When the Mighty Mighty Bosstones play their annual Hometown Throwdown this Christmas, the Boston ska-punk veterans need to be extra well-rehearsed because one of the music business’s top executives will be in the room. Actually, not just in the room, but on stage with them: original Bosstones guitarist Nate Albert, who just happens to be senior VP of A&R at Republic Records, and the man who signed such heavyweights as Florence and the Machine and The Weeknd, returns to the Bosstones’s line-up. “Maybe he could sign us,” jokes Bosstones frontman Dicky Barrett. “I’m not saying this is an audition, but who knows?”
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Not even close to stopping
Barrett, whose day job is as announcer for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” explains that longtime guitarist Lawrence Katz broke his arm a few weeks ago in a bicycle accident putting the Throwdown in jeopardy. “The guys in Dropkick Murphys offered their services, which would have been great, but then Nate signed on. So this year’s Throwdown is shaping up as very special. We made the best lemonade out of some very horrible lemons.”
Members have come and gone — but mostly stayed — since the Bosstones formed in the early 1980s and broke out among the likes of No Doubt and Third Wave of Ska, eventually reaping the platinum selling album, “Let’s Face It,” and the hit single “The Impression That I Get.”
“I’m horrible at math,” Barrett adds, “but I estimate it will be 85% to 90% of the original Bosstones on that stage. No doubt someone somewhere will correct me, but that’s my estimation.”
Year of the Rat
Albert will also join the Bosstones for their first, hopefully annual New Year’s Eve Bash in the bi-coastal Barrett’s other hometown: Los Angeles. That bill is headlined by Rancid. Barrett, who welcomed his second daughter into the world this month, says Albert is his, “Second Christmas miracle.”
There’s no doubt where Barrett’s heart is at Christmastime and this year’s Throwdown, which includes a VIP night benefitting the Animal Rescue League of Boston, has another nostalgic element.
“This year, it’s The Year of the Rat, because all the support bands played The Rat,” he explains of Boston’s long-gone, legendary Rathskeller rock club in Kenmore Square (Eastern Standard restaurant now stands in its place). “It’s going to be a line-up of Rat Royalty. It’s a history lesson for the kids and a nostalgic look back for us.”
If you go:
Dec. 26 - Dec. 28, 12 a.m.
House of Blues
15 Lansdowne St., Boston
$25- $39.50, 888-693-2583www.hob.com/boston