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World Music CD Reviews North American

Eek-A-Mouse

By Matt Cibula
Published April 3, 2007

Live In San Francisco
2b1 Multimedia

It has been more than 25 years now since Eek-A-Mouse’s stylistics first knocked people over the head. His burbling flow, rooted equally in jazz scatting and classic soul singing, and his surreal sense of humor took everyone by surprise in a reggae scene that had become very somber in the wake of Bob Marley’s death. After 1988’s brilliant Eek-A-Nomics, the Mouse has fallen mostly silent. But he’s still got it, as this storming live set proves. His competent band knows the score, and stays the hell out of his way while he romps through most of his classics, from “Wa-Do-Dem” to “Goon A Goon,” spitting deep thoughts and nonsense words in roughly equal amounts just always. His freestyle at the end of “Terrorists in the City,” where he rambles and testifies and free-associates like a spliffed-out Dylan Thomas, is one of the best poems you’re likely to hear all year.