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Ben Barbic debuts “On My Mind” single | Top Shelf Reggae

Reggae solo artist Ben Barbic is back with his latest hip hoppy love ballad “On My Mind” off Rebel Sound Records. This is the first single for Barbic fans to enjoy since his full-length album The Takeoff took to the airwaves last November (following an EP release in June). Ben Barbic is certainly pumping out the jams these days! Bursting onto the solo scene in 2013 after playing percussion and being a vocalist for a handful of other bands, Barbic hit it big with his premiere single “Rat Race” – even having the track featured in a television series! Fast forward six years and this standout artist out of San Jose, California has three album releases under his belt: two within the past year and all showcasing his eclectic musical capabilities.

…only Barbic can deliver such profound messages of love in such gangster fashion.

The track “On My Mind” highlights Barbic's hip hop side (versus his signature reggae sound), with an auto-tuned hook and quick lyrical delivery. Apparently, Barbic is currently flying high on “Cloud 9” for a woman, feeling stronger than he ever has before. With “diamonds on her finger”, it seems Barbic isn't messing around either when he says, “she's always on my mind”. Although the timbre is a dark one, the track itself is sweet, standing as a pledge of commitment to the woman Barbic wants to spend the rest of his life with. Pop open a bottle of wine; let's celebrate the fact that we found each other in this crazy world! Rapping fast in between choruses, only Barbic can deliver such profound messages of love in such gangster fashion.

The single joins the rest of Barbic's music on all digital outlets, with many more singles rumored to follow in 2018. It is unclear at this time if this track precludes another album release and/or subsequent tour. Barbic fans will just have to hold tight for the next release. For more information, visit www.rebel-sound.com.

Purchase or stream “On My Mind” single:

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/ben-barbic-debuts-on-my-mind-single

3rd Annual Dry Diggings Festival takes shape | Top Shelf Reggae

From the festival founders of California Roots, Northern California's premiere reggae-rock-hip hop festival, comes Dry Diggings: a Labor Day fest in Placerville, CA to partner with Cali Roots' Memorial Day in Monterey. After two successful years in NorCal, the 3rd Annual Dry Diggings Festival (August 31st – September 2nd 2018) has finally taken shape with first-round artists you simply can't miss.

Although a short list, Dry Diggings 3 is ready to rumble

Before we dive into the lineup, let's talk about what sets Dry Diggings apart from other fall fests. First off, it's reggae in the hilly refuge of Placerville, a quaint little spot due east of Sacramento. Second, Dry Diggings goes beyond music and art. A skateboarding competition took place last year within the festival grounds and, chances are, that same skate showdown is about to happen again! Mimosa mornings and beer tastings are scheduled throughout the weekend, featuring beer and spirits from local brewers. (Hey, no judgement on the morning libations – it's a holiday weekend, after all!) Top it all off with all ages fun, onsite camping, the best reggae music in the business, cornhole tournaments, beer pong tournaments, live art, vendor villages, craft beer, organic food and cannabis knowledge zones… well, you've got yourself one hell of a weekend.

Although a short list, Dry Diggings 3 is ready to rumble, proclaiming Rebelution headliner number one! Seems fitting, as Rebelution remains veteran headliners for Cali Roots year-over-year. At this point, what would a festival be without Rebelution attached to the bill? Also to make it on the first-round announcement are two more GRAMMY-nominees J Boog and Common Kings. Woah, Dry Diggings – three GRAMMY nods in one announcement? That's pretty noteworthy in itself. Now that Dry Diggings has reggae rock, island reggae and reggae-hip hop on the ballad, the EDM-reggae-rock-fusion of The Movement rounds out the equation and completes the 3rd Annual lineup… for the time being. Even though four bands hardly comes close to the full three-day rundown, you have to admit that Dry Diggings is off to an epic start.

Excited? We don't blame you. Luckily, tickets go on sale as of tomorrow March 16th at 10am, with three-day general admission and VIP packages to choose from. Stay tuned for more to be revealed, but if you are already in it to win it, might as well jump on the best bargain of early bird ticket deals while they last. Don't forget to purchase camping separately! For more information, visit www.drydiggingsfestival.com.

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/3rd-annual-dry-diggings-festival-takes-shape

WORLD VIDEO PREMIERE: M.D. & The Healers “Insane” | Top Shelf Reggae

New York-based reggae fusion band M.D. & The Healers are prescribing some political commentary in this world video premiere of “Insane”. The track is featured on the band's Welcome to Babylon EP that was released off Rebel Sound Records September 2017. Now, with America's governmental and economic issues clogging our airwaves, the band thought it was dire time to release a video that might trigger some repressed anxiety in the form of action.

M.D. & The Healers pose the question everyone's been thinking: “has the world gone insane or is it me”?

As a nation, we've grown accustomed to feeling numb, complacent, an ignorance-is-bliss mentality, for not knowing is easier on the nerves. Are we losing our mind or is what we're seeing in the news not madness at all, but all part of a bigger picture? M.D. & The Healers pose the question everyone's been thinking: “has the world gone insane or is it me”? With distorted jump cuts and film static effects, the video for “Insane” brings to life the confusing energy all of us have been holding inside for so long. M.D. & the Healers say it's time for a remedy, “time to wake up”. Luckily, as doctors, they can diagnose and treat accordingly.

Band links: Facebook

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/world-video-premiere-m.d.-the-healers-insane

White Glove Service at I & I Brewing | Top Shelf Reggae

On February 23rd, there was a fun show at I & I Brewing. Show openers Eye in I, were quick to bring smiles, get the crowd moving and get ready for the headliner. White Glove Service headlined the party with the high energy that their fans have gotten used to. It was a unique night because fans got to see that band without their typical tuxedos! They had everyone dancing and at the end of the night, the band brought Mason from Eye in I and Tiki Tyler (of Tiki Killers) up with them to close out the night.

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/white-glove-service-at-i-i-brewing

Boomshaka Festival 2018 | Top Shelf Reggae

To say that the first annual Boomshaka Festival in San Diego, California was a success would be a massive understatement. Despite landing on a Monday holiday, this President's Day fest packed Valley View Casino Center with wall to wall attendees ready for a roots party to remember. Hosted by 94.9 radio personality DJ Carlos Culture, Boomshaka 2018 kicked off mid-afternoon with reggae-rock band on the rise Aloha Radio followed by rootsy reggae band The Expanders. San Diegan band HIRIE was up next, delivering a solid performance to their hometown fans. The Original Wailers took the stage next, getting the crowd singing along easily to classic Bob jams. Uncle Don Carlos took the stage to uproarious applause and was shortly joined with Ocean Beach native and Slightly Stoopid frontman Kyle McDonald. As live artist Jimmy Ovadia splashed and splattered paint onto the canvas, the crowd danced along with Don Carlos' signature dance moves. Headliners Tribal Seeds and Stick Figure closed down the night, with the native Tribal Seeds boys up first. It was their roots party, after all! Stick got the people going (as they always do), high-fiving the audience within reach and playing alongside their trusty tour dog, Cocoa. Boomshaka attendees got a special treat as other Stoopid frontman Myles Doughty joined Kyle this time to jump onstage for a quick Stick and Stoopid collaboration! After what seemed like no time at all, Boomshaka 1 had come to an end. Until next year, cherish the memories in our gallery above and stay tuned for Boomshaka 2019 announcements.

Photography by Sean McCracken & Kristy Rose 

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/boomshaka-festival-2018

New Town Kings gets political in “Borderline” video | Top Shelf Reggae

The UK's immigration policies are not too far from those of the United States, having a rigid stance on modern mass migration. As the immigration debate continues to spin its wheels, refugees get caught in the crossfire of a pissing contest between first-world nations, when really it boils down to 'are we going to help our fellow brothers and sisters or not?'. Just because some people are blessed to be born in a country that values its citizens, does that make them impervious to the ones born unlucky? UK reggae group New Town Kings answers this moral conundrum with their views on humanitarianism in their new single and political video, “Borderline”. 

…”locking people out in the name of her Majesty” just isn't going to fly with this take-action band. 

As the refugee crisis gains steam, nations on the receiving end are responding by putting up fences and turning up noses. New Town Kings doubles down on this injustice with emotionally-charged imagery of poverty-stricken people walking along borders in droves, families holding the hands of small children as they pass armed soldiers and drone shots of real refugee camps. Apparently, “locking people out in the name of her Majesty” just isn't going to fly with this take-action band. 

The track is offiically out today on all digital outlets, with its subsequent video premiering on Clash. The single is in anticipation of New Town King's forthcoming album Reaching Out that will drop sometime within the coming year accompanying a full UK tour. For more information, visit www.newtownkings.co.uk.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website 

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/new-town-kings-gets-political-in-borderline-video

Arise Roots interviews at One Love Cali Reggae Fest 2018 | Top Shelf Reggae

Kristy Rose of Top Shelf Reggae got to chat with Arise Roots after their performance at One Love Cali Reggae Festival 2018 in Long Beach, CA. The band was in high demand, so this short and sweet interview highlights what's new for Arise Roots, what the band has up next and what they like to do in their (rare) spare time. For more interviews, articles and photos from the 3rd Annual One Love Cali Fest, explore our site and don't forget to catch Arise Roots in action in a town near you soon.

Photo by Sean McCracken

Band links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/arise-roots-interviews-at-one-love-cali-reggae-fest-2018

Protoje presents “Bout Noon” lyric video | Top Shelf Reggae

Reggae revival artist Protoje unveils a taste of his upcoming album with the lyrical video for its fist single, “Bout Noon”, with animated visuals by Ikem Smith. This is the first new music Protoje has released since his premiere album Ancient Future launched his career back in 2015. Produced by Winta James and Lamont “Monty” Savory, “Bout Noon” is a mellow, dubby track about a lovesick man pining for a woman just out of reach. Carnal, insatiable, addicting love can whip anyone up into a fervor, and Protoje isn't afraid to demand it any time of day. How 'bout noon?

Carnal, insatiable, addicting love can whip anyone up into a fervor…

“I wrote this song on a flight home after an extensive summer of touring,” Protoje reflects. “I was looking forward to being home, in my house, with my lady and family. I think everybody can relate to missing someone or something. This song can be something you groove to as you make your way back to that.”

With his fourth studio album and second full-length LP on the horizon, Protoje plans to hit the road in anticipation of its release, allowing fans of the Jamaican artist a chance to catch him live at festivals and summer tour stops around North America. One thing is for sure: with a single this fire, whatever else Protoje has up his proverbial sleeve is bound to get the people going. For more information, visit www.protoje.com.

Purchase or stream “Bout Noon” single:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/protoje-presents-bout-noon-lyric-video1

A talk with Tyrone’s Jacket at One Love Cali Reggae Fest 2018 | Top Shelf Reggae

Kristy Rose of Top Shelf Reggae chatted with enigmatic and energetic band on the rise, Tyrone's Jacket, right after their performance at One Love Cali Reggae Festival 2018 in Long Beach, CA. Watch to find out what's next for the band, how Tyrone's Jacket came to be, what inspires their music and what their individual spirit animals are. Explore the site more interviews, articles and photos from One Love Cali Fest 2018, and for everything else Tyrone's Jacket, visit www.tyronesjacket.com.

Photo by Sean McCracken

Band links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/a-talk-with-tyrones-jacket-at-one-love-cali-reggae-fest-2018

Exploring the “Enter the DARENOTS” EP | Top Shelf Reggae

Canadian hip hop/reggae/industrial band DARENOTS are back with a vengeance in their latest EP, Enter the DARENOTS, available everywhere off LAW Records as of March 2nd. Following their inaugural full-length album The Now is Truth in 2016 and a three-song EP Strange Love last year, the DARENOTS boys are currently on the fast-track to becoming the biggest and baddest band in North America. Even if their ingenious mash-up sound isn't for you, you can't knock on their efficiency as they average one release a year since their inception. Still a cynic? Just wait 'til you witness their electrically kinetic live show incorporating acrobatics into the mix as they jump on each other's shoulders, swing mics around like lassos and take turns banging on drums separate from the actual drum kit. The band is hard to hate – let's leave it at that.

Enter the DARENOTS is darker, Delphian and slightly deranged. 

That all being said, Enter the DARENOTS is different. The Now is Truth album has a tongue-in-cheek, let's-get-the-party-started vibe as the boys introduced their newness to the world. Their sophomore Strange Love release, although short and sweet, delivered the first instance that the band's mindset might be morphing: “Murda Whistle” proffered a 'femme fatale' warning label, while “Summertime Bottle” continued the 'sun's up, drink in my cup, YOLO' message from the first LP. But now, it's time to dive deep into DARENOTS territory… “I hope you can swim”. Let's turn the key to see what's been secretly hiding behind DARENOTS door number one this entire time, eh?

Enter the DARENOTS is darker, Delphian and slightly deranged. Track one conspicuously bridges the gap between the EPs by sharing the same name of the last one, “Strange Love”. Lest we forget, the DARENOTS boys don't like being taken for a ride. In a relationship spinning around in circles, getting stabbed in the back so many times starts to feel less like a knife and more “like a sliver”, an unwanted fragment that stubbornly stays lodged beneath your skin no matter how you try to expel it. With a crescendo in the chorus, synthesizers come close to drowning out the muted “strange love” chants of the band members, an explosion of sound that insinuates the overwhelming vortex that people find themselves in when confused in love. This vortex exemplifies the band itself: let us entertain you, for we are enigmatic, disorienting, all-encompassing. Track two, “Down”, sustains the DARENOTS' newfound dejected stance on love and relationships by stating certain women bring “the clouds” and are only around to rain on your parade… “you know how the story goes”. All those downer DARE-NAUGHTIES seem to have left the band jaded, reminding the boys they need to “learn [their] limit”. But, instead of reveling in their sorrows, the band says go ahead and hit me with your best shot to take the throne – you'll “never get the crown”, hater. Harsh, yes, but your attitude is neither welcome nor warranted, so kick rocks. Despite defensive lyrics, guest vocals from Gianni Lumanati in the bridge add a touch of vulnerability to the venom: “you were the snake and the charmer” and although I lost, “I played the game with all bets on ya”. These feelings of resentment are self-induced.

All those downer DARE-NAUGHTIES seem to have left the band jaded…

Let's take a minute to get one thing straight – DARENOTS don't despise dating. They have plenty of songs that promote it. However, the band does seem to dismiss our generation's version of dating. Call them old-fashioned (irony, considering their novel sound), but the DARENOTS boys have had enough of the one-night-standing, self(ie)-obsessed society that we immerse ourselves in today. Track three “Swipe Right” is the epitome of the assinine dating dance that Generations Y and Z insist on doing: “swipe right”, “swipe left”, “hook up”, NEXT. How are we ever going to feel true contentment if we stand by the firm belief that the grass could (and probably is) greener with another swipe of the thumb? Tinder, Bumble, Grinder, whatever you're into, these apps have conditioned the general public that dating options are endless. As a result, we take people for granted. We use, we dispose. We never hang around long enough to actually get to know someone, because that would mean we risk being exposed ourselves. We want the illusion of a relationship… someone to post pictures with on Instagram, but never linger around enough to hurt us. We never stop “runnin' around”, we always “feel safe, but never sound”. Will we ever “feel sound”? Hard to say, since we wouldn't know a solid connection if it hit us square in the face anymore… we're too busy hiding behind our profiles and rose-colored Bitmoji Post Malone-playing Snapchat filters.

Next up is a reggae-infused remake of the Gorillaz's “Feel Good, Inc.”, with female vocals on the “feel good”'s and a longer dubby outro with DARENOTS frontman Rev nailing the original version's maniacal laughter. In case you ever wanted a downtempo, darker version of Gorillaz, DARENOTS have your back. “Shiny Bags” stands as a turning point on the EP concerning tonality – it's brighter, bubblier and brings back Fatboy Slim's “Praise You” from the 90's. With guest scratching by DJ Ry Toast of Tyrone's Jacket, this track's lighter timbre and hip hop elements allows the listener a little break from the seriousness to walk down memory lane. However, it does happen to be another track about female succubi, ones “hopping on man-wagons”and collecting men like handbags. The contrast between the track's poppy vocal delivery and its dismissive subject matter is an example of the band returning to their traditional tongue-in-cheek humor. Just don't treat the boys “like accessories” and you won't be on their shit list.

…DARENOTS declare “don't let anyone control ya”, which is pretty much the mantra of the EP as a whole.

Last, but not least, is “Trouble” to add to the fat stack of DARENOTS drinking songs. Yet, this one differs from the rest as its got a certain je ne sais quoi about it… it's almost as if the DARENOTS boys are starting to doubt whether other people can keep up with them? Welcome to the “no stress, decompress, truly madness” zone; one that has taken the DARENOTS no time at all to develop. The guitar chords come into the track like a siren, immediately before a vocal “whoop, whoop” puts a brush to canvas on what painting the town red entails. And, speaking of, red is a repeating symbol of Enter the DARENOTS: “seeing red” with women, red album art, being red with rage, red sirens wailing, red eyes “watch the way I navigate, ha ha ha HA”. Red is passion. Red is exciting. Red means anything but 'stop' for this band. The last track also features vocals from Fortunate Youth frontman Dan Kelly on the bridge, renowned for his positive, upbeat lyrics, yet also notoriously known to be the life of the party. Although the mischievous glove fits, the track itself is more somber than any Fortunate Youth song, so listeners get a rare glimpse into the darker side of Dan Kelly's “living for today” ethos. All in all, DARENOTS declare “don't let anyone control ya”, which is pretty much the mantra of the EP as a whole.

Enter the DARENOTS is an outstanding addition to an ever-evolving band, now available on all digital outlets. In celebration of their release, the DARENOTS boys have hit the American highways in support of Walk Off the Earth in their national Walk Off the Earth Tour. Shows are selling out fast, so make sure to secure your tickets for when the band hits a town near you. For more information on everything DARENOTS, visit www.darenots.com.

Purchase or stream Enter the DARENOTS EP:

Track listing:

  1. Strange Love
  2. Down (feat. Gianni Lumanati)
  3. Swipe Right
  4. Feel Good Inc.
  5. Shiny Bags (feat. DJ Ry Toast)
  6. Trouble (feat. Fortunate Youth)

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/exploring-the-enter-the-darenots-ep