Mighty Mighty Bosstones going at own pace

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones don't tour like they use to.

Back in the 1990s, when the band was a fixture on radio and leading ska's third wave, the group would play hundreds of shows a year. That effort eventually weighed heavily on the Bosstones, who took a hiatus in the middle of the last decade.

"We all kind of approached 40 and realized that we had toured that way for 20 years," said Mighty Mighty Bosstones lead singer Dicky Barrett, discussing the band's hiatus from 2004 to 2006. "It seemed like the right time to take a break."

The band reformed in 2007. Barrett said the time off helped the band take a step back and gain perspective, and added that the reason they reformed was out of love of what they do.

Onstage
Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW
When: 7 p.m. doors, Tuesday
Info: With Have Nots and the Shifters; $30; 930.com

"We like being Bosstones, we like playing music together," Barrett said.

The Bosstones now tour in smaller bites. The group is currently in the middle of a six-city, nine-day jaunt, including a stop at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday.

The group formed in the mid '80s in Boston, and struck mainstream success in the mid '90s. The band is best known for their hit "The Impression That I Get," but boasts nine full-length albums.

The Bosstones released the album "The Magic of Youth" at the end of last year, a follow-up to 2009's "Pin Points and Gin Joints." Both were produced by Ted Hutt.

"We made what we thought was a very ska record in 2009," Barrett said. "We wanted to do the same thing, but make it a harder Bosstones record."

For the past couple of years, Barrett has landed an unlikely gig: He's the announcer on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" He befriended Kimmel back in the '90s, running into the then-radio personality at numerous promotional events.

"I love working for Jimmy Kimmel and the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' show," Barret said. "He's a very close and dear friend and a terrific guy."

Because of their use of horns, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones fit in nicely with the third-wave ska revival that took place in the 1990s. But with more punk, rock and hardcore influences, the Bosstones were always a little harder in sound, leading Barrett to coin the term "ska-core."

Recently, ska acts that enjoyed success in the '90s such as Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger have hit the road, making for a mini ska revival.

"I think there's always people that love ska music, and people that play ska music really well," Barrett said.

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Robert Fulton

Examiner Correspondent
The Washington Examiner