Mystic Bowie performs Talking Heads tunes his way in Norwalk Feb. 9
There aren’t a lot of cover bands anywhere, for one thing, whose front man has performed for decades with members of the original band — as Bowie, a Jamaica-born Connecticut resident — has done in the Tom Tom Club with Talking Heads members Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz for nearly 20 years.
There aren’t a lot of cover bands, for that matter, that could ever take something as distinctive, extensive and respected as the Talking Heads songbook, recast song after song into reggae songs and make it all work.
No others would even try.
You can scratch that itch — and wish Bowie a happy birthday — on Feb. 9, when they perform at Bowie’s annual birthday bash at Norwalk’s Wall Street Theater (the former Globe Theater, 71 Wall St.). Showtime is 8:30 p.m.
Tickets are $30, available in advance at wallstreettheater.com.
Oh, and did we tell you that soulful reggae superstar Freddie McGregor will be Bowie’s special guest?
The party also will be a release party for Mystic Bowie’s Talking Dreads first single, said Bowie’s tour and publicity manager Cara Mrozek.
“Talking Dreads is much more than a cover band,” Bowie says in a bio on the Talking Dreads’ website. “I am very much drawing on my own musical culture and history to make these amazing songs my own, while at the same time preserving the integrity of the Talking Heads songs.
“I’ve always felt that reggae’s dance-inspiring, feel good vibe is universal, as are many of the band’s songs,” Bowie says. “And don’t forget their intelligent, powerful lyrics, which are fun to sing and shine fresh light on through this new fusion of styles.
“It took a lot of effort to deconstruct and dissect each song to make it work seamlessly with my singing and performance style,” he says. “I removed all the instrumentation, kept the story and words, then created my own reggae, Caribbean and tribal feel and married those two elements — then brought back a few of the melodies that captured my attention back in the day.”
Bowie has been performing since the 1980s, both alone and with the Tom Tom Club, as well as collaborating with other artists.
He has released four studio albums on his Funky Ska Music label — “Funky Reggae” (1992), “Rebirth” (2002), “Nevah Kiss & Tell” (2009), and most recently “Sweet Jamaica” (March 2012.)
He was awarded an Outstanding Achievement in Music by Linkage Radio Music Awards in 2011.
Besides the Tom Tom Club, Bowie has performed over the years with the B-52s, Trey Anastasio of Phish and Widespread Panic.