Category: Artists

Soldiers of Jah Army – Westerly, RI – July 15th

Jamaican reggae music is one of the best-known genres of music around the world, uniting people of all countries, all races, and all religions with a sound that is dedicated to searching for the answers to life, to conflict, to humanity, to the world, to love.  There are few artists in this music genre today that are creating the epitome of this artistic insight, professing subjects that are so often glazed over by mainstream music.  Hailing from Washington D.C. -- reggae band SOJA is on the forefront of this revolution, telling the roots story, but from the other side: America.  SOJA embodies musicians unlike any other band in any genre of music, to date.  The members: Jacob, Bobby, Ken, Ryan, and Patrick have been a team since childhood with lifelong musical goals, which they are still pursing today.

Lead singers Jacob Hemphill (vocals, guitar) and Bob Jefferson (bass) met in first grade in Virginia, shortly after Jacob had returned from living in Africa with his family.  The two instantly became best friends, and in middle school found a common love for hip hop and rock music.  Throughout middle and high school, they met Patrick O’Shea (keyboards), Ryan Berty (drums), and Ken Brownell (percussion) -- who would later form SOJA.  During this period, reggae music was becoming an addiction for the budding musicians.  Lead singer Jacob shares, “We loved rock and hip hop, but there was something missing in the message. Even with our favorite artists, you would get one song that hit home and touched you, then three that were about nothing.  With our favorite artists in the reggae genre, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, they were singing about something beautiful that truly mattered in every song.  We never really got over it.”

Catch them live July 15th with The Movement
at Paddy’s Beach Club 159 Atlantic Avenue Westerly, RI.

SOJA's newest album, born in Babylon

SOJA’s first album was recorded independently with renowned sound engineer Jim Fox.  Jacob notes, “Jim told us that he would work with us and so we could afford to make our first record, and when we ran out of money he started making up ‘discounts.’  It was awesome. I asked him why a while back, and he said ‘I didn’t want to see a good thing stop.’  What was even crazier was at the time he wasn’t working with bands that were from the US, just Jamaican artists.  Big ones like Black Uhuru, Israel Vibration, Burning Spear, Don Carlos, and Inner Circle.  Jim worked with us independently and recorded, mixed, and mastered the whole thing.  That is how it all started.”  SOJA’s first album, “Soldiers of Jah Army EP” was released at the beginning of 2000.

In 2002, SOJA released their first full-length album, “Peace in a Time of War.”  Though the band was young, the album had hits.  “True Love,” “Rasta Courage,” and “Peace in a Time of War” were the first songs to bring the band strong attention nationally and internationally and cement them in the reggae world.  Tours became larger, their fan base expanded rapidly and they grew up smart in the independent music industry.

In 2006, the band released “Get Wiser,” their second full-length album.  The album was a break through for the band, as they explored the duality in their music, combining beautiful, longing melodies with hard drum and bass, and layered with intricate lyrics. SOJA created their musical style with a new complexity and depth that they would carry with them to their future albums.  Jacob shares, “When you listen to an artist you can either have a series of one liners, or you can tell a story with your music.  We set out to tell a story, it’s like poetry -- dancing around an entire theme, but never putting a period on anything.  It is like the two sides of a coin, but you can see them at the same time.”  “Get Wiser” debuted in the Top 10 Reggae Albums on iTunes and has remained in the top 100 since its release.  Singles off the album including “Open My Eyes, “You Don’t Know Me,” and “Can’t Tell Me” remain in heavy rotation on college radio across the United States, and have also received major radio play internationally in places such as France, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Costa Rica, Mexico, Venezuela, Guam, and Tahiti. The success of “Get Wiser” took the band on three years of intense touring nationally, and internationally.

In 2008 SOJA released their EP “Stars and Stripes.”  They blended new sounds and new rhythms with their existing reggae sound, growing into what SOJA was becoming.  The EP contained three new songs plus remixes and new versions of popular songs.  In early 2009 the band released the documentary DVD “SOJA Live in Hawaii: A Marc Carlini Film,” showcasing the power and energy of their 2008 Hawaiian tour which included four islands, five cameras, four shows, and everything in between.

SOJA -- “I Don’t Want to Wait”

Now, SOJA is ready to unleash their third full-length album “Born in Babylon” -- the culmination of all past efforts on their label DMV Records.  Set to be released August 25, 2009 exclusively on iTunes, “Born in Babylon” focuses on telling the same roots story that reggae artists have been singing about for decades, but their way, from the flip perspective of kids who grew up not in poverty, but in a government saturated community in Arlington, Virginia, across Mason-Dixon Line from the White House.  SOJA shares about their new album, “This is the album we’ve been wanting to make for ten years.  At first we were hard-core old school, then we got new school and inventive.  This is what we’ve learned from all that.  ‘Born in Babylon’ is hard roots drum and bass, big wide guitar and vocal melodies, and two and three sided lyrics, with two and three sided messages.”

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Bootleg at One Pelham East – Tuesday, July 13th

Got roots? Florida’s hottest party band does. And they run deep. Based in Holmes Beach, on Anna Maria Island, Fla., Bootleg has built a dedicated following, performing energized versions of Bob Marley and Sublime hits, while rousing crowds with their brand of original Reggae-Ska-Punk rhythms. Bootleg’s unique sound reflects the laid-back lifestyle of Florida’s Gulf Coast, filled with white sand beaches, calm waters, and good vibes drawing inspiration from Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Mark Pelham (Vocals/Guitar), Mike Fender (Drums), Robyn Tingen (Bass), and Juanja Montero (Sax/Keyboards) mix skittering guitar riffs, bouncy bass-lines, thumping drums and explosive horns to create extraordinary live performances. Appealing to all ages, and touring nationally, the members of Bootleg are experienced professionals, rocking dive bar patrons with the same reggaeska/surf-rock beats at music festival crowds for more than four years.

The band released 2008’s “Begged Borrowed and Stole,” their second album, to rave reviews, no doubt to Grammy-nominated team of producer Cliff Brown and engineer Tony Rey. The result? Bootleg has become Florida’s Top Indie Artists, packing venues with rambunctious fans craving their energetic and positive sounds. Already the band is finding success with their original songs “Slip N Fall” and “Angel Child” which were both requested hits on homegrown radio shows throughout the Sunshine State. All while touring relentlessly.

Catch Bootleg at One Pelham East, Thames Street, Newport RI on July 13th.

Bootleg -- Born Jamacian

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Soulshot is New England’s premier reggae, ska, and rocksteady band. Formed in 2003, Soulshot is known for its many gigs in the U.S. and Jamaica with legendary singer/songwrier/guitarist Ernie Smith, as well as work with Dalton “Screwdriver” Lindo at the Ocean State Reggae Festival, the Cape Cod 2007 Winter Bash, and with the sweet voice of Rastaman Roger Robin from the UK. Soulshot also backed the late, great King of Rocksteady, Alton Ellis, at the Rhode Island Reggae Festival in 2004. After appearing on the small stage at the 2008 Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival in Montego Bay, Soul Shot was invited back in 2009 to perform on the BIG stage, alongside acts including Lionel Ritchie, Chicago, Luciano and many more.

Soulshot’s upcoming shows include:

Friday, July 16, 2010
CD Release Party

9pm-11pm at the Knickerboxer, in Westerly Rhode Island.

Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sound Session

10pm-11:30pm Sound Session Providence, RI -- Downtown Providence RI

Saturday, August 07, 2010
Exodus to Escoheag

1pm-11pm Stepping Stone Ranch, Escoheag RI

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Strangeland Tuesdays

10pm-1am One Pelham East, Newport, RI

Soulshot live at the Ocean Mist

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Saturday July 3rd catch Mighty Mystic along with Stephen Thunder and Nomad I backed by The Strings of Thunder Band at Madfish Grille, 77 Rocky Neck Ave, Glouster, MA.

Mighty Mystic was born Kevin Mark Holness in 1980, to Morris and Sonia Holness in the Country side of St Elizabeth, Jamaica. As a boy Mystic showed great interest in his island’s music. You could often hear him singing the popular tunes of those days while working on his father’s farm, says a family member. It wasn’t until the separation of his parents, and a far move to the states (Boston Ma) that fueled the musical passion in young Mystic. In the late 80s early 90s, break dancing and a still young hip hop was the trendiest thing on the streets of Mass, and Mystic along with his older brother (Stephen) was swept up in to its raging storm. Not soon after did the word spread on Mystic and by the mid 90s Mighty Mystic was already a local star.

Mighty Mystic -- Revolution

After several years and several local releases, Mystic began to carefully and methodically craft his career in a way that would be meaningful to his audience and himself. And in 2003 Mighty Mystic teamed up with Reggae Superstars Tanto Metro and Devonte to release Mystic’s first National record titled “Been so long”. “Been so long” received great reviews, was featured on 50+ charts, got thousands of radio spins and got Mighty Mystic the National attention he deserved. Mystic continued with his hard working mentality and followed up with the release of “Black People Anthem” along with music video in 2004. “Black People Anthem” had a message for the world to hear, and hear they did. The single shot up to 2 on the Jamaican charts made Mighty Mystic an artist worth following. Mystic spent the rest of 2004 recording for VP Records Riddim Driven Series, while traveling on his first national road tour.” Mystic’s achievements that year were crystallized when Jamaica news magazine, The X-News dubbed him “The Simmering Volcano who is about to explode.”

Mighty Mystic Heart of a Lion Hard Times Riddim

Since the 05 signing Mystic has released the 2 biggest singles of his career, “Treat her Right” and “Riding on the Clouds”. Both track received high acclaim from the press, radio and the streets. The ground breaking music video for “Riding on the Clouds” was talked about internationally and is still a favorite amongst Reggae lovers alike. His advancements did not go un-noticed and in June 2006 Mystic performed at Boston’s Summer Jam along side the great Mary J Blige, and Sean Paul to name a few. On December 8, 2006 Mighty Mystic won the prestigious Joe Higgs “Cool Operator” Rising Star Award. Joe Higgs was influential in launching the career of the late great Bob Marley. In addition, Mystic took home the “Best new Artist” Award at the Stars of Boston Award show. Mystic say’s “his rising popularity is due partly to the exciting performance which he and his band “Strings of Thunder” deliver at their concerts”. He added, “Whenever you prove to your listeners what your worth is, it’s then they stop being listeners and become fans”. Mystic and producer Mike Cip are currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on Mighty Mystic Debut album “Wake up the World”. Mystic says this album can be summed up with one word, Universal! “My aim on this album is to draw from all facets and different walks of life to create something timeless”. “Music is life and life is very broad, so I have to design something that can suit all people”.

Mighty Mystic “Show Down” Shoot Out Riddim

Mighty Mystic Live 6.03.10 | Mighty Mystic on

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420 International Crew

420 International performs at the May 1st Rally at the State House in Providence, RI

Jauz EverLiving King Freestyle 2009

“TOGETHER” by 420 crew ft. Jauz Everliving King, Jah Fury

Break Free Promo -- PHENOM

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RAS Benjamin | Live @ The Rhino Bar 4.28.10

Newport’s RAS Benjamin performs “Only Time Shall Tell” at rhymeCulture | Rhino Bar 4.28.10

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DC Roots

DC Roots

DC Roots brings roots reggae onto the dance floor with traditional and modern roots, mixing up to 80′s dance and funk. Also owner of Roots International, LLC expect big noises from this man with urban rasta clothing lines, DJing events, and spreading conscious vibes through out the Universe.

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DJ Blade Mon

DJ Blade Mon

Providence’s Dj Blade Mon has been holding it down for years, spinning everything from modern roots to dancehall, hip hop and R&B. Maintaining multiple nights at venues across southern New England, you can catch Blade Mon spinning at Local 121, Easton’s Point, Kabuki’s, Ocean Mist and this summer at Exodus to Escoheag

Catch Blade Mon every Saturday on Blade Connex Radio from 11am – 2pm on WRIU 90.3

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JAH LEVI and The Higher Reasoning – “Inner Babylon”

Originally from Philadelphia, JAH LEVI, the son of record producer and world renown folklorist Kenneth S. Goldstein, first learned guitar from the late Rev. Gary Davis in the 1960′s, and later learned bass guitar as his “main” instrument. JAH LEVI AND THE HIGHER REASONING, are world class musicians who are versatile enough to spontaneously perform all genres of music.

JAH LEVI is an ordained bishop of the Essene church, a minister of the soga del alma church of Peru and a card carrying member of the Native American church. He is the founder of THE HEALING LIGHT ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL PRACTICE in the Netherlands, and practices a unique form of ceremonial shamanism and healing work with plant medicines. He is known worldwide as an adept facilitator of transformation and healing. He has influenced a whole generation of musicians, and many inspired and successful bands were born from musical and spiritual seeds planted in the hearts of many though his music. His moving performances have become milestones in the lives of those who experience him in concert.

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