Skip has been the prime mover behind Little Axe since around 1992. Under a name inspired by Bob Marley’s Small Axe and gospel singer Willmer ‘Little Ax’ Broadnax, the debut album Wolf That House Built was a personal take on blues and dub, and was released to critical acclaim in 1994. This had followed a partial release in Japan compiled in a slightly different form and with a different title (Never Turn Back) the previous year. The second Little Axe album, Slow Fuse, was also well received. Both albums featured tabla player Talvin Singh, for Slow Fuse the gifted voices of Kevin Gibbs and Sas Bell were added.
Then it remained silent for far too long. In 2002 Skip’s third Little Axe album Hard Grind became the first release for four years on Sherwood’s revived and re-launched On-U Sound label with a mixture of raw blues and reggae. While Hard Grind no doubt will also draw comparisons to Moby’s Play, it was Skip who pioneered the fusion of blues and electronic music with Little Axe.
In 2006 Skip McDonald released the fifth Little Axe album, Stone Cold Ohio, after Champagne and Grits (2004), the second record released on Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records. This time the emphasis was on the gospel, another of Skip’s old loves. The production and mixing was done Adrian Sherwood; ‘gospel dub’ like you never heard before.