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Tropidelic at Revolution Bar & Music Hall NYC | Top Shelf Reggae

A funky explosion of brass mixed with a little hip hop hit the Revolution Bar & Music Hall in Amityville, NY as the six-piece band of Tropidelic took the stage. The band made a stop on their tour to rock with Long Island on December 8th, joined by performers who reflected the bands ranging genres: Samurai Pizza Cats, Vana Liya and The Dirty Shovels.

Once the music started, it was hard to keep still…

Once the music started, it was hard to keep still – even the band members couldn’t contain their moves! Not often do you see a reggae band so in harmony with each other musically, that they are able to dance in unison as well. Tropidelic is one of those bands. Band members James Begin (trombone/vocals) and Derek McBryde (trumpet) made me want to hop on stage and join their jig, they were having so much fun. It was clear the crowd was feeling this vibe as they bumped and jived to their jazzy hits.

The audience was treated to Tropidelic’s best that showed off their collection of genre-fusing songs, taking us back to their 2015 album, Police State. Once the horns began to blare for their popular song “Alcoholic”, there was no denying that this song with slick lyrics and funky rhythms could catch anyone’s attention. Lead singer Roads’ powerful voice found its way through the sonically booming band to deliver the lyrics of “Bad Cookie”, a song about a wild child that caught his eye. It seems Tropidelic has really found their groove in their newest album, Heavy Is The Head. It was a blast to hear the songs, “The Line”, “Hey Now”, “Church” and “Highs And Lows” come alive onstage.

While the band continues to spread their jams across the country, you can look forward to them dropping their latest album this spring. A possible addition to the album may be their new song, “Cali”, that debuted at Sugarshack Sessions and found its way into their set list that night. Based on what we heard that night, it is shaping up to be a dynamic album!

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/tropidelic-at-revolution-bar-music-hall-nyc

Fortunate Youth at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas | Top Shelf Reggae

On December 1st, Fortunate Youth’s West In Peace tour, sponsored by Ikanik Farms and Flower of Life CBD, made its final stop at the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas. They were supported by Josh Heinrichs and Skillinjah, as well as Iya Terra. There was also some amazing live painting by artist Ania Amador. A Fortunate Youth show is always a party and where else could be better to close the tour than Vegas? The night started with Josh Heinrichs, Skillinjah and friends playing an amazing acoustic set to get fans warmed up for the night ahead. And, fans were not disappointed!

A Fortunate Youth show is always a party…

Next came Iya Terra, blowing the doors off the Brooklyn Bowl with their amazing energy. The packed crowd was dancing, sweating and singing along with the band. As always, they put on an amazing performance. And then, Fortunate Youth came on and put on, in my opinion, one of the best shows of the tour. One of my favorite parts of their shows is when other artists came up and join the band. Overall, it was an awesome night. I can't wait for next year's tour!

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/fortunate-youth-at-the-brooklyn-bowl-las-vegas

Common Kings “One Day” EP review | Top Shelf Reggae

Coming off their successful GRAMMY-nominated album, Lost In Paradise, Common Kings resurrects with a victorious EP One Day that features the likes of acclaimed reggae artists Stephen Marley, Matisyahu, ¡MAYDAY! and Kat Dahlia. This EP highlights the lightheartedness of Common Kings through their joyful reggae rhythms juxtaposed to the social commentary in their lyrics.

The mix of various reggae artists gives 'One Day' a flare like no other…

Band members JR King (vocals), Uncle Lui (bass), Mata (guitar) and Rome (drums) have created an album that combines elements of rock, reggae, pop and hip hop. The lead single and title track “One Day” is closer to a pop sound as it is filled with catchy vibes like, “One day, when I have a lot of money // Imma be the king again, sippin on that Jameson // Party, it don’t ever end // You gon’ wanna bring your friend.” This song perfectly captures Commons Kings' SoCal vibes, as it speaks on an easygoing lifestyle representative of the band's fun, loving personalities and the joys they have living life. This is one of the more mellow songs off the EP, along with the track “Today’s a New Day” featuring rap artists ¡MAYDAY!.

Their song “Lock Me Up” features reggae legend Stephen Marley, who helps tackle the struggle between doing what is right and what is lawful. Oftentimes, when we hear of those who are caught up in trouble, yet claim to have done it for the greater good, it tends to fall on deaf ears, but both Marley and Common Kings created a thoughtful song to voice those stories. Lyrically, the song touches on hot topics such as getting locked up, injustice and police: “Here they come, they coming looking for me // Wish I could sail away // They gonna lock me up and throw away the key // I ain't gonna see my baby // Here they come, they coming looking for me // They know what I did today.” This is definitely a standout song as it not only has powerful lyrics, but also a dub rhythm with sounds of sirens and reverb.

Every album needs a feel-good love song and “Slow Down” is it! The song is filled with loving lyrics like “I need you right now… we don’t have to slow down”. The EP ends with “Champion”, featuring Kat Dahlia; this song does a great job blending elements of modern hip hop with classic reggae riddims. The chorus goes, “Cuz you are the champion // And, I know and I know and I know you're one in a million // You’re the key to my kingdom // And, I know and I know your love is unbeaten // You’re my number one”.

The mix of various reggae artists gives One Day a flare like no other and is now available on all digital outlets. Common Kings are currently on tour with Rebelution and will continue to be so through the New Year. Catch them in action in a town near you! 

Purchase or stream One Day EP:

Track listing:

  1. One Day
  2. Lock Me Up, feat. Stephen Marley
  3. Today's a New Day, feat. ¡MAYDAY!
  4. Revolution (EDM Reggae Remix)
  5. Broken Crowns, feat. Matisyahu
  6. Slow Down
  7. Champion, feat. Kat Dahlia

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/common-kings-one-day-ep-review

Bret Bollinger b-day show at Tower 12 | Top Shelf Reggae

In true Ohana fashion, Bret Bollinger celebrated his birthday at Tower 12 in Hermosa Beach, CA on November 28th. Joined by family, friends and fans, we were there to catch all of the excitement and help celebrate! Joining the fun were Bret’s family: his sister Maggie and her husband Chris, as well as his sister-in-law Maia and boyfriend Luis, on top of a surprise visit from his mother Laura. More friends even hopped onstage to sing a bit with the birthday boy throughout the night!

Bret celebrated his birthday with new songs…

With the recent release of his solo album LO-FI, Bret celebrated his birthday with new songs like “Hit Me Up” and “Sober”. His mom, Laura, joined him as he sang “Mama Don’t Know” to her: a song about Bret’s previous choice in women and his mom’s advice around it. Bret also broke into a few Pepper songs that lit the crowd up and got them singing along. As the crowd began to sing “Happy Birthday”, good friends Shannon and Amanda brought out a fantastic cake that Bret dove right into! Be sure to catch Bret along with Pepper this summer!

Photography by Jenni Lynne

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/bret-bollinger-b-day-show-at-tower-12

Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019 fully formed | Top Shelf Reggae

The third and final installment of Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019 artists have hit the masses, satisfying live music lovers to say the very least. So many people travel from all over the world to enjoy this three-day festival at Vinoy Park in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. It has become a ritual or, as many would call it, a reunion. I highly recommend hitting RRUF19 up. This annual event is life-changing and here are some reasons why.

In it's fourth year, RRUF has delivered nothing but the best artists from all over.

In it's fourth year, RRUF has delivered nothing but the best artists from all over. What you may not know about this festival is how much it has done for the Florida music scene. St. Pete has slowly and steadily become a mecca for music, especially the reggae genre. This event alone has paved a pretty large path for artists given the opportunity to perform here. All of the vendors brought in each year are topnotch, with plenty of healthy, fresh options to choose from – including vegan! Vendor's Row is usually where people congregate, meet up, buy merch and find refuge under the palms. The live art is also exceptional, with numerous local artists brought in each year to create interactive pieces for all to take photos with and enjoy. All of this while at the legendary Vinoy Park. The ocean is at your feet while your legs hang over the edge. A cool ocean breeze blows while you're being serenaded. Believe me, it is all of this and more.

Alright, so enough about year's past and the venue itself. Here is the last batch of artists added to Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019. The FULL line-up is as follows: Friday, March 15th will welcome Stick Figure, Steel Pulse, Pepper, Common Kings, Sticky Fingers, Josh Heinrichs, Nattali Rize, Bret Bollinger and Oceanstone. Day Two will offer Slightly Stoopid, Ziggy Marley, Method Man & Redman, J Boog, HIRIE, The Movement, Through The Roots, Arise Roots, Serenation and Summer Survivors. Lastly, on St. Patrick's Day Sunday, Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, Trevor Hall, Fortunate Youth, Iya Terra, Shwayze, Jah 9, Bumpin' Uglies and Tribe of I will entertain all. Every single year the line-up is stellar, but this year is looking to be exceptionally amazing.

As a Florida resident and festival attendee, here is a HUGE heads up: hotels and Air BnB's are getting booked left and right, so be smart and prepared. Book now! VIP and general admission weekend passes, as well as daily passes are still available. Here's to swaying under the palms with you in 2019!! 

Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019 promo video:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/reggae-rise-up-florida-2019-fully-formed

Pacific Dub releases “Riptide” single | Top Shelf Reggae

Whether you are cranking up the dial on the radio ready to hit the open highway chasing waves down the coast or you’re ankle deep in the kiddie pool you’ve fashioned into a makeshift oasis to hide from the winter, Pacific Dub’s latest single “Riptide”, produced by Ineffable Records, should definitely be added to your playlist. The So-Cal reggae-rock group is well-known for their quintessential coastal rock vibes, which they accomplish with catchy hooks, heavy rock-n-roll inspired riffs, soothing hip hop breakdowns and a smooth rhythmic reggae undertone that ties it all together.

Pacific Dub has a natural lyrical ability to inspire working through hard times…

“Riptide” stays true to that recipe and shows off the band's genuine objective in creating innovative alternative-rock-reggae while sharing a message of love and peace. Specifically here, keeping yourself above water when times are tough. Pacific Dub has a natural lyrical ability to inspire working through hard times; even if the lyrics depict a trying journey, their tone is upbeat and positive, making it easy to sway along to in the sunshine while still grasping the significance of a long trip back to a love after months away. This relatable message is brought to life in the first lines, “I’ve been lost up in my ways and I’ve been walking all around up in this daze // It feels like I’ve been missing a crucial part of me // Everywhere I go, I can’t help but feel incomplete.”

The riptide analogy is whimsical and puts a unique spin on the feeling of pulling ourselves out of the hard times: “Because I’m caught up in this riptide // Trying to make my way back // Make my way back // And, I’ve been up all night // Trying to get back on track, get back on track.” Kaleidoscopic instrumentals carry us throughout the melody and add a wavy, atmospheric spice that extends past the track and shows off the collaboration and growth as artists since their formation in 2008. The happy sounds and unique presence, combined with a nonstop stream of work in the studio and onstage, has earned the band a fair amount of street cred in the alternative-rock-reggae community, supporting the likes of Dirty Heads, Iration, The Movement and Rebelution.

The single will be officially be released and up for grabs on all major music platforms as of Friday, Dec, 14th. Fans can also catch the guys on their Guide You Home Tour now and at festivals such as One Love Cali Reggae Fest coming up in February. Stay up-to-date at www.pacificdub.com for tour dates, festival appearances and keep up with Top Shelf for more information on a full album release date coming to you soon.

Purchase or stream “Riptide” single:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/pacific-dub-releases-riptide-single

Morodo & Okoumé Lions at NYC’s DROM | Top Shelf Reggae

Morodo & Okoumé Lions performed for the first time in the United States on December 7th in the trendy NYC neighborhood of Alphabet City. Hosted by both Black Iron Burger at DROM, Morodo & Okoumé Lions put on an electrifying performance that could of only been captured if one were there. If you haven’t heard of Morodo before, you will definitely be hearing more of him soon! Arguably, Morodo is one of the more popular reggae artists from Spain, dubbing his own style 'rap-ragga' by combining the sounds of raggamuffin and rap. These two genres are not a bizarre blend, as hip hop historically borrowed the concepts of sampling and emceeing from reggae’s tradition of dubbing. What sets Morodo apart is his rough and rogue vocals that gives him that edge. Subjectively speaking, Morodo's vocal range sounds similar to the likes of Buju Banton, with lyrical alignment of reggae legend, Peter Tosh. However, Morodo is truly incomparable as he has carved his own lane in the reggae community by being truly himself.

Being their first experience playing in the states, Morodo and his Okoume Lions made sure to cater to their American fan base…

Being their first experience playing in the states, Morodo and his Okoumé Lions made sure to cater to their American fan base by playing the hit single, “Fumo Marihuana”. Even though we could not light up in the club, there was no need to get high, for the energy behind the band's performance of this song was enough to lift you. Morodo soley spoke in Spanish, which posed as a language barrier for myself, but not for the majority of the crowd, for they were able to recite every single lyric he spoke. Despite not being able to understand the totality of Morodo when he spoke to the crowd in between his songs, the energy was palpable. It truly felt as if we were all experiencing the same emotion, the same feeling at the same time, and I believe that is due to both Morodo & Okoumé Lions' musical talent. The best example of this feeling of collectivism was the closing song, “Rap n Party”; the song itself marries Morodo's love of rap to his reggae beat. This musical fusion then translated to the audience by being overpowering, creating somewhat a of mosh pit or general 'jumping around' found in many hip hop concerts.

This event was a long time coming for his fans, many of whom may not have had the chance to see him abroad and finally were able to see him the flesh and blood! It was beautiful to see how connected his fans were when Morodo would do the call and respond (popular in many of his reggae songs) and hear them recite the lyrics verbatim. This was a monumental event for Morodo & Okoumé Lions and I am so lucky to have had the privilege to be a part of that.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/morodo-okoume-lions-at-nycs-drom

Morodo & Okoumé Lions at NYC’s Black Iron Burger | Top Shelf Reggae

Morodo & Okoumé Lions performed for the first time in the United States on December 7th in the trendy NYC neighborhood of Alphabet City. Hosted by both Black Iron Burger and DROM, Morodo & Okoumé Lions put on an electrifying performance that could of only been captured if one were there. If you haven’t heard of Morodo before, you will definitely be hearing more of him soon! Arguably, Morodo is one of the more popular reggae artists from Spain, dubbing his own style 'rap-ragga' by combining the sounds of raggamuffin and rap. These two genres are not a bizarre blend, as hip hop historically borrowed the concepts of sampling and emceeing from reggae’s tradition of dubbing. What sets Morodo apart is his rough and rogue vocals that gives him that edge. Subjectively speaking, Morodo's vocal range sounds similar to the likes of Buju Banton, with lyrical alignment of reggae legend, Peter Tosh. However, Morodo is truly incomparable as he has carved his own lane in the reggae community by being truly himself.

Being their first experience playing in the states, Morodo and his Okoume Lions made sure to cater to their American fan base…

Being their first experience playing in the states, Morodo and his Okoumé Lions made sure to cater to their American fan base by playing the hit single, “Fumo Marihuana”. Even though we could not light up in the club, there was no need to get high, for the energy behind the band's performance of this song was enough to lift you. Morodo soley spoke in Spanish, which posed as a language barrier for myself, but not for the majority of the crowd, for they were able to recite every single lyric he spoke. Despite not being able to understand the totality of Morodo when he spoke to the crowd in between his songs, the energy was palpable. It truly felt as if we were all experiencing the same emotion, the same feeling at the same time, and I believe that is due to both Morodo & Okoumé Lions' musical talent. The best example of this feeling of collectivism was the closing song, “Rap n Party”; the song itself marries Morodo's love of rap to his reggae beat. This musical fusion then translated to the audience by being overpowering, creating somewhat a of mosh pit or general 'jumping around' found in many hip hop concerts.

This event was a long time coming for his fans, many of whom may not have had the chance to see him abroad and finally were able to see him the flesh and blood! It was beautiful to see how connected his fans were when Morodo would do the call and respond (popular in many of his reggae songs) and hear them recite the lyrics verbatim. This was a monumental event for Morodo & Okoumé Lions and I am so lucky to have had the privilege to be a part of that.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/morodo-okoume-lions-at-nycs-black-iron-burger

Not So Silent Night 2018 | Top Shelf Reggae

'Tis the season for several things and Christmas concerts are one of them! San Diego's top alternative radio station, 94.9, decided it was dire time to throw a holly, jolly holiday fest and debuted their Not So Silent Night at the renowned Del Mar Fairgrounds on Sunday, December 9th. Now, the Del Mar Fairgrounds plays host to the reggae-loving Summer Concert Series after the horse races and world-famous festivals such as KAABOO Del Mar and more! Why not add a holiday get-together for the sake of good music and merriment? Plus, the outside venue isn't all that uncomfortable in December, being stationed in the temperate climate of southern California.

Thirty Seconds To Mars was a marvelous end to an A-list musical evening.

With an introduction from 94.9 staff, AJR blew onto the stage with uncharted enthusiasm and energy. The three brothers that make up the band was backed by drums and keys although all players bounced around from station to station throughout the set. AJR is one of the most underrated alternative bands in the scene right now, deserving of a headlining spot shortly. The boys were so into their performance that the crowd couldn't help but be overpowered with their presence. Ending with “Netflix Trip”, lead singer Jack Evan Met hopped on drums to outro with the theme song for television's The Office — the subject of the track. A powerful, indescribable performance by the Met brothers, to say the least. At this time, 94.9 staff took the stage once more to hype up the audience for Alice Merton, Ms. “No Roots” herself. Jumping onto the stage wearing a track suit and sparkly blue jacket, the alt-pop-folk star got personal with the assembled crowd, saying this was her first time in San Diego. She even played her latest single “Funny Business” for the first time live! 

The 94.9 crew was far from done, as they came back onstage to welcome Elle King. Elle came out all smiles, launching into tracks from her latest album Shake The Spirit. Although she didn't perform anything from her premiere LP Love Stuff, the audience was more than thrilled to hear her recent work, including the radio hit “Shame”. She even busted out a banjo! Backed by her “Brethren”, Elle King lit up the night before the men of the hour entered to close it all down. That's right, Thirty Seconds To Mars, fronted by Oscar-winner and GRAMMY-nominee Jared Leto, was in the building and ready to bring the business. Leto graced the stage wearing a tassled silk kimono, ripped up gloves and too many colors to count. With hair billowing behind him as he twirled, Leto circled the stage again and again with drums placed off to the side at an angle, out of his tornado-like path. Bass guitar was hiding deep stage left as well, but all eyes were on Leto as his piercing gaze and dominant voice ricocheted through the place. Three songs in, giant balloons were released on the crowd, bopping and bumping amongst the heads of the enthralled audience members. Leto didn't skip a beat, weaving in between the few rogue balloons that bounced onstage. Halfway through the set, Leto called for kids and adults alike to join him onstage, allowing a good 25-30 people to sing and dance with him! Let it be known that Jared Leto is a majestic man; hands down, his stage presence leaves you in complete awe and amazement. Thirty Seconds To Mars was a marvelous end to an A-list musical evening.

As the night came to an end (an early end at that, being Sunday), it was clear that 94.9 had started a holiday tradition with many more years to come. The staff hinted that there will be a Year 2 NSSN and judging by the success of this year, Not So Silent Night will hopefully live on. Happy holidays to all who attended and may your 2019 be filled with rockin', rollin' jams.

Photography by Kristy Rose

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/not-so-silent-night-2018

The sky’s the limit for Skyler Lutes | Top Shelf Reggae

Ocean Beach, San Diego native Skyler Lutes continues to create his vision, which started out as a solo acoustic singer/songwriter to recording and producing his third album, followed by touring coast to coast. Skyler, who began playing open mics in San Diego, has just recently completed a U.S. tour which included 15 states and 33 cities. Skyler’s love for reggae started early on when he played percussion and bass in a ska-reggae project called The Skains.

Skyler’s love for reggae started early on…

Skyler Lutes quickly made the transition from playing solo acoustic sets to forming his own reggae-rock band. When Skyler joined a side project punk-pop-rock band, he met his drummer, Bret Lebow. The band grew when Veronica Quinn, keyboardist and backup vocals, and Greyson Weaver, a young metal bassist, joined the band. The band now aspires to inspire and not only do they spread good vibes, they raise ocean awareness while on the road. They recently put out an entire music video dedicated to ocean pollution awareness!

Skyler loves to skate and surf and even makes pit stops while on tour to check out popular skate parks and surf points. The band released their third full-length album, Tidelines, in April. The album’s track, “Where This Goes” features lead singer Evan Hawkins of Through The Roots.  The band’s musical influences include Iration, Santana, Through The Roots, Rebelution, Common Kings, Passafire, Green Day, Incubus and Pepper. Skyler loves writing in the winter and is currently working towards making a new album to be released next summer! They are looking forward to another collaboration with Through The Roots, too.

Skyler plans to close out 2018 with a celebration – a New Year’s Eve celebration, that is! You can catch the band this NYE in Mission Beach, San Diego at The Draft. Get all access by following Skyler Lutes links below or visiting www.skylerlutesmusic.com.

Purchase or stream Skyler Lutes music:

Skyler Lutes “Burn” official music video:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/the-skys-the-limit-for-skyler-lutes