Legendary Rocksteady Duo
Keith Rowe (Born Keith Barrington Rowe) grew up in the Washington Gardens area of Saint Andrew Parish, across the road from Lee “Scratch” Perry’s home and future studio, on the outskirts of Kingston. Phillip Texas Dixon grew up in the Pembroke Hall area and they were introduced by a mutual friend. Starting out as a five man group singing on the corner, they were encouraged to try to get recorded. They soon began auditioning for local producers but were rejected by Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, the group having lost confidence broke up leaving two. Keith and Tex were left and auditioned for Derrick Harriott where they eventually found success. Working with Harriott, they recorded a series of singles in the late 1960s, including “Stop That Train” (a cover of The Spanishtonians’ ska version), “Tonight”, “This Is My Song”, “Don’t Look Back” (a cover of The Temptations’ song), and “Let Me Be the One”. They ceased working together in 1970 with both emigrating with their families – Rowe to The United States and Dixon to Canada. Rowe joined the US Army in 1972, staying in for twenty years, but also found time for music, recording as a solo artist, working with producer Lee “Scratch” Perry, releasing tracks such as “Groovy Situation” and “Living My Life”, and recording further singles in the US, including a few on his own KEBAR label.
Rowe and Dixon reunited for some live shows and released a new album in 1997 called “Back Together Again”. Rowe later presented the Sounds of the Caribbean radio show on WBZC-FM for 19 years until March 2013 WBZC. Keith currently hosts Reggae Rhapsody on VP Records’ Reggae King Radio on Tuesdays at 12pm EST.
Their version of “Stop That Train” formed the basis of deejay Scotty’s “Draw Your Brakes”, which featured in the film The Harder They Come,and Big Youth’s “Cool Breeze”.
Keith And Tex began touring again in 2013 and are currently performing worldwide at some of the most influential music festivals from Asia to Europe, Australia and North America. In 2015 they released a new album “Just Passing Through” to critical acclaim on their Kebar Label, and have released a new, completely “Rocksteady” album on March 20, 2017 “Same Old Story” on the Liquidator Label. Their musical journey continues.