Halloween this year was very enjoyable at Capone’s in Johnson City, Tennessee with performances by Natural Born Leaders and Demon Waffle. Natural Born Leaders features Mike Martinez on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, James Eddington on bass and vocals, Ben Survant on saxophone, Kevin Murtha on drums, and Rex Shaffer on lead guitar. This band from Ashville, North Carolina performed a great mixture of progressive rock, jazz, and funk with a bit a reggae threw in and also performed tracks from their new EP called About Time. I enjoyed their performance and spending some time talking to them. To finish the night Demon Waffle, a fun, high energy band from Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee that blends reggae, rock, punk, soul, and funk took the stage and consists of the lineup of Tyler Parkhill on vocals, Donnie Barnett on guitar, Evan Rice on bass, Andrew Oliver on Sax, Matt Dougherty on drums, Tim Lester on Trombone and Matthew Sykes on trumpet. They entertained the crowd with tracks from their latest album Drink Your Dinner and many other tunes. They gave an enjoyable performance which completed the evening. In closing thank you to the staff of Capone’s for an enjoyable Halloween experience with great food and drink and very friendly staff.
I am amazed by how fast time flies when I noticed that the first review I did for the trans-Atlantic rock group, the Brutalists was my 875th review and was their self titled album. Now for my 1351st review, the Brutalists are back with their Sept 6, 2019 album on Cleopatra Records, We Are Not Here To Help with the line up Ex L.A. Guns Mick Cripps on guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals, Nigel Mogg on vocals, Kent Holmes on guitars and vocals, and Charlie Nice on drums plus Luke Bossendorfer on additional bass. This sophomore eleven-track album is a mixture of bluesy pub rock mixed with R&B and bits of reggae thrown in for good measure with such tracks as Take It All Away, Price On Your Head, Someone Like You, Leave It Out and much more. I was impressed with the growth on this album and looking forward to hearing more from this amazing group. This new release was well written, produced, recorded and performed and is available on CD and digital download format from Amazon, Bandcamp, Cleopatra Records, and many other outlets. To find out more about this great band, their tour schedule and more, go to their website https://thebrutalists.net
On the heels of Eric Bibb’s Grammy nominated Migration Blues comes his most ambitious project to date, the 2-disc set Global Griot, released October 26, 2018, on the Stony Plain Records label. This is Eric’s most collaborative work to date with all songs (besides four traditional tunes and two covers) sharing writing credits with various musicians involved in the album. This album is considered Global with a great mixture of blues, reggae, folk and other styles which are featured with such tracks as Gathering Of The Tribes, Human River, Brazos River Blues, Black Brown And White, Grateful, Let God, Needed Time and so much more. Eric impressed me with his songwriting abilities, his voice, and his performance, as well as how this album was recorded and produced. I highly recommend this album to anyone that loves many genres of music and you can pick up your own copy of this album on CD and digital download from Amazon, Discogs, and many other music outlets as well as his website https://www.ericbibb.com where you can learn more about this artist and his other music.
Beleaf is the upcoming album by reggae, dub, roots, rootstronica band from Bend, Oregon called Indubious consisting of Evan “Evton B” Burton, Spencer “SkipWicked” Burton, and Corey Foster. Evan and Skip, brothers and bandmates, were both born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition with a grim life expectancy and convinced by doctors of their impending death from an early age, have emerged as a powerful force for change and the future of conscious music. This fourteen track album features great harmonies and a great reggae sound you normally don’t hear outside of Jamaica with such tracks Here We Come, Fabric Of Creation, Arrow, Shuffle The Rock, Blessings Run and so much more. This album that is set to be released August 16, 2019, on the Righteous Sounds Productions label was well written, performed, produced and recorded. If you are a reggae fan you need to check out the single Fabric of Creation on Spotify and then pick up the full album on CD and digital download on August 16 from Bandcamp and other music outlets. You can learn more about this band, where they are playing near you and more by going to their website https://www.indubiousmusic.com
Resilience is the upcoming album by San Francisco, California Latin/Funk/Reggae/R&B band Bayonics. This great album features lead vocalist Jairo Vargas whose vocals bounce from guttural grit to smooth and sweet on such tracks as Exile, El Bajo, Around The Way, Now That You Want It, Runaway, Olvidaste and so much more. I was impressed with how well this album was written, recorded, performed and produced. If you like reggae as much as I do, you will want to add this album to your library. Take a listen to this album on Spotify and you will want to get your own copy of this album on its release date of August 2, 2019, from Bandcamp, Amazon, Itunes and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold. You can learn more about this band by going to their website http://www.bayonics.com
I had the opportunity on Friday, June 14, 2019, to catch the performance of Demon Waffle at Wild Wing Café in Johnson City, Tennessee. Demon Waffle is a fun, high energy band from Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee that blends reggae, rock, punk, soul and funk which consists of the lineup of Tyler Parkhill on vocals, Donnie Barnett on guitar, Evan Rice on bass, Andrew Oliver on Sax, Matt Dougherty on drums, Tim Lester on Trombone and Matthew Sykes on trumpet. They entertained the crowd with tracks from their latest album Drink Your Dinner and many other tunes. They brought a great crowd that was enjoying the music and dancing. I am glad to catch their performance and looking forward to hearing their CD.
Universal Light is the debut album by Highest Intention, a vintage Roots Reggae Revival band that hails from the San Francisco Bay Area to be released March 22, 2019. This great album brings me back to the days of listening to such reggae greats as Bob Marley, Sublime and much more. This stunning debut is a solid release that honors the tradition of Jamaican Roots music while also forging its own brand of progressive Reggae for the new millennium with such great tracks as Morning Light, Fat One, Sky, the title track Universal Light, and much more. This great album was well written, recorded, performed and produced. If you can’t make a trip to Jamaica, grab a rum drink, put on this album, close your eyes and imagine being there. You can pick up your copy of this album from Amazon, CD Baby, Itunes and other outlets where CD’s and digital downloads are sold. You can learn more about this band by going to https://highestintention.reverbnation.com
Tribulation is the 2019 EP by a six-piece metal band hailing from Eastern Tennessee called Roman Riot consisting of Adam Gonce and Cory Eidson on Guitars, Daniel Roberts on bass and backing vocals, Daniel Swain on drums and backing vocals, Bram Sword on lead screaming vocals, and Tony Rangle on lead clean vocals. This five track EP features heavy guitar riffs, pounding bass lines, driving drum beats and a nice mixture of clean and unclean vocals on such tracks as Atlas, In Absentia, A Different Ending, Find Me and Elegy. I recently got the chance to see this band live in concert at one of our local clubs and was quite impressed with the bands live performance. The EP was well written, recorded and performed. I strongly believe you will like this EP as well as I did and you can get your own copy from Itunes in digital format or on CD at one of their live performances. You can learn more about this band and find out where they will be playing next by going to their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/romanriot/
Ashville, North Carolina Reggae legends Chalwa is releasing an innovative and eclectic new album called Concentration Time, released April 20, 2018. The band consists of a diverse all-star line-up of local musicians featuring Dennis Berndt: Lead Vocals and Guitar, Dusty Brown: Bass, Nethali Percival: Percussion and Melodica, Timothy Marsh: Guitar and Vocals, Bernard Carmen: Keys and Vocals, Josh Lyn: Drums and Dub Machine and Evan Ackerman: Guitar. With it being called possibly the “Sgt. Pepper” of reggae albums and with its unique and unusual production, along with the stellar performance by the band, upon listening to “Concentration Time” one might draw that conclusion as shown with great tracks as The Journey, the title track Concentration Time, Life Goes On, Sisters Of The Moon, Bassballs and much more. This release started out as weekly studio sessions where the band was exploring different musical ideas/soundscapes with no intention of creating an album. We were just having fun every Monday and Tuesday night for months with no expectations. This album was well written, recorded, produced and performed. I am looking forward to hearing more from this band as I am a fan of reggae after seeing Bob Marley in the early 80’s. This album is available for purchase on the band’s website and on Bandcamp and I will update when I know more outlets.
Jamaican Reggae Band Native joins legendary producer Lee “Scratch” Perry on the album Black Ark Showcase 1977 released September 22, 2017, on the Cleopatra Records label. This album is a mixture of reggae and the sounds of the 60’s as found in such tracks as In A Strange Land, In The Land Of Make Believe, Rockstone, Meet Mr. Nobody Version and much more. I was impressed on how well this album was written, recorded and produced. This is a great addition to one’s reggae library. This release is available on CD, vinyl and digital download from Amazon, Bandcamp, Cleopatra Records and other locations where sold.