scaled-down, bass and drum dubbing.
A veteran of such session bands as Bunny Lee’s Aggrovators, Shakespeare first collaborated with Dunbar as members of Channel One Studio house band, the Revolutionaries. Deciding to try their luck as a duo, in 1974 they formed an independent production company and record label, Taxi Records. Their first production, “Soon Forward” by Gregory Isaacs, was a major hit and set them off on a path of success that has yet to abate.
Shakespeare has continued to expand the possibilities of his bass playing. Known for his creative use of electronics and production effects, he and Dunbar recorded an electro-reggae album with imaginative DJ Howie B. He was awarded several Grammy awards with Black Uhuru and with Sly Dunbar on their solo project “Friends”.
Shakespeare and Dunbar have also produced the soundtracks for several films including Club Paradise, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Poetic Justice, and the all-time best grossing Jamaican film, Third World Cop.
Sly and Dunbar and the Taxi Gang are touring the US in August, joined by vocalist Cherine Anderson. Robbie will proudly hold down the foundation with the help of his new Markbass system!
- Sun. Aug. 3 – Santa Barbara CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
- Tues. Aug. 5 – Jackson Hole, WY – the Mangy Moose
- Wed. Aug. 6 – Boise, ID – Idaho Center Amphitheater
- Thurs. Aug. 7 – Seattle, WA – Mary Moor Amphitheatre
- Fri. Aug. 8 – Eugene, OR – Cuthbert Amphitheater
- Sat. Aug. 9 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theater
- Sun. Aug. 10 – Truckee, CA – Regional Park Amphitheater
- Wed. Aug. 13 – Butte, MT – Butte Amphitheater
- Thurs. Aug. 14 – Magna, UT – Great Salt Air
- Fri. Aug. 15 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
- Sat. Aug. 16 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
- Wed. Aug. 20 – New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom
- Thurs. Aug. 21 – Boston, MA – Bank of America Pavilion
- Fri. Aug. 22 – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony Lot
- Sat. Aug. 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Penn’s Landing
- Sun. Aug. 24 – Baltimore, MD – Pier 6 Concert Series
- Wed. Aug. 27 - Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
- Thurs. Aug. 28 – Cary, NC – Koka Booth Amphitheater
- Fri. Aug. 29 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
- Sat. Aug. 30 – Boca Raton FL – Mizner Park Amphitheatre
- Sun. Aug. 31 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Robbie Shakespeare Markbass Profile Page
Photograph by Wonder Knack