Eric Rachmany & HIRIE acoustic at Belly Up Tavern | Top Shelf Reggae

The excitement was high as reggae lovers poured by the masses into the close-knit atmosphere of Solana Beach's Belly Up Tavern in San Diego, California the night of December 21st. The holidays were upon everyone and what better way to celebrate than with two of the topmost names in the reggae-rock industry, pulling it back acoustic style.

The Queen of Reggae, Miss HIRIE herself, stripped it down in an intimate acoustic set with her on guitar and Chris Hampton playing sax, opening with “Boom Fire” followed by “20 After 4”. In keeping with the stripped-down feeling, HIRIE shared that this was her first time playing in San Diego without her signature 6-inch heels. HIRIE informed the crowd that they are mixing a new album and played “She Goes” as a teaser. She also shared with the fans that she wanted to write a song to glorify all the things we go through in life and turn it into a party anthem, because “It’s the story of our lives”. She then launched into the song “I Messed Up”, with fans screaming “we love you”!!

A true highlight of the evening was to see HIRIE and Eric perform the song “Sun and Shine” together.

As someone who has battled similar issues, I appreciate the truth and conviction when HIRIE shared that at age 16, she was on a cocktail of medications to deal with anxiety and depression, feeling suicidal. She wished she had one friend telling her this is normal life stuff. But, with Cocoa her dog (who just passed away), she made it through. She continued her set with the song “You Won’t Be Alone.”

“Society does not protect us or nurture us,” HIRIE remarked. “Off the stage, we are no longer artists – we are your friends. Never feel alone.” With a surprise mashup during the song “Lost And Found”, she incorporated the TLC song “No Scrubs” and the Mary J. Blige song “Family Affair”. The crowd was amped and singing along. She rounded out her set with “Sensi Boy” and “Mele Kalikimaka”, before taking the time to visit with her fans.

Playing to a sold-out crowd, Eric Rachmany took to the stage with Kyle Ahem to play an amazing catalog of songs, opening with “Fade Away” and “City Life”. After playing “Outta Control”, Eric shared with screaming fans that they we going to play songs that Rebelution doesn’t normally play and launched into “Honey Pot”. Fans could be heard saying, “Man, it feels like we are back in Santa Barbara!”

Playing an approximate 19-song set, including “Notice Me”, “Counterfeit Lover” and “Good Vibes”, Eric kept the crowd going when the Rebelution horn section of Eric Hirschhorn and Zach Meyerowitz took to the stage to play “Lay My Claim”. Two amazing covers were played, Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” and Aaliyah’s song “Are You That Somebody”. Eric also played the song “Rainy Day In Autumn” from his side project, Unified Highway. A true highlight of the evening was to see HIRIE and Eric perform the song “Sun and Shine” together.

If you were unable to catch the dynamic duo of HIRIE and Eric together this winter, be sure to catch them on their upcoming 2019 tours!

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/eric-rachmany-hirie-acoustic-at-belly-up-tavern

Firefly Fest turns up the heat for summer 2019 | Top Shelf Reggae

Summer is for camping, fact. Being outside under the stars in the great wide open… what could be better than that? How about adding in close friends, music-loving strangers and the best entertainers in the business? Enter east coast's Firefly Music Festival: a three-day music and arts centric campout extravaganza, featuring the top names in reggae, alternative, hip hop, pop and EDM. The east coast gets a bit muggy in the summertime, but luckily, Firefly Fest lands right at the brink. Spanning June 21st through the 23rd 2019, Firefly returns to Dover's International Speedway in Delaware – the perfect setting to kick off the season.

The lineup for Firefly 2019 has dropped… and so has everyone's jaws. 

Dubbed “The Great Atlantic Campout”, Firefly offers a myriad of hospitality options, ranging from your basic camping (you, know, tents and stuff) all the way to glamping and RV packages. Not up for the Great Outdoors? That's fine, too, considering the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino resides a stone's throw away from the fest. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but the hotel is conveniently adjacent to the festival gates. Don't have the money for a hotel or a tent? Firefly has your back; simply add on camping equipment rentals when you purchase your weekend passes. Speaking of passes and add-ons, a shuttle service or suites are available to book now, as well as general admission, VIP, Super VIP and Super Duper VIP tickets… but let's get to those later.

First, let's chat about why this year will be bigger and better than ever. The lineup for Firefly 2019 has dropped… and so has everyone's jaws. Not only that, but the Firefly crew has released the daily agenda! Headlining Friday is alt pop heavy-hitters Panic! at the Disco, along with rap's Tyler, The Creator and EDM chart topper Zedd. Also appearing on is Louis The Child, Awolnation, Courtney Barnett, X Ambassadors, Bob Moses, TLC, SOJA, Gunna, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sir Sly, Dennis Lloyd, Chelsea Cutler, The Knocks, Ekali, Gus Dapperton, Lil Mosey, Cuco, Sales, CAAMP, The Record Company, Arkells, Bea Miller, Grizfolk, Halfnoise, Ripe, Sweater Beats, Crooked Colours, Yung Bae, Party Pupils, The Main Squeeze, Shaed, The Nude Party, Evan Gha, Mo Lowda & The Humble, Beau Young Prince, Bumpin Uglies and Dragondeer. Wowzha.

Saturday keeps the party at an all-time high with headlner Travis Scott, as well as Kygo and Death Cab For Cutie. If that's not diverse enough, Brockhampton, Young The Giant and Alison Wonderland has a knack for hyping up crowds. Further Saturday entertainers include $uicideboys, Dashboard Confessional, King Princess, Bishop Briggs, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Phosphorescent, Lauren Daigle, Tank and the Bangas, 4B, Hippo Campus, Snail Mail, Saba, Flora Cash, Taylor Bennett, Joywave, Masonair, Max, Alec Benjamin, JPEGMAFIA, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Emo Nite, Little Simz, Let's Eat Grandma, The Midnight, Bloodpop®, Great Good Fine OK, Rubblebucket, Max Frost, Half Alive, Lawrence, Lolo Zouai, Ziggy Alberts, Flipp Dinero, FM-84, PLS&TY, Kid Quill, Rakeem Miles and Yoke Lore.

Like all good things in life, Firefly 2019 has to eventually come to an end. Fortunately, Day Three is stacked so full of fun that you won't even mind the weekend expiration. Starting with Thumpasaurus and The Orphan The Poet, Sunday exhibits Naked Giants, Lostboycrow, Castlecomer, CVBZ, The Teskey Brothers, King Henry, Tyla Yaweh, Magic Giant, Boogie, VHS Collection, Sodown, Knower, Protoje, Nombe, Medasin, Jukebox The Ghost, Yungblud, 070 Shake, Two Feet, Nora En Pure, Lovelytheband, Hop Along, Jessie Reyez, Car Seat Headrest, 3LAU, Quinn XCII, AJR, Gucci Mane, Lykke Li, Walk The Moon, Griz, DJ Snake, Vampire Weekend and to close it all down, the most sought-after headliner in the biz, Post Malone. After that hefty list, a victory dance is warranted. Please take a moment to do that now.

Day Three is stacked so full of fun that you won't even mind the weekend expiration. 

You know what's happening in Delaware early next summer, so it's time to look into festy accommmodations. General admission and VIP packages are available (although single day has yet to go live). Super VIP includes all the regular VIP perks, as well as exclusive dining options, access to artist lounges, a Super VIP shwag bag, a private open bar, daily complimentary snacks, two meal tickets per day, golf cart transport and more. Want the time of your life on steroids? Opt for the Super Duper VIP, which doubles the Super VIP pack for two and adds a hotel at the Dover Downs for three nights, ups the golf cart to a private transport service, gives you a 24-hour concierge hotline, priority pretty much anything and more for $7,200. Can't ball that hard? Understandable. GA starts as low as $299 for the time being. For more information or to get your tickets now, visit www.fireflyfestival.com.

Proudly presenting the lineup for #Firefly2019 video:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/firefly-fest-turns-up-the-heat-for-summer-2019

Spliff Vision: New Year, new vision | Top Shelf Reggae

San Pedro's Spliff Vision is ready to ring in the New Year with new music! Recently released singles include “Feeling Of Love” and “Feeling Of Dub”, the dub version of the aforementioned. Although not the first recorded works from the band, both of these tracks were recorded at California Sound Studios in Lake Forest, CA and produced by Gary (Big G.) Larason. The vision for the band was sparked at a young age when three brothers – Raymond, Jimmy and Andrew – received an electric guitar and bass as Christmas gifts one year. The boys ultimately put together a drum set assembled from various kits and quickly became self-taught musicians. Their love for music grew stronger day by day.

Spliff Vision is ready to ring in the New Year with new music!

As their taste in music matured, the brothers drew inspiration from all types of genres: soul, oldies, hip hop, punk and metal. Through their musical transformation, the brothers' bond grew stronger than ever with roots reggae music. In 2007, the brothers named the band ‘Spliff Vision’ and it wasn’t until 2008 that Andrew decided to let his voice be heard by adding vocals. A few years later, life situations forced a temporary hiatus and the brothers did not play for a while. Andrew survived a gunshot wound in 2011 and the band lost their cousin Russell to cancer in 2012. After experiencing such a great loss, they realized how valuable life is and wanted to make every second count. Playing music was a great outlet for the band to cope with the loss of their cousin and all three continued to take their musical interest to the next level.

Over the years, the band has expanded by adding Derek Martinez, Josshep Peralta and Shane Buono. Spliff Vision draws inspiration from musical influences such as Aswad, The Eternals, Freddie McGregor, Bob Marley, Don Carlos and Steel Pulse (just to name a few). Recent venues played include Garden Grove Amphitheatre, Gas Lamp, Standing Room and Saint Rocke. They have shared the stage with reggae legends Steel Pulse, Barrington Levy, Michael Rose, Don Carlos, Third World, Yellowman and Paton Baton. The band recently collaborated with Glenn Trumpet of Jah Connection Horns, Ryan Kordich of Eureka Sound and Ganda. You can look forward to future collaborations with Dread Kennedy, Levi Dozier and Eureka Sound and you can find Spliff Vision on all the major digital outlets and streaming sites! With so much underway, Spliff Vision's aspirations are anything but hazy for 2019. For more information, visit the band links below.

Purchase or stream Spliff Vision “Feeling Of Love” single & dub version:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/spliff-vision-new-year-new-vision

Unbelievable Coachella 2019 lineup unveiled | Top Shelf Reggae

The bellweather of all music and arts festivals really went big for their 20th annual. That's right, Coachella – one of the grandfathers of the modern festival movement – returns to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California for a celebration two decades in the making. Ever since its inaugural year in 1999, Coachella walked in the footsteps of its few predecessors (namely Lollapalooza and Van's Warped Tour) and created something far more powerful – a lifestyle. Before Coachella, concerts were simply that, a one-time show. Coachella, now presented by Goldenvoice, has paved the way for generations of music-lovers to ditch the conventional and migrate for the sake of music… but also for the sake of fashion, for the sake of art and love and unity. So much more goes into Coachella than any other festival entity (besides those thrown by Insomniac within the last decade, but EDM is a whole different festival experience altogether). For those that aren't aware, after rooting down in the Inland Empire's Coachella Valley for two days in '99, the festival took a year off at the millenium and returned as a single-day event in 2001. To this day, 2000 stands as the only year without the fest. Thus, being the year 2019, Coachella celebrates 20 years and its 20th Annual simultaneously!

Coachella celebrates 20 years and its 20th Annual simultaneously!

It's hard to imagine 20 years ago that Coachella spanned a mere two days, considering its whopping two weekends attendees have grown accustomed to! And, even with two full weekends, the event will sell out minutes after the event goes live to the public January 4th at 11am PT. No joke, mark your calendars for tomorrow morning, set an alarm and get to the site early. Coachella staff have ingeniously devised a virtual waiting room for ticket buyers to enter before the sale goes live, allowing attendees to get first grabs at the tickets they want. Be prepared to purchase alternative tickets, however, since even with the waiting room, chances are your GA or VIP plans may be sold out! The festival always pre-sells, as well, so general admission weekend one is already sold out!

Why is this year guaranteed to sell out faster than you expect? Let's talk lineup. Who are we kidding… people have been talking lineup since the conclusion of last year's fest. To everyone's surprise, the headliners are drastically different than the rumors that have been circling. Sorry, Justin Timberlake fans. Instead, Coachella 2019 will be headed with pop star multi-platinum sensation Ariana Grande, multi-talented rapper turned actor turned director turned DJ Childish Gambino and the biggest name in psychedelic alt-rock since The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala. Just like Coachella's ethos to invite “every one” to attend (of all genders, races, sex and creeds), the festival further invites all musical denominations. Let's examine per day this all-inclusive application of genre:

Friday, April 12th and 19th welcomes Janelle Monaé, The 1975, DJ Snake, Diplo, Rüfüs Du Sol, BLACKPINK, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Kacey Musgraves, Juice WRLD, Ella Mai, Los Tucanes De Tijuana, FISHER, Jaden Smith, Nina Kraviz, Rosalía, Gorgon City, Mon Laferte, Khruangbin, Kayzo, dvsn, King Princess, Chris Lake, Jauz, Hot Since 82, Charlotte Gainsbourg, SOPHIE, Nicole Moudaber, Tierra Whack, Polo & Pan, Beach Fossils, Yellow Days, The Frights, Nora En Pure, Yves Tumor, SG Lewis, Kero Kero Bonito, JPEGMAFIA, Calypso Rose, Nic Fanciulli, Kölsch, CamelPhat, Let's Eat Grandma, U.S. Girls, Anna Lunoe, Amelié Lens, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Walker & Royce, Turnstile, RAT BOY, 88Glam, Ross From Friends, Lauren Lane, Still Woozy, Bakar, Blond:ish, Tomasa del Real, Las Robertas and Dave P. kicking the both weekends off. Lest we forget Childish Gambino at night…

Saturday is a big one for alt and EDM lovers! With Tame at night, there's enough excitement throughout the day to get you stoked the minute music returns to the stages. Starting with Heidi Lawden, The Red Pears, The Messthetics and Javiera Mena, the day continues with Steady Holiday, Ookay, serpentwithfeet, Superorganism, shame, Hop Along, Agoria, The Garden, Lee Burridge, Adriatique, Little Simz, CHON, Âme, Jambinai, Murda Beatz, A R I Z O N A, CloZee, Stephan Bodzin, SALES, Turnover, Soulection, JAIN, Parcels, Idris Elba, SiR, The Interrupters, FKJ, Smino, Deep Dish, Ty Segall & White Fence, Sabrina Claudio, Mr Eazi, Tale Of Us, Virgil Abloh, Bob Moses, Gryffin, Sheck Wes, Maggie Rogers, Bazzi, Mac DeMarco, Wiz Khalifa, Christine and the Queens and Four Tet. But, before Tame Impala melts everyone's minds, Saturdays' direct support of BASSNECTAR, Billie Eilish, J Balvin, Aphex Twin, Weezer, Kid Cudi and Solange is a party you don't want to miss.

No matter what, your Coachella 20 experience is guaranteed to be elevating, liberating and downright life-changing.

Before you know it, it will be Day Three and Coachella 20 will be coming to a close. Fear not, for Ariana Grande is the big finalé! Also attached to two epic Sundays in the sun is Kalid, Zedd, Gesaffelstein, Bad Bunny, Dillon Francis, CHVRCHES, YG, Cirez D, Playboi Carti, H.E.R., Blood Orange, Pusha T, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Kaytranada, Gucci Gang, Jon Hopkins, SOFI TUKKER, Burna Boy, Lizzo, Dermot Kennedy, SOB x RBE, Clairo, NGHTMRE, Perfume, boy pablo, Guy Gerber, HYUKOH, Emily King, Dennis Lloyd, Alice Merton, Shallou, 070 Shake, Soccer Mommy, Rico Nasty, Cola Boyy, Wallows, Masonair, Nocturnal Sunshine, Dusky, Yotto, Patrice Bäumel, Easy Life, Jan Blonquist, Iceage, Men I Trust, Charlotte de Witte, Social House, Ocho Ojos, Razorbumps and Tara Brooks. Combine all of the above with larger than life art installations by Francis Kéré, Office Kovacs, Dedo Vabo, Poetic Kinetics, Sofia Enriquez, NEWSUBSTANCE, Do LaB and Robert Bose, you've got yourself two wild as hell weekends in the desert.

Obviously, if you've been going to Coachella since its origin, you know the drill: opt for the camping you want, bring the essentials, remember parking passes, etc. For those not aware or going for the first time, there are several camping packages to choose from ranging from car or tent camping ($125) all the week to the Safari Camping package ($9,500). At least you get shuttled around in a golf cart for almost $10k. Speaking of shuttles, for those flying in, there will be a Coachella LAX Airport Shuttle operating throughout both weekends. Bring whatever you want, but keep in mind that all vehicles will be heavily searched upon arrival. One case of beer or a box of wine is fine though! Although rolling into the fest in an RV will make all your friends beyond jelly, RVs are unfortunately no longer permitted. There are off-site RV parks to choose from though! No matter what, your Coachella 20 experience is guaranteed to be elevating, liberating and downright life-changing. For more information or to snag those passes January 4th, visit www.coachella.com.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/unbelievable-coachella-2019-lineup-unveiled

Envision 2019 coming to Costa Rica | Top Shelf Reggae

Attending a festival is a mental escape, to say the least. But, can you even imagine a life-changing musical weekend experience in an exotic foreign setting? That's next level. Enter, Envision Festival – Costa Rica's fastest growing music and arts festival! Stationed at the southern tip of the country on the Pacific side, Envision offers all that Costa Rica is known for on top of an exclusive and immersive four-day party at the beach. Alligators, monkeys, macaws and waterfalls… there's a reason why they dub Costa Rica the 'pure life'. Pura vida, my friend! The town of Uvita is approximately three hours out from the San José airport, due south from the renowned surf town of Jáco (the home to reggae's Jungle Jam Fest). And, don't worry about car rentals: sign up for the fest and gain the priviledge of being picked up at the airport by official Envision shuttles that drop you right at the festival gates. Easy peasy. 

Envision offers all that Costa Rica is known for on top of an exclusive and immersive four-day party at the beach.

Now back in its ninth year, Envision stands proud on its eight-pillar foundation: movement, music, art, spirituality, health, premaculture, community and radical acceptance. If you can appreciate yourself, those around you and the world we inhabit, please enjoy four days of pure ecstacy in a lush utopia with fellow music-lovers. Get ready to be entertained. Going down February 28th through March 3rd, Envision 2019 boasts the most jaw-dropping lineup to date. Split between three stages will be a mix of Latin meets reggae meets funk meets hip hop meets EDM with more than enough artists to keep the party going well into the wee hours of the morning. Headlining the whole thing is Griz and Tycho, with reggae's Trevor Hall, the funky fresh sounds of The Floozies, CloZee, Nicola Cruz, Random Rab, Lee Burridge and Bedouin standing as other main attractions. If you haven't witnessed the mesmerizing, special warrant requiring light show of The Floozies, get ready for a real treat. In the jungle, no less. The long list of other performers throughout the four days include Grouch, Santos & Zurdo, An-Ten-Nae, Bushman, Griff, Xiuhtexzcatl and a landslide of others; there's no break in the agenda when it comes to Envision.

Speaking of agenda, you can wrap the festival into an even bigger entity! Envision offers several different retreats to choose from, spanning a full seven to eight days before and after the fest. From acro yoga to permaculture to superfoods to activism to first aid, boost your tropical stay with a workshop retreat set to the soundtrack of the artists listed above. Want even more? Envision's VIP packages are ones for the record books. Get full access to the festival with parking pass, a list of VIP accommodations to choose from, VIP spa and lounge access (on top of the private VIP showers, bathrooms and bars), complimentary happy hour, access to the artist lounge and a VIP festival concierge. And, when we say VIP accommodations, the sky is the limit – literally! From the least expensive rent-a-tent to a fully-loaded custom treehouse with private bedrooms and lounges, VIP is the way to be. You can always meet in the middle with a bungalow, if you want to be modest about it. 

Tickets for Envision 2019 are on sale and selling out quick. It being the New Year, you still have time to book your jungle vacation before it's too late. Not only is it a perfect way to escape the depths of winter, but every ticket sold benefits the Costas Verdes Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the reforestization of Costa Rica's beaches and beyond. Just make sure to also spring for a parking pass if you happen to rent a car from the SJO airport! For more information, visit www.envisionfestival.com.

Envision 2018 official after movie:

Listen to Envision 2019 Phase Two lineup mix:

Links: Facebook | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/envision-2019-coming-to-costa-rica

Josh Heinrichs & Dread Kennedy at I & I Brewing | Top Shelf Reggae

On Thursday, December 13th, Josh Heinrichs and Dread Kennedy played acoustic sets at I & I Brewing in Chino, CA. I & I is always one of my favorite places to see a show. Add some holiday hype, Josh Heinrichs and Dread Kennedy, and you have a great mid-week show to be around friends a listen to some amazing music! It also doesn't hurt that I & I Brewing has the best beer around. All in all, that night was a great way to get into the spirit of the holidays.

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/josh-heinrichs-dread-kennedy-at-i-i-brewing

Reel Big Fish is back with ‘Life Sucks… Let’s Dance’ album | Top Shelf Reggae

What to say about Reel Big Fish… besides being ska music pioneers, these cheeky gentlemen led by the wittiest man alive, Aaron Barrett, continue to remind us that the aging genre is far from dead. The Orange County brass-heavy band bombarded into the mainstream when they broke it big in 1997 with their summer hit “Sell Out”. Since then, it's been nothing but assenine assertations, underdog anthems and downright DGAF drinking songs from the band we all hate to love.

Relatable to all is Reel Big Fish's first studio album in six years…

Before RBF, ska was either punk rock-oriented or traversing the traditional reggae route. Some ska bands boasted social commentary, most just wanted to get a skank pit circling. But, Reel Big Fish brought the entire movement to the next level – the level of the everyday average Joe. RBF songs relate to the guy forced to take the bus to work: the one with the glass ceiling job, a dead-end relationship and a boss reaming him up the wrong end of the tail pipe. Reel Big Fish knows the misery and that's why they're singing to you, my friend.

Because, let's face it, life sucks! It's hard and full of obstacles that relentlessly keep kicking you while you're down. Relatable to all is Reel Big Fish's first studio album in six years, Life Sucks… Let's Dance! The title track introduces us to the ongoing mindset of the band (and, of course, Barrett): “it's not going to be alright”, it hasn't been thus far, so let's drop everything and boogie. With overt political overtones embedded in lyrics like “looks like the bad guys are gonna win” (looking at you POTUS), “Life Sucks… Let's Dance” pairs a defeatist attitude with an optimist agenda. “Life sucks”, negative premise; “let's dance”, positive conclusion. Yin and the yang of ska exemplified. If there's nothing left to do but unite through song and dance, then RBF has officially made ska the lowest common denominator to all humans. We're “all different notes” of the “same song”, so let's enjoy it together.

A pretty impressive introduction and track two is even more ruthless. “Pissed Off” is that classic 'screw you guys, I'm going home' vibe that Reel Big Fish does oh so well. Someone has crossed Barrett and the band is clapping back. “You got me pissed off” repeats over that signature upbeat RBF timbre, allowing the listener to understand completely the matter at hand. This person sucks. So. Much. There is virtually nothing else to do but be campy about it. What goes around comes around, you “bullshit artist”, and don't think for a minute that the same rules don't apply to the skank pit. The pit literally goes in circles. You horrible weasel. 

Track three is the lead single off the album which dropped a few weeks back, “You Can't Have All of Me”. With piercing horns at the beginning, Barrett welcomes the listener into a day in the life. Bills, demands, hand-outs… my head hurts. This track stands as an ode to the working man, everyone who is caught up in today's society trying to climb the almighty chain of command. The reality is, no matter how hard you work, the mobility is slight – even non-existent! At breakfast, Barrett says he thinks “about the nightmares that [he] didn't finish” and how “everybody wants a piece” of his personal pie. No satiation in modern-day society. “[I'm] like a skeleton, the vultures picked my bones clean,” sings Barrett. What a graphic, yet appropriate metaphor for an American eagle turned predator; the American Dream is now consuming all of us. But, hey, it's better than “going without”, right?

The album continues with several tongue-in-cheek love songs like “In Love Again” and “I'd Rather Get it Wrong”, mainly blaming women for falling into this absurd sappy state. How dare you, succubus?! Less extreme are the friendly hook-up tracks for the Tinder crowd like “Bleached Thang, Baby” and “Tongue Tied and Tipsy Too”. The latter is quite entertaining, since we've all been that drunken baffoon at the bar (no matter your gender) and still managed to close the deal. Speaking of bars, no RBF album is complete without another beer song. This one literally is titled “Another Beer Song” and revisits the same notions in RBF's smash hit “Beer” from yesteryear: don't mind me, I'm just “gonna have myself a beer” and “pass out on the floor”. After all these years, with outlook unchanged, it seems this is Reel Big Fish's recommended course of relationship therapy. Beer equals better.

It sucked then, it sucks worse now and tomorrow's guaranteed to be the worst suckage you could imagine.

Along the lines of 'better', the whole point of the album is 'it's not getting better'. Bummer. “The Good Old Days” spells out that if you told the band in '95 that those days were the best they'd have, they wouldn't believe you. Over two decades later, following fame and (assuming at least a little) cash flow, Barrett says “it's getting harder and harder every day”. It sucked then, it sucks worse now and tomorrow's guaranteed to be the worst suckage you could imagine. Progressive suckage. What a wonderful world. If that's all there is, might as well enjoy the view! “G. D. Beautiful Day” reminds listeners that the world still is good albeit every human in it. “All these assholes” might be trying to get you down, but you are, at the end of the day, in control of your own emotions. At least it isn't raining. Shpadoinkle.

With so much going on in 14 tracks, Reel Big Fish ends with the instrumental, tropical track “Walter's Highlife”. The album is about coping with real life issues, so – with whammy bars, maracas and a happy horn section – let's end the entire escapade with some much-earned escapism. The song is like being whisked away to a Cabo resort, implying that everyone deserves a break, even if it's only a couple days on vacation. Don't forget to bring your dog! At the tail end of the track, Barrett's dog Walter goes a bit crazy. Does yours??

Life Sucks… Let's Dance! is now available on all digital outlets via Rock Ridge Music. Reel Big Fish, after wrapping up the year with a second tour stretch with Ballyhoo!, plans on hitting the road again just after the holidays starting January 11th alongside MEST and Bikini Trill. To get your tickets now or a copy of the hard-hitting new album, visit the links below or www.reel-big-fish.com.

Purchase or stream Life Sucks… Let's Dance! album:

Track listing:

  1. Life Sucks… Let's Dance!
  2. Pissed Off
  3. You Can't Have All of Me
  4. In Love Again
  5. Tongue Tied and Tipsy Too
  6. Bleached Thang, Baby
  7. Another Beer Song
  8. Bob Marley's Toe
  9. Ska Show
  10. The Good Old Days
  11. G. D. Beautiful Day
  12. I Should Know By Now
  13. I'd Rather Get it Wrong
  14. Walter's Highlife

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Cover photo by Jonathon Thorpe

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/reel-big-fish-is-back-with-life-sucks…-lets-dance-album

Roots of Mine fundraises with “Anna” single | Top Shelf Reggae

Nothing is more heartwrenching than watching your loved ones struggle, especially when it comes to health. Roots of Mine, a reggae-rock band out of Los Angeles, dedicates their latest single “Anna” to those battling cancer and debilitating diseases, with 100% of the profits going to cancer charities! The song, despite delivering hope to those afflicted with cancer, is more personally-inspired than you think. Lead singer and guitarist John Landry's youngest cousin, Anna, was recently diagnosed with Leukemia and has to undergo chemotherapy as part of her treament schedule. Poor little Anna… instead of playing with friends and focusing on school, Anna is now strapped with the fight of her life and Landry will stop at nothing to do his part. 

Roots of Mine reminds all of us there's nothing like giving back during the holidays…

“Cancer touches everyone,” Landry posits. “If it hasn’t affected you personally, it has most likely affected those around you. This amazing, smart and fun little girl is about to have the fight of her life and I feel helpless. So, I set out to give her something that could last forever and continue to do good for people just like her, battling for a healthy life.” 

The track was recorded by renowned producer Lewis Richards at 17th Street Recording Studio in Costa Mesa, with the help of Nick Sabia and others. Landry's lyrics like “know how much we love you”, “the Father that’s above you has a plan to build you up” and “contemplate the great amazing places that you’ll go” instills hope that Anna is indeed fighting a winning battle. Keep the faith that tomorrow's a better day, a guaranteed day. Such explicit positivity is paired with a deep booming bass and an upbeat tempo, making the single shout a sense of relief for anyone in the midst of such health struggles. And, again, everything goes to charity!

The band's heart extends beyond Anna to another close personal friend Romy Rome, who is currently struggling with his second round of Lymphoma. Thus, to persevere through these tough times, the single's profits will be split 50/50: half going to Romy Rome and half to the Sarah's Fight for HOPE Foundation, Anna's charity of choice. Roots of Mine reminds all of us there's nothing like giving back during the holidays, so please visit the links below to do your part for the cause.

Purchase “Anna” single:

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/roots-of-mine-fundraises-with-anna-single

Sammy Johnson shines in ‘Moonlight Lovers’ EP | Top Shelf Reggae

Sammy Johnson's latest EP, Moonlight Lovers, is a tasteful blend of vibrant drums, twinkling guitar strums and soulful backdrop vocals that provide an overall essence of loveliness, enriched with Johnson's own touching harmonies. Moonlight Lovers is an EP bound to make the heart flutter, head nod and hips sway throughout its entirety. Each track glides listeners naturally through its love stories, being relatable and sweet in truly genuine ways. The EP is a natural audio extension of romantic poetry, staying true to Sammy's polynesian roots. All of the songs on Moonlight Lovers were played and produced by Polynesian artists and musicians, some notable feautures being the rich vocals of Tree Vaifale and full-bodied beats and verses of NomaD.

The EP is a natural audio extension of romantic poetry, staying true to Sammy's polynesian roots.

Sammy says, “This is by far my favourite body of work because from concept to finish, I was able to create exactly what I had dreamed of doing. During the process, I reconnected with people and my heritage and created new memories.” The first track, “Fools” opens listeners up to a smooth, beachy vibe. You can imagine yourself swininging in a hammock, living carefree as Sammy’s warm voice warns listeners about what it's like to fall in love too quickly and rush the magic of love.

“Moonlight Lovers”, the EP's title track, is a sensual duet with Tree Vaifale about falling in love. The two artists have an undeniable chemistry that is as organic and free-flowing as it is sweet – it’s exquisite! “I belong to the sea, boy // Tonight you belong to me, beautiful as can be // I think I’ve fallen for you,” croons Tree Vaifale, followed by the sultry Sammy, “Moonlight lovers, you and I // She waits for me every night // Moonlight lovers, you and I // Until the sun, the sun goes down again.” AWWW!!!

The EP runs fluidly through love and loss without feeling somber. In the tracks, “Missing the One You Love” and “Getting Over You”, certain hip-hoppy qualities gear listeners up for a positive outlook on how to deal with heartbreak. “Missing the One You Love” has serious hip-swinging melodies and staccato hip hop versus, a combination that delibrately elevates the mood of being heartbroken to say, no matter the hurt, you do get through it… or in Sammy’s words, “Sad songs are the best songs to sing when you're missing the one you love.”

Sammy Johnson explains he has always felt a disconnect with his Polynesian side, “I looked more Polynesian, but that was the extent of my knowledge until one day, a friend of mine gave me an album that basically opened me up to a whole world of music and culture I never knew. The album was Gratitude by Fiji.” Using old Polynesian folklore from Sina and the Eel (Samoa), Pana of the Reef (Maori), Hinemoa & Tutanekai (Maori) and many others, Sammy tells similar stories through songs. Sammy says, “For me, the writing process is all about being in the right space and being open to whatever is speaking to my soul at that time.”

Sammy Johnson has released a near constant stream of spirited music since 2014 when his self-titled EP peaking at #3 on the Billboard Reggae Charts. His organic growth is a result of his hard work and dedication to his craft. In addition to enjoying touring, performing sold-out performances and large festival slots, Sammy works as a music therapist social worker and Moonlight Lovers will be his second EP of the year after the drop of critically-accalaimed EP Sleepwalker. His unique Polynesian influences collected together with his love for modern jazz and R&B artists, like D’Angelo, Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill, result in a passionate musical hybrid that is undeniably soothing. Fans can download the EP now on all the usual platforms and follow Sammy Johnson at sammyjohnsonmusic.com for upcoming tour dates and future releases!

Purchase or stream Moonlight Lovers EP:

Track listing:

  1. Fools
  2. Moonlight Lovers, feat. Tree Vaifale
  3. Missing the One You Love, feat. Fiji
  4. A Dozen Roses
  5. Getting Over You, feat. Kalyan Arnold & Adough

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/sammy-johnson-shines-in-moonlight-lovers-ep

TreeHouse! teams with Dan Kelly in “Natural High” single | Top Shelf Reggae

It's always a breath of fresh air when speaking with Jeremy Anderson, frontman, multi and majorly talented musician and founder of TreeHouse!, a reggae-rock band out of Myrtle Beach, SC. If it's cold where you are right now, TreeHouse's latest track “Natural High” is about to warm up your soul with its summer breeze and palm tree vibrations. When I tell you that this track would not have happened this quickly, it seriously would not have. One thing that I have learned from 'Positive J' (Anderson) is that his intense, yet soft nature is completely even-balanced. When he has a lyrically-driven idea, or any idea for that matter, he hits the ground running and at full-throttle. With that said, this track is no different.

The track's musical ripeness is fresh with lyrics and a melody unique to the southern east coast…

Anderson is actually what I would call a 'go-to guy' when it comes to collaborations and is well known for his alive and 'woke' lyrics. This is where a seat belt is required, so hold on tight. Anderson reached out to Dan Kelly, the soft spoken frontman of the hugely successful California band Fortunate Youth. While FY was on tour, Anderson threw his idea for this single at Kelly and after the show, the two got to talking. If it hadn't been a mix of Anderson's persistance to see this track happen or Dan Kelly keeping his word to Jeremy and to the guys, this easygoin' jam would not exist. Anderson quoted Dan to have written his verse in twenty minutes.

Fast forward in a cross country jet plane to California for the making of the song's music video. When asked how the atmosphere was, let's just say it was comfy clothes and writing pads. These two talented guys went at it and the final product is a definite hit. Not that we are the slightest bit suprised…

The ebb and flow of how this song came to be and how incredibly amazing it is to see an idea develop into a fully lit bulb is pretty awesome. The track's musical ripeness is fresh with lyrics and a melody unique to the southern east coast native Anderson, as well as the west coast, Kelly. Well done, gentlemen. Check out the links below to watch the full music video which teleports you to the west coast and be sure to keep an eye out for an upcoming show near you. TreeHouse! is best served when consumed LIVE!!

Purchase or stream “Natural High” single:

Official “Natural High” lyric video:


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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/treehouse-teams-with-dan-kelly-in-natural-high-single