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Lineup revealed for Levitate Festival 2019 | Top Shelf Reggae

For the first time since its inception seven years ago, the nation's leading jam band jubilee, Levitate Music & Arts Festival, is officially expanding to three days! Returning to the Marshfield Fairgrounds in Marshfield, Massaschusetts, what started out as a modest 10-year anniversary party for a beloved local surf and skate shop, Levitate, has simply exploded into an enigma beyond anyone's expectations. Every year, Levitate's grassroots grow ever deeper, enveloping underground jam band, alternative, funk, reggae and more while mixing in a little mainstream vibes along the way. You're probably rolling your eyes, thinking 'oh yeah, that's what every festival says about itself these days'… well, if you don't want to take our word for it, Pollstar Magazine nominated Levitate for 'Music Festival of the Year' in 2017. Levitate is truly among the top summer destinations the east coast has to offer. Get ready to mark your calendars, gals and gents, for you do not want to miss Levitate 7 this July 12th-14th, 2019.

Levitate is truly among the top summer destinations the east coast has to offer.

Sold out year after year, the Levitate crew thought it was dire time to take the fest to the next level. Now encompassing a new half-day, festivalgoers get a weekend kickoff at 4pm Friday with extra evening performances on the main stage! Not only that, but have you even heard who's coming to Levitate 7? It just doesn't get any better than this; headlining 2019 is Tedeschi Trucks Band, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats and reggae-rapping icon we all know and love, Mr. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. Making the trip out to Marshfield again is reggae-rock A-lister Stick Figure, alongside other heavyweight names Sublime With Rome, Steel Pulse and SOJA. More reggae, you ask? Enter Michael Franti and Spearhead. Michael Franti's live performances are so emotionally powerful, your pop-reggae preferences will never be the same. Levitate takes pride in also featuring the top folk and indie bands in the scene, welcoming Joe Russo's Almost Dead, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Wood Brothers and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong for the 7th Annual. Ripe, a funky bunch of fun-having lads who stole the show in 2018, are set to return, as well as local reggae-rock up-and-comers The Elovaters. GRAMMY-nominees Common Kings are set for a midday launch alongside Blackberry Smoke, Iya Terra, Marco Benevento, Soulive, The Dip, Andy Frasco, Shovels & Rope, The National Reserve, Surfliner and Not Today. Top that all off with another improvisational community jam with Mihali (of Twiddle), Hitch, Old School Jim and more! What a weekend to be had.

Limited Early Bird tickets are on sale as of February 7th, with general admission two-day passes starting as low as $129. Splurge for that Friday half-day for only $30 more! VIP packages are also available, ranging from $329-$369 at this time. Single day tickets will be available soon, but if you think about, why miss out on anything when prices are this affordable? VIP wristbands not only include premium viewing and access, but unlimited complimentary Island Creek oysters, free passed appetizers, AC restrooms, among many other perks. Keep in mind kids ages 12 and under get in free! For more information or to snag your passes now, visit www.levitatemusicfestival.com.

Levitate Music Festival offical recap video 2018:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/lineup-revealed-for-levitate-festival-2019

WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: Analea Brown “Lie To Me” | Top Shelf Reggae

Reggae goes with rhythm and blues like bubbles goes with champagne. Light, uplifting and intoxicatingly sweet, both genres render a welcoming atmosphere where you just want to kick your feet up and curl up with your loved ones. Love, whether blissful or turbulent, is worth the wild ride and rising RnB star Analea Brown recognizes this in her latest single, “Lie To Me”.

Analea Brown is one female artist everyone should have their eye on.

The single premieres today off Island Empire and Mensch House Records, with a deep walking bass and a catchy chorus that will have you humming it for days. Analea Brown's talented vocal range takes center stage throughout the track, accentuated by fluttering inflection almost as if she was massaging you with her vocal chords. Cool and bluesy, the track centers around loyalty, honesty and reciprocation in relationships. I've “given you the best of me”, so please, be straightforward instead of “sending me to my knees”, croons Brown. Relationships are messy enough without additional deception and paranoia. 

Although the single comes off Brown's debut LP Queendom, the sultry chanteuse is far from a new household name. Brown's duet with Sammy Johnson “Still Wanna Be Your Lover” hit #1 on the iTunes Reggae Charts, as well as writing 5th Harmony member Dinah Jane's first two singles. Sharing the stage already with big names like GRAMMY-winning Morgan Heritage and more, Analea Brown is one female artist everyone should have their eye on. Be the first to hear Anaela's “Lie To Me” before the single drops everywhere February 8th!

Analea Brown “Lie To Me” exclusive listen:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/world-track-premiere-analea-brown-lie-to-me

WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: Kelly Hafner “Give Light” | Top Shelf Reggae

Austin, Texas is a well-known mecca for music, attracting talent from all over the globe as a result. One such up-and-coming superstar is Kelly Hafner, a soulful chanteuse whose impressive vocal range rivals that of mainstream R&B names – both past and present! Migrating to Austin after college from northern California, Hafner has since found a solid foothold in the Austin music scene, teaming up with jazzy players around town to create her debut album, If It's Love, set for release February 22nd off Smokey Jazz Records. The 10-track solo album, recorded at Houston's Edgewater Studios, features Hafner's expressive melodies through the themes of love for others, for God, for oneself and for lessons learned; it's an exquisite journey through the human soul, to say the very least.

“Give Light” is soft and subtle, guiding listeners to give love as much as they get it.

The title track and lead single off the album surfaced last month, immediately spurring interest in this young, rising vocalist. After its success, Hafner reveals a final taste off the album before its official launch later this month with this single premiere for “Give Light”. With reggae influences, “Give Light” is soft and subtle, guiding listeners to give love as much as they get it. You can never spread enough love! “You are one-of-a-kind”, sings Hafner, so make sure to “give light to your lover's eyes” if they maintain a sparkle in yours. 

“'Give Light' is a song about unconditional love,” explains Hafner, “the type of love that accepts you for exactly who you are. It's about the love that makes time stop.” Wouldn't that be nice? With a tour to support the album on the way and its release looming in the near future, Hafner is ready to take 2019 by the reigns. Enjoy the sophomore single “Give Light” by Kelly Hafner only on Top Shelf Reggae and make sure to find her music via the links below!

Exclusive listening stream to Kelly Hafner's “Give Light” single:

Links: Facebook | Instagram | Website  

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/world-track-premiere-kelly-hafner-give-light

Long Beach’s Marley Festival 2019 | Top Shelf Reggae

On January 26th, The Gaslamp in Long Beach had their 4th Annual Marley Reggae Celebration. The night was headlined by The Wailing Souls and supported by The Gladiators, Roots of Mine, Survival – A Tribute to Bob Marley, Pachamama, Los Nauticals and Last Fix.

The Gaslamp in Long Beach had their 4th Annual Marley Reggae Celebration.

Last Fix started things out and got people warmed up. Next was Los Nauticals, whose high energy is infectious; you just can't help moving while they’re on. Next after that came Pachamama, who kept things going well. Roots of Mine had the crowd dancing in no time before Survival, headed by Jah Faith singing classic Marley favorites, turned the whole event into a sing-along. The Gladiators were up next and got the crowd into a fever pitch, ready to dance the rest of the night to the Wailing Souls.

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/long-beachs-marley-festival-2019

Why Th3rd Coast Roots is second to none | Top Shelf Reggae

From playing acoustic sets in bars to recording an album, Th3rd Coast Roots has gained incredible momentum from the moment they connected. Lead vocalist/guitarist Jayton Lening never imagined that he, who started out acoustic at local bars, would lead to creating a roots rock reggae band with unstoppable energy. When Jayton decided to dedicate more time to his music, he reached out to his friends Liam Haney (bassist) and Hunter Wilson (drummer) to form the foundation of the band. The band’s vocals soared to a new level when soul-touching Marisa Garcia was introduced by Hunter. There is no denying Jayton and Marisa’s ability to reach listeners with their captivating vocals and unique style.

Three months after their first show, Th3rd Coast Roots flew to San Diego's Imperial Sound Studios to record their first album…

The group quickly learned original songs written by Jayton and after a few weeks of practice, they played their first show as Th3rd Coast Roots. Marisa experienced a life-altering event last year when she was hit by an intoxicated driver on a major highway in Houston. After multiple surgeries, months of rehabilitation and ultimately fighting like a warrior, Marisa has adapted and regained more mobility than surgeons anticipated. This tragic event has strengthened the band’s mental fortitude and their appreciation for the time they spend pursuing their dream.

After receiving such a positive response from the community, their drive to continue their musical journey shifted into high gear. The band instantly recognized that their crowd size and social media following began to flourish into a strong support system. Three months after their first show, Th3rd Coast Roots flew to San Diego's Imperial Sound Studios to record their first album with producer E.N Young. Their good friend Brad Berkefelt from Proof Of Life learned their music in two days and joined them in San Diego to track keys. They describe working with E.N as a blessing and an opportunity of a lifetime. They spent four (eight-hour) days in the studio recording nine tracks for their masterpiece album, Not Afraid. The title track comes first on the ablum and showcases each musician’s remarkable talent, even including a feature by E.N Young.

Once the album was completed, Th3rd Coast Roots realized how truly blessed they were to have crossed paths and share the same level of commitment to their music. Since their album release, the support from fans comes from every corner of the United States, as well as other countries such as the U.K., Germany, Brazil and the Philippines. As their presence dominates in their hometown city of Houston, they seize every opportunity to provide support for reggae bands touring through Texas. They have shared the stage with The Green, Tribal Seeds, The Movement, Pacific Dub, Dirty Heads, Sun Dried Vibes, Bumpin Uglies, Resinated, Tatanka and Iya Terra. Current shows booked will be supporting Proof of Life, Resinated, Roots of a Rebellion, Badfish and The Wailers.

While they currently work full-time jobs, the band members are quickly starting to play music full-time. They have a new single coming out in the near future titled “Lovers Rock”, so keep your eyes peeled for that and others to be released this year! Th3rd Coast Roots would like to give a special thanks to their friends, family and fans for providing an incredible amount of support since Day One. Also, a huge shout out to Ben Brinkley with Iya Terra and the Ineffable Music fam; they’ve helped shine the light on this journey and the band cannot thank them enough! Check out Th3rd Coast Roots music and more via the links below.

Purchase or stream Th3rd Coast Roots music:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/why-th3rd-coast-roots-is-second-to-none

Hangout Music Festival set to return to Gulf Shores, AL | Top Shelf Reggae

Alabama's award-winning Hangout Music Festival is back! Set to return to the sandy white beaches of Gulf Shores May 17th-19th, Hangout infuses everything you want out of the ideal music festival with your dream vacation. Don't believe us? Every year, Hangout Fest revamps Gulf Shores to accommodate music-lovers near and far with in-ground pools at the main stage, hammocks all along the beach and even a full size roller rink for disco skating! Pair all that with gourmet food, craft cocktails and topnotch entertainment and you've got yourself a weekend for the record books. It even comes with a Puppy Kissing Booth. Yes, this is real life.

… Hangout infuses everything you want out of the ideal music festival with your dream vacation.

Hangout Festival keeps escalating in the ranks of world-class performances every year and 2019 is no different. Splitting the headling slots are artists ranging from EDM to alternative to rap to pop to good ol' rock-n-roll: Travis Scott, The Lumineers, Khalid, Vampire Weekend, Cardi B and Kygo. That sample right there tells you Hangout 2019 is the business. Throughout the rest of the three days are a multitude of bands that would make an alt-lovers dreams come true: ARIZONA, Superorganism, Mura Musa, Judah & The Lion, The 1975, Bishop Briggs, Sir Sly, Lovelytheband… just to name a few. Also on the rundown are radio airwave giants like Diplo, Hozier, Griz, Jimmy Eat World, Bebe Rexha, Walk the Moon and Quinn XCII. Love EDM? Enjoy Alison Wonderland, Sofi Tukker, grandson and more. The hauntingly awesome world of grandson… what a treat. How about some reggae and ska? Reggae revival colossal Jesse Royal joins the list, as well as the ska band on everyone's radar right now, The Interrupters. Needless to say, there's a little something for every style.

Tickets for Hangout Music Festival 2019 went on sale early December 2018, but there's still time to grab yours! General admission weekend passes starts as low as $279, with options to upgrade to VIP, Super VIP and the all-inclusive, super bougey Big Kahuna pass (if you really want the time of your life). Want to save money, yet go all out? Cabana and travel packages are further available for those that want to reserve a space inside or close by. Speaking of in and out, all wristbands come with in and out allowances, meaning once you're inside, that doesn't have to be the case for the full day! Hangout encourages attendees to take advantage of being at the beach. Can't afford the pass all at once? No problem. Hangout offers EZ Pay for those who qualify. But, hurry – prices go up February 10th! For more information or to buy your tickets now, visit www.hangoutmusicfest.com.

Hangout 2018 official thank you video:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/hangout-music-festival-set-to-return-to-gulf-shores-al

Get to know LACI: the next big thing for R&B | Top Shelf Reggae

WNew up-and-coming Italian R&B/pop artist LACI (also known as Laci Kay) is a young bombshell with a powerhouse of superstar vocal cords. This phenomenal 20-year-old woman finds inspiration from well-known artists like Rihanna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Michael Jackson and has performed at several venues, including The House Of Blues, The World Famous Whisky A Go Go, Infusion Lounge, The Spot LA and more. LACI's unique style has gotten her recognized by many industry professionals, including a feature with Common!

LACI's unique style has gotten her recognized by many industry professionals…

After releasing her debut EP Incontrami in September of 2017, LACI then released two singles with Noah Neiman, which accumulated over 500,000 Spotify streams and over 40,000 plays on Soundcloud and counting! One of the two songs, “Long Way Home”, features Laci Kay’s astounding vocals. And, with excitement, LACI states on Soundcloud, “I am so honored to be the vocalist on this track! Looking forward to more great things to come! We are charting in Japan right now!! YAY!!” Another single “GAMES” was released in January 2018, which garnered over 10,000 Spotify streams and 25,000 SoundCloud streams, as well.

Now, this new artist is not just talented in singing; LACI is also in love with acting and has won multiple awards such as a 'Young Talent Award' back in 2013. Her acting credits can also be found on the official IMDb website! Her first big break began at a mere 7-years-old when she played a young Christina Aguilera in the music video “Hurt”. Since then, she has appeared in over 40 movies and television productions, receiving multiple nominations and awards for both film and music! Just a few examples of her accomplishments include the LA Music Awards for 'Best Pop Artist of the Year' in 2015 and nominations in three categories by the Ventura County Music Awards the following year for 'Best Female Artist', 'Best Music Video' (for the song “Runnin’ Free”) and went on to win 'Best Pop Artist' in Ventura County!

In 2017, LACI was nominated for two more awards – 'Best R&B' and 'Best Music Video'. She won the coveted 2017 'Rising Star Award' that same year and is now one of the most coveted escalating artists in the LA area. LACI has also recently been interviewed on ConversationsRadio, a podcast known for their interviews with talented artists. The interview can be found on Podbean. With her latest single “Jedi” streaming high, one can only infer more awards on the 2019 horizon for this hardworking woman.

LACI continues to perform at many venues in Southern California, also appearing in Las Vegas and New Orleans. All in all, LACI is climbing the ladder rather quickly with her talent! It won't be long before she hits the top of the charts and signs with the big major label companies. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing her music booming through the radio either. Be sure to check out her work through these many different music sites and links below, you won't regret it!

Listen to LACI “Jedi” single on YouTube:

Purchase or stream LACI music:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/get-to-know-laci-the-next-big-thing-for-rb

Trombone Shorty at Belly Up Tavern: Night 2 | Top Shelf Reggae

When a big name comes to the intimate venue of San Diego's Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, regulars expect that the 'SOLD OUT' sign on to be taped to the Will Call window equally as much as they expect alcohol to be served there. It's a given. However, a sold out sign taped to the window for all three consecutive appearances of a band is a rare feat. Some would call it a hat trick; others would call it Trombone Shorty and his Orleans Avenue band. No photography was allowed the night of January 22nd at the erquest of the band, so the following coverage was done by iPhone.

Some would call it a hat trick; others would call it Trombone Shorty and his Orleans Avenue band.

Big band, funk and jazz – what's more to love? Starting out Night Two at the Belly Up was New Breed Brass Band, straight out of New Orleans! Naturally, the spirit of LA emanated from this ensemble, with two standing percussionists and a tuba to round out the standard trombone, saxophone and trumpet. Attendees in the audience clapped and shouted along with the band like they were on Bourbon Street.

With energy high, New Breed left the stage for Trombone Shorty and his wildly entertaining crew to enter. The Orleans Avenue Band came on first, accompanied by strobe light beams flying all around the stage. Trombone Shorty came on all smiles, stoked to perform the second night in San Diego. Launching immediately into his explosive set, Trombone Shorty sang and danced and let his players do their thing as he stood back approvingly. Everybody had their moment onstage! The seven-string bassist, adorning a top hat, melted minds during his solos and the goofy saxophonist, repping funky joggers and round spectacles, grabbed the mic for his rendition of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' “Give It Away”.

The band bounced between well-known classics, improvisations and love ballads…

The band bounced between well-known classics, improvisations and love ballads, like the favorite “Show Me Something Beautiful”. At several points throughout the set, Trombone Shorty would conduct his crew like an orchestral leader, signaling the beat and when to breakdown. The audience quickly took notice and started clapping along, making Trombone Shorty turn around and laugh. What solid support!

Speaking of, two of the best things about a Trombone Shorty show is the audience participation and the camaraderie. The players love performing and you can see that visibily in the way they laugh and interact with each other as they go. Plus, Trombone Shorty makes sure concertgoers have their spotlight, holding out the mic for them to sing and zigzagging around every inch of the stage to give them high fives and knuckles.

Before we knew it, the show was over… but even Trombone Shorty admitted he wasn't ready to go yet! The players left the stage and returned in under a minute for the encore, they were that excited to keep playing. Most bands take minutes before reappearing. Not Trombone Shorty. The vibe was too high to let fall. As the crowd dispersed into the night after the encore inevitably ended, the Belly Up emptied to rally for Night Three.

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/trombone-shorty-at-belly-up-tavern-night-2

A good talk with Good Talk | Top Shelf Reggae

The band of brothers Good Talk stumbled into my jagged little world one morning and never left. A friend sent one track my way off of their debut album The Arrival; I was drawn into a voice I pegged right away. It was a voice I knew so well, one that I love that has played a grand role in the last few years of my life. A voice that has been missing… I was listening to Jordan David Miller, formerly of the wildly successful band The Movement, and I was completely frozen. This happened a few times throughout the interview process, but that is a risk you incur when you hit up your idols and strongest musical influences to chat.

If you haven’t yet, do your ears a solid and check out the album.

I’m not going to lie and say every single album or track I review is my style. I have been very open about my favorite artists. This is not just because of the music they make, but the people they are. Not every album is solid from start to finish. Yet, The Arrival is. Miller, now in his thirties, is happily married and happy to be alive after a near fatal accident leaving him incapacitated for over a year and a half. Since then, he has stayed true to his roots living in his hometown of Columbia, SC and continued making music, writing songs like “Shoulders” 10 years prior to this album.

Miller began working on the album alone, self-teaching himself with a laptop in tow and a studio full of basic instruments. He already had five songs recorded when they took it to Cory Plaugh at Plaugh’s House Recording Studio in Columbia. Plaugh – who produced, mixed and mastered The Arrival album – is the real deal. He took the original five songs the guys brought in and added his “amazing ear”, to quote Miller. Miller, Plaugh and Genaro “Gino” Cruz (the other musical half of Good Talk) was nice enough to grant us an interview on the album-making process:

What was the vibe while working with Jordan and Gino on the album?

  • Plaugh: I usually feel like part of the band by the end of a project, but that's not to say that some aren't more dear to my heart and natural. We got to a really comfortable place in the process where we were all moving forward in this stream-of-consciousness-like state. Chemistry like that happens and it's always the goal, but it's rare. If you have great songwriters and performers like these guys, it really makes things a lot easier in a lot of ways. But, in some ways, you know you have to do the best you can delivering their musical babies. It’s not like there is no pressure there.

All of us are well aware that people are placed in our lives to change it up and re-route it accordingly. Enter Genaro “Gino” Cruz. Jordan approached his savagely talented brother-in-law to join forces on this new project he dubbed 'Good Talk'. Later stating how much of an “ideal” and “perfect fit” he found his brother to be. These guys love making music together, almost as much as they love each other and it is something you can feel. Gino started with poetry at age 5 and the rest is history. This guy’s versatility is lucidly visible throughout the album. Cruz adds the perfect amount of himself to The Arrival.

The two men made it their goal with this new project Good Talk to stay true to their roots. Miller comments:

  • Miller: [Good Talk] is a grassroots mentality. We appreciate all the little things involved and all the small things. We just want people to learn the music and show up… We’ll do the rest.

After gaining fame via The Movement, what is the best advice you would give yourself with this new project?

  • Miller: I’m in a different place and fame is not what this is about. Just staying in that ‘fishbowl mentality' and continuing to play local. We would take 40 people having the time of their lives at a show over 4,000.

Anything you want to say to your fans (old and new), as well as to readers hearing about you for the first time?

  • Miller: This whole process has been humbling, to say the least. I’m always going to respect every song and stay true to who I am. It’s always gonna sound like me and I’m gonna keep doing what I love! 

How did you come to the name Good Talk?

  • Cruz: Pretty much, after every conversation, we have we would voice text each other how it was a 'good talk'. Fast forward to finding a band name and it fit along with everything else that has fallen into place. We always have left each other on a positive note.

The diversity and versatility of this album is unlike anything I have heard in a while. This is because Miller has a style all his own and Gino’s rhythmic offset of Miller’s style has the perfect yin and yang result. This album has something for everyone: some songs marinate in country while others are Latin-infused. There is some reggae, hip hop, a few ballads… and that’s just naming a few songs off this eclectic debut release. Good Talk's The Arrival is available on all media streaming outlets now! If you haven’t yet, do your ears a solid and check out the album. Also, catch Good Talk in South Carolina and surrounding areas or visit the links below to stay up-to-date with the band!

Purchase or stream The Arrival album:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

*Jay Cohen would like to dedicate this interview to her dear friend's unfortunate passing, Robert DeCarlo, who helped her discover Good Talk*

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/a-good-talk-with-good-talk

Reverend Horton Heat at The Observatory OC | Top Shelf Reggae

On January 18th, Reverend Horton Heat headlined at Costa Mesa's Observatory OC. They were supported by Mustard Plug and Voodoo Glow Skulls. Mustard Plug opened the night and got the energy up, getting the crowd in the mood for a high-energy night in the mosh pit. Next up was Voodoo Glow Skulls with their fun lyrics and ska punk energy; you couldn’t not smile and get moving!

… I've never had the opportunity to see Reverend Horton Heat live.

Reverend Horton Heat came on to close out the night and everyone in attendance was blown away. I have been a fan of them for years now, but I've never had the opportunity to see Reverend Horton Heat live. I will make a point of seeing any shows of theirs in the future, for they put on an amazing performance!

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/reverend-horton-heat-at-the-observatory-oc