Acclaimed British reggae band UB40 are set to release a new album next month, and three of its tracks are collaborations with Whanganui group House of Shem.
The first of these songs, 'Message Of Love', has just been released, and features one of the last vocal recordings of House of Shem founder Carl Perkins, who died in 2018.
Perkins founded House of Shem with his sons Te Omeka and Isaiah in 2004, and Te Omeka Perkins said it was his father's long history with UB40 that made the collaboration possible.
"Dad had a connection with them from his days in Herbs," Te Omeka said.
"That goes back to the early 1980s.
"After Dad left Herbs his band Mana supported them as well. I think that might have been at Mt Smart Stadium."
UB40 had asked House of Shem to play with them on their last trip to New Zealand in 2017, Te Omeka said.
"Dad was really sick then, but we managed to do two shows with them - in Christchurch and Auckland."
The instrumental track for 'Memory Of Love' was written and recorded by UB40, before being sent Down Under for House of Shem to add vocals.
"Pretty much, it's UB40 with Dad singing," Te Omeka said.
"I know UB40 have had a few problems, and the two brothers (Robin and Ali Campbell) have split apart now, but we didn't mind because the band itself is still together.
"It's their music, and to me that's all that matters.
"When I hear Dad singing with them I'm like 'he could have been your lead singer."
"That would have been one of the last songs we did with him. About a month after we recorded it he passed away."
UB40 had sent the band three instrumental tracks, Te Omeka said.
"We wrote for all the songs and they all ended up on the album, which is pretty sweet.
"I'm really happy to have that connection with them (UB40), and it's cool getting to chat to them all the time.
"We're just like bros."
Te Omeka said House of Shem was currently taking a break from the road after a "busy as summer".
Another single, 'Higher', has just received funding from NZ on Air.
"We haven't released an album since 2013, which is pretty shocking. We've just kept playing and playing and playing.
"A new one is definitely in the works, and we've got an album in Te Reo Maori that's meant to be released as well.
"It's busy, busy."