Locos por Juana ft. Freddie McGregor “Dont Tell Me No” | Top Shelf Reggae

Earlier this month, the GRAMMY nominated bilingual band Locos Por Juana blessed the internet with brand new raging music video for their new song “Don't Tell Me No” featuring the living legend reggae artist Freddie McGragor. With upbeat and feel good lyrics, LPJ’s new song does not disappoint. “Don't Tell Me No” is the second release off their upcoming album, due out early summer 2019.

“This song was inspired by love and perseverance.”

Prior to the release of this song, the Miami based band released the music video of their lead single “Crazy for Jane” featuring Common Kings in mid February.

Mark Kondrat, composer and guitarist for Locos Por Juana, reflects, “This song was inspired by love and perseverance. The best things in life don't come easy, and when something feels right the only answer is yes!”

Mark continues, “He came to the studio and met with us and laid down his verse that same night. It was surreal to be able to work and write with someone like Freddie and we were also lucky to get him to join us in the video shoot for the song.”

Locos has been touring non-stop throughout the United States, and is gearing up to release their new reggae album, Crazy for Jane, later this year.

The new song “Don't Tell Me No” is out now and available everywhere you purchase and stream music.

Links: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/locos-por-juana-ft.-freddie-mcgregor-dont-tell-me-no

Getting to know Root Shock | Top Shelf Reggae

Root Shock is making WAVES from coast to coast. The band formed in 2012 when bassist Bill Eppel and singer Jessica Brown joined forces; their energy surged right from the beginning, as they quickly started to create material. After collaborating and creating their first songs, the two founders were joined by guitarist/singer Phil Grajko.

Root Shock grabs the attention of a diverse audience…

Along the way, there have been a few additions and subtractions from the bands lineup, yet this has not stopped the fans from multiplying. The Root Shock fanbase is described to be incredibly supportive and Root Shock mentions, “They have come along for the ride on every stylistic twist and turn the band has made over the years.” Root Shock grabs the attention of a diverse audience, as the band has created a fusion of musical arrangements. A new single called “Waves” is out now, too! Get to know Root Shock with our exclusive interview.

I love your latest single, “Waves”! How would you describe the creative process?

  • “Waves” came together very naturally and spontaneously. We were in the studio recording the EP, Many Paths. During a break, several members were in the live room jamming over an untitled groove by guitarist Dan Valvassori and bassist Bill Eppel. Phil Grajko jumped into the vocal booth and started humming the melody that would become the chorus of “Waves”. Grajko then took the rough recording home and wrote the lyrics for the song, which became the first duet between him and singer Jessica Brown.

The music video of “Waves” is what really caught my attention and has had great success on YouTube. Who created and directed the video's content?

  • Director Jesse Conti had the idea that the music video should have a very 'live performance' feel, following the more narrative-focused style of our previous video, “Ripple”. Shot in Auburn, NY, the “Waves” video highlights the strengths of each individual member and the unique style we each provide to bring the song to life.

Can you share with us where you draw your inspiration?

  • One of the fundamental strengths of Root Shock is its diversity of influences across its membership. Ask any member and you'll get an entirely different answer. Whether it's reggae, soul, rock, jazz, classical, punk, hip hop, experimental, pop or metal, this band listens to it all — and it shows!

When can we anticipate new music?

  • We've been slowly picking away at new studio recordings and is extremely excited about our next release, but the real magic is in hearing new material at a live show. Root Shock always let's a song find its voice in the live setting before taking it to the studio, so the best way to hear the freshest new songs is when we come through your town!

Any interesting information or stories you would like to share with our readers?

  • We laugh a lot. We're is always cracking jokes and finding humor in the oddest of scenarios. There are so many characters and unique personalities in the group that it always makes things interesting. Our favorite podcast while on the road is Miracle Nutrition with Hearty White (it has nothing to do with nutrition).

Root Shock “Waves” Official video:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/getting-to-know-root-shock

Art Garfunkel at LA’s Saban Theatre | Top Shelf Reggae

The voice of an angel, the musings of a man well-traveled and the familiar songs of multiple generations filled the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills as Art Garfunkel entertained a full house on May 9th. Over the next 90-minute set, Garfunkel took the audience back in time on a magical, musical and lyrical storytelling journey. The evening started off with a sweet rendition of “The Things We've Handed Down”, followed by Simon & Garfunkel songs “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” and “The Boxer.”

Garfunkel took the audience back in time on a magical, musical and lyrical storytelling journey.

Considering the majority of Simon & Garfunkel songs were penned by Paul Simon, the 2017 publishing of What Is It All But Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man, Garfunkel's autobiography, showcases his fantastic and unique ability to write. Garfunkel shared with the crowd excerpts like “Hampshire House”, “The Publicist” and “Authorship.” Garfunkel then double-downed with more Simon & Garfunkel fan favorites, like “Scarborough Fair”, “Homeward Bound” and “The Sound of Silence.” He shared his five favorite American songwriters to be Paul Simon, thanking him amongst the applause, Stephen Sondheim, James Taylor, Jimmy Webb and Randy Newmann, launching then into a beautiful rendition of “Real Emotional Girl”.

Garfunkel also displayed his storytelling skills, sharing that the story “Authorship” from his book was about his parents, thinking after his father died that our parents are our “ideal”, our “everything”. Continuing on, Garfunkel sang “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her”, showing off his still sweet and tender voice, which had been compromised for four years due to vocal paresis, rendering it near impossible for him to sing.

Throughout the evening, Garfunkel continued to take fans back in time with his tender and angel-like voice, backed by a fantastic guitarist and talented pianist. Keeping with stories of his childhood, he shared how, in 1951, he began singing in his temple in Queens, breaking into of a beautiful acapella hymn. Garfunkel told the audience that at a young age, he saw that he moved grown men to tears and thought, “I'm going to stick with this singing thing!”. He then shared “Creatures” from his book and sang “Bright Eyes”.

Noting he had seen a recent interview with Paul Simon where he spoke about the rudimentary form of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and was sharing the original version, Garfunkel thought, “That's better than the real thing” and incorporated it into his version for the night. With his guitarist, pianist and sans brass section, Garfunkel played a beautiful version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.

His storytelling continued, sharing about a birthday party for Paul Simon…

His storytelling continued, sharing about a birthday party for Paul Simon and their long friendship: reminiscing about the moment when Simon called him to tell him he had written “the best song of his life”, sharing that it was the fifth song penned by his friend. Simon came to Garfunkel's house and played for him “The Sound of Silence”. Just when you thought the evening was over, Garfunkel came back to the stage to share about his experience performing at the Royal Albert Hall and the story “Royal Albert Hall” from his autobiography. He graced us with a tender version of “Kathy's Song” after thanking Paul Simon for writing it. Closing out the night, Garfunkel read from his book Lord Almighty and sang “Now I Lay Me Down.”

As he left the stage, Garfunkel graciously thanked the crowd for a fantastic evening. It indeed was a fantastic evening: as I closed my eyes, I could hear the sweet, tender and angelic sounds of my childhood, the memories of the sound of the needle on countless Simon & Garfunkel albums that spun in my living room. It is to you, Mr. Garfunkel that I say thank you — not only for a magical evening of memories, but for a lifetime of them.

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/art-garfunkel-at-las-saban-theatre

Sitting down with Save Ferris’ Monique Powell | Top Shelf Reggae

Save Ferris frontwoman Monique Powell is anything but conventional. And, after 24 successful years making exceptional ska music, she has solidified herself in the ska hall of fame if there ever was one. So, when I had the chance to sit down and chat with Monique shortly following her Day One Back To The Beach Fest set in Huntington Beach, I had to jump on it. Monique had just got off the stage from an insane set. Here's her personal testimony to the event, what's new for the 90s idol and more.

You just command that stage so well, it's amazing!

  • Monique: Thank you!

So, I’m curious about new music! I know you released the EP Checkered Past in 2017 and it was awesome! I LOVE the title being old-school.

  • Yeah, thank you! I think you might like the title of the new one.

Oh yeah?

  • It’s going to be called The Silence Before The Upbeat.

I like it a lot! So, when are you guys going to have new music out?

  • I'm just putting on the finishing touches; we are doing pre-production right now. We're going to start recording in a couple weeks, so that should be done hopefully very soon. It's funny because I asked my manager for the last interview, I was like, “So what's our estimated release date?”

Yeah, you’re like, “Everyone is asking!”

  • Yeah, he goes, “Last year.”

That is a perfect answer.

  • I was like, you're a manager, that’s a manger-ey thing to say. [Laughs]

Exactly! Well, I know we are all excited for it.

  • Yeah, me too. I really am. I can’t wait for this to be over, so,that I can tour behind it and get on the road where I belong.

You really are amazing up there. I actually saw you guys both nights closing Irvine Meadows with Gwen.

  • Oh my god, those were great shows!

It was really was. And, I grew up going there.

  • Me too.

I know you said your first show was…

  • Duran Duran… no, no! I’m sorry, it was the Go-Go’s! My second show was Duran Duran.

Very nice! And, I know you did a lot of Oingo Boingo shows. You went to a lot of those.

  • I did, I went to a lot of the Halloween shows.

So, what was it like working with John (John Alva from Oingo Boingo)? Because, you’ve done it a couple of times now.

  • It was weird because I had worked with John on the Reel Big Fish record when I did “She Has A Girlfriend Now”. It was their first album or something. And then, like 20 years later, I called him and asked, “Do you remember me?” He’s like, “Of course, I remember you. You know, how could I forget you.” It’s just who John is though. He's just a very real, loving, wonderful person. And, working with him, I really felt heard and respected which was very new for me in the studio.

What’s the writing process like for you now compared to before?

  • [Sighs] It's always torturous. You know, Brian and I would write together in the past and Brian would also write most of the song. And, so when we did that EP, it was definitely at least a year of me trying to figure out how to do this on my own.
  • I just try and come from a very real place. But, also with our fans in mind first. For me, it's like a little bit more methodical or a little bit more calculated. Or, you know, there’s more of an equation to how I write Save Ferris songs. You know, it just comes when it comes. But, I also like collaborating! So, I’ve been collaborating with a couple people on this record. Writing is a very exposed sort of thing for me. I feel really vulnerable. So, I’m a little bit weird about who I write with and stuff like that. I don’t know why… I feel very open when I’m doing that. I have to be around people who understand that.

And trust.

  • Yeah. I have to be able to trust.

Tell me a little bit about how you got involved with Sidewalk Project, the non-profit homeless organization in Los Angeles?

  • So, Soma Snakeoil is one of my closest friends, who I love very much and we spend a lot of time together. We've done some political actions together and I'm a huge fan of everything she does. So, it was just natural to jump in on the Sidewalk Project stuff with her because I support everything she does.

It is a great cause.

  • It’s incredible what they've done!

In such a short time, too.

  • Oh my god! It's catching on like wildfire. These women have done something so incredible. They're changing so many lives.

They definitely are. It’s amazing, a big strong group of women coming together and helping a community like that. It's exactly what we need right now.

  • Yeah, It’s just so beautiful. My life has changed so much just by being around these women. I feel loved and supported and heard. And, like I'm a part of this great family. It’s wonderful and I feel so lucky to have found all of them.

Do you think you are going to collaborate with Bad Cop Bad Cop at all?

  • Oh my god! I would so love to.

Wouldn’t that be awesome?! You with them!

  • I haven’t even thought about that! I mean, we have to. But, I've been talking to Tim Armstrong and Jesse from Operation Ivy; we keep talking about writing songs together. What I really want to write is an anthem and have a bunch of women sing on it with me.

Your Sidewalk Project girls.

  • It could great. Right now, I’m figuring out the direction I want to come from. The thing I like about Sidewalk Project it is that it was started by a bunch of women, but it's inclusive. They're very inclusive of everyone and they make everybody feel important. It doesn’t matter who you are. I really like that and I’d like to write a song that does that, as well.

That would be awesome! I just got involved with this project down in San Diego and it’s called Our Unsung Minds.

  • Oooh, what’s that?

It’s a photography project on mental health bringing to light mental health, not keeping it under the shadows anymore and the social anxiety that exists for people. So, I hit up some of my bands in the music world and am getting them involved. I'm excited to hit up like Stacey and I'm going to bug you too!

  • Yeah, for sure. I've actually been fairly active in that. My friend Derek Hess — there's a documentary about him called Forced Perspective. He has struggled with mental illness and addiction most of his life. He is a very good friend of mine and I'm actually in the movie for like a second. 'Oh, there she was!' That same filmmaker and I are working together to do a film about me.
  • I feel like I’ve grown up around mental illness and I’ve also had my own challenges and I think for women, in particular, there's just more stigma. And, back in the day, if [men] wanted to kill your career, all they had to do is call you crazy. You were done, if you were a woman. I never want to feel like I can’t be my authentic self because I’m afraid of…

 … your personality being too big.

  • Yeah. And I want to help dispel, like you were saying, the stigma around it. Particularly for women. I think it’s hard for us to come out because we don’t want anyone to think we are weak or fucked up or crazy or unpredictable. You know? Because, if they don’t like you, that’s what they say about you — 'she’s crazy'. If they don’t like you, 'Oh, dude, she’s whackado.'

Yup, when it’s just passion.

  • Yeah, that’s totally it! It’s like, God forbid, we express ourselves. She’s crazy. And, I have really been through it. When I brought the band back in 2013, I got a rash of shit for doing what all the other guys in this scene were doing. I’m the only original member and so are they. And, the first thing they did was go to TMZ and I remember the headline, “Monique Powell has lost her mind. She’s crazy.” I was terrified my career was over before it had started again. Then, I had to hire a publicist and give a response. The response was, “It’s my band now, bitches!”

[Laughing] I LOVE IT!

  • I can’t even believe that TMZ posted it. This was before 'Me Too' and stuff. So, it was still really difficult for me to feel supported in any way.

With your fans funding the album, I think you know we got your back, girl!

  • Oh yeah, I mean I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t do this if people didn’t want to see Save Ferris. All of these people were writing to me saying, “Please, come back.” And, all these women were like, “We really want you back… We really need you back.” At that point I was like, “Okay, it’s worth the fight.” I could’ve just given up.

Started over as something else.

  • But, they really wanted Save Ferris! As long as they want it, I’ll bring it! I’ll fight for you. I’ll fucking fight for you! Like Larry H. Parker, the lawyer on the commercial: “We’ll fight for you!” [Laughs] But, it was all worth it.

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/sitting-down-with-save-ferris-monique-powell

BeachLife Fest 2019: Day One | Top Shelf Reggae

Redondo Beach was taken by storm May 3rd-5th as the hottest new festival hit the beachfront sands! That's right, the inaugural BeachLife Festival was in full swing by noon Friday, with perfect weather, plenty of space to roam around, a stage on the sand, some of the biggest beach names on the ballad and a Ruby's restaurant open only to festivalgoers in the middle of it all. From SoCal heroes Slightly Stoopid to the east coasters Roots of Creation, reggae-rock met jam band vibes all day long (with musical legends in between). 

… Deadheads adorning tie-dye shirts were freaking and wiggling to familiar favorites…

Alinea preceeded island goddess Anuhea before the main stage kicked off with the aforementioned Roots of Creation, who naturally showcased remixed dubby jams off their Grateful Dub album. Considering Grateful Dead's Bob Weir was closing the night down, assembled Deadheads adorning tie-dye shirts were freaking and wiggling to familiar favorites as far as the eye could see. The smaller Riptide Stage near the entrance rarely stopped jamming, with groovy sounds of The Higgs wafting over the food trucks while Donavon Frankenreiter shredded on guitar next door on the sandy Lowtide Stage. Bruce Hornsby and his Noisemakers were next on the main Hightide Stage, bringing a mellow touch to the day while Sack Lunch geared up on the Riptide, sporting surfing celeb Rob Machado on guitar. Longtime reggae greats Steel Pulse were up next; their onstage antics are entertaining all on their own, let alone the long list of hits they've acquired over the years. Bassist Amlak even crawled his way through the VIP balcony mid-song for photo ops! Clayton Joseph Scott started just as the sun was beginning to set, as Chris Robinson (of The Black Crowes) launched into his As The Crow Flies set.

Wrapping up the Lowtide Stage was (initially) a Slightly Stoopid acoustic set… that is, until Bobby Weir grabbed a guitar to join the boys in a once-in-a-lifetime full band collab of Dead and Tom Petty songs. Soaring on Festival Cloud 9, Deadheads were lifted ever-higher by Weir & Wolf Bro's, chiming in at all the right audience participatory times to classic Dead songs. As Bobby brought Day One to a close, attendees realized it was only 9pm, meaning it was time to after party on the pier! Day Two and Three promised even more fun, prompting some attendees to be smart and opt for bed. Regardless of late night destination, all were ready to continue the party the next day. Coverage of Day Two and Three are to come, so stay tuned! 

Photography by Kristy Rose

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/beachlife-fest-2019-day-one

Back To The Beach 2019: Day One | Top Shelf Reggae

The KROQ 2nd Annual Back To The Beach Festival hosted an approximate 37,000 fans who packed the beach in Huntington Beach, CA on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 29. Festival co-creators Travis Barker (of blink-182) and John Feldmann (of Goldfinger) hosted a family-friendly event, bringing back fan favorite acts for a fabulously fun weekend.

… fan favorite acts for a fabulously fun weekend.

Saturday kicked off with The Drowns, who got the crowd warmed up. Following was British favorites The English Beat led by Dave Wakeling, who paid tribute to their recently passed bandmate, Ranking Roger. Next up was hometown favorite Save Ferris, with Monique taking command of the stage. When The Aquabats took to the stage, Aquacadets were out in full force. The lineup also included ska-lebrities Streetlight Manifesto and Reel Big Fish before festival co-producer bands Goldfinger and blink-182 closed down the night alongside extra special guests. Stay tuned for Back To The Beach 2019's Day Two photo gallery, coming soon! 

Recap by Jenni Lynne; Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/back-to-the-beach-2019-day-one

Surf’s up, buns out at the first ever BeachLife Festival | Top Shelf Reggae

BeachLife Festival’s inaugural weekend spanned May 3rd-5th, 2019 and was as cool as the California breeze with an organic, laid back atmosphere, a stacked lineup and weather like you couldn't imagine. Redondo Beach’s seaside lagoon location was primo for catching rays, indulging in delicious food, making friends and, obviously, dancing like there’s no tomorrow. The weekend featured an exciting blend of artists, ranging from reggae legends like Ziggy Marley, Steel Pulse and San Diego’s Slightly Stoopid to timeless headliners Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys), Bob Weir and Willie Nelson, as well as up-and-coming superstars like Grace Potter, Tomorrows Bad Seeds and many more.

BeachLife wins the official Top Shelf seal of approval!

The sets seemed to flow cohesively from one stage to the next. I’d saunter from the smaller Riptide Stage at the entrance to the Lowtide Stage, toes in the sand, with the perfect amount of overlap so that the music never stopped. I didn’t feel rushed, as I skipped happily to the grassy Hightide Stage to see the next group of icons play. The areas were spacious and free-flowing so that everyone had room to spin and dance, and bands — no matter how early a set — played to an overwhelming crowd who had plenty of empty space to move. A win-win for everyone involved. Things kicked off Friday with the sweet smell of paella and sunscreen radiating through the salty air, as crowds sailed rather graciously through the gate lines with little wait time and big grins. Roots Of Creation played mid-afternoon as I hula-hooped my heart out to the unique rootsy twist they throw on old Grateful Dead favorites, like “China Cat Sunflower”. Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes also took the stage Friday evening, kicking things up a notch with his spin-off band, As The Crow Flies.

After Steel Pulse delivered their signature playful reggae set, I had the pleasure of sitting down with them to discuss their upcoming album Mass Manipulation and more! Watch for the interview coming soon and still feel so blessed to sit down alongside such legends. When Slightly Stoopid hit the Lowtide Stage, smoke was flying high and dancers were living large. I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear when Bob Weir made a special guest appearance on the Stoopid stage just minutes before his own set with the Wolf Bro’s that closed Friday night.

Saturday started with same enthusiasm and energy in a slightly different key. Berlin, Sugar Ray and Everclear took us back to the 90’s with alt classics that make you want to jump and twirl. Female-fronted bands like V Torres on the Riptide Stage and Best Coast on Lowtide rocked the boat! Taylor Hawkins (drummer of Foo Fighters) fronted up his cover band Chevy Metal, playing a once-in-a-lifetime Van Halen set, with a special guest appearance by Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson! And Violent Femmes, whose grill master banging percussion section gave it their all for the love of Rock-n-Roll and had me screaming “Carpe the Femme!!!” As Jason Mraz led a colorful, lowkey set over on the sand, let it be known that reggae-rock LA band Tomorrows Bad Seeds simply stole the entire show. A mosh pit even ensued! It’s safe to say no one wanted the party to end and, lucky for us, there was still one more day to go.

The same beautiful sun and pleasant breeze welcomed us on Day Three and since the site was so cozy, you spent much of the day running into the lovely friends you’d met before, all excited to discuss the talent you’d seen so far and giggle anxiously about the thrills still to come. Poncho Sanchez and Charlie Overbey kept it bluesy, soulful and a little bit country — a perfect fit for the chill Sunday afternoon. We all wanted to gear up for Willie Nelson and Family, anyway. Grace Potter took the Hightide Stage in the early afternoon with unmatched energy. “If you’re feeling a little chilly when that beach breeze comes in, I suggest you dance harder!!” She screamed into the mic before hopping up to her drummer for a real badass rock chick moment. Most patrons were members of the local community and walked, biked, or scooted in on Birds to the site, which really reeled in that beach town low-key feeling. Many, like myself, were barefoot in the sand or on the grass with blankets laid out enjoying the atmosphere and the opportunity to kick back and let go of our worries. Between Blues Traveler, Bighead Todd and, of course, Willie Nelson, the first ever BeachLife Festival was officially in the books.

Coming from the same production teams that give you KAABOO and One Love Cali Reggae Fest, it's no surprise that the weekend was smooth-sailing despite being a first year festival. Preparations for next year have already started taking place, so be sure to get in early and keep your ears and eyes open here for announcements, as BeachLife wins the official Top Shelf seal of approval!

Photography by Kristy Rose & Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/surfs-up-buns-out-at-the-first-ever-beachlife-festival

WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: Lea Love “Way I Am” | Top Shelf Reggae

SoCal songstress Lea Love is about to drop her much-anticipated EP and to celebrate, she is releasing the title track “Way I Am” here on Top Shelf Music! Available tomorrow on all digital outlets, Ms. Love showcases not only her vocal range, but her open persona. This is who she is, folks! With a catchy sing-along type of structure, the single unfolds with a reggae beat and Love singing that the whole world is “sellin' you a dream [although that's] not foolin' me”. Lea Love recognizes her roots as she's grown into herself, stating she “started with nothing but good vibes”. With confidence, Love stands as a female breakout artist that stays true to herself, no matter what the world throws her way.

Lea Love recognizes her roots as she's grown into herself…

Love comments on the creative process behind her new release: “I am excited to announce my very first EP, Way I Am, will be dropping June 14th! I can’t wait to share my music with you all. It has truly been a labor of love and it’s inspired by all my life experiences thus far. I’m excited to share this next chapter in my musical career and looking forward to where the journey takes me.”

Be the first to tune in and hear “Way I Am” via the exclusive link below and make sure to check out Lea Love's Way I Am EP out off Mensch House Records this June 14th. For more information on Lea Love, visit the links below.

Exclusive world premiere of Lea Love's “Way I Am” single:

Links: Facebook | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/world-track-premiere-lea-love-way-i-am

KROQ’s 2nd Annual Back To The Beach Festival | Top Shelf Reggae

The cool, cloudy southern California morning didn’t stop fans from packing the Huntington Beach sand for the 2nd Annual Back To The Beach Festival, presented by KROQ. With awesome food vendors, pop-up shops and play areas for kids and adults, everyone was having a blast! There were sand games, oversized beach chairs and a mechanical shark ride for adults. For kids, there was the “Lil Punk Zone” that had face painting and a mermaid interaction with a photo op. The kids were also entertained by a DJ and a band.

With the Pacific Ocean as the back drop, Day One was kicked off with Seattle-based The Drowns. This high-energy band engaged with the crowd, rallying them to some fist pumping along to their solid sound. Lead singer Aaron Rev noted, “Punk, ska, rock: we are all one family and this proves it.” In addition to dropping their new EP at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas in May, the band will be making their first appearance at PRB. Be sure to catch their set! Next up were British veterans The English Beat. Dave Wakeling and his full band played to a large gathering crowd. Wakeling’s voice was as strong as ever and the band amazing, while they played crowd favorites like “Save It For Later”, “Tenderness” and “Mirror in the Bathroom”. As they struggled through some sound issues, singer King Schascha and drummer Nucci Cantrell kept the crowd skanking. “It’s about peace, love and unity,” said Schascha. Wakeling and the band took a moment to pay homage to Ranking Roger, who passed on March 26th after battling cancer. RIP, Ranking Roger.

There were sand games, oversized beach chairs and a mechanical shark ride for adults.

Back for the second year and taking the stage by storm, Orange County favorites, Save Ferris were up next. Sexy as ever, ska queen Monique Powell quickly took command of the stage, playing to a sea of fans moving much like the ocean behind them. Along with her amazing band, they played “Spam”, “Mistaken” and “New Sound”. As the familiar sound of “Come On Eileen” rang across the beach, Monique demanded that everyone get up as a pit started. “Is anyone opposed to profanity?” Powell asked as they covered Dead Kennedy’s “Too Drunk To F*ck”, kicking up another rowdy pit. After, she reminisced on how her father who used to tell her after her performances, “Other than the cursing, you were wonderful.” Going through three sexy outfit changes on stage, the crowd was hooting and hollering. Be sure to be on the lookout for my interview with Ms. Monique, coming soon!

Returning for another year, the amazing Aquabats took to the stage in true form. Clowns joined them onstage, while Aquacadets, young and old, crowd surfed on inflatable pizza slices as a rowdy pit started up during “Pizza Day”. The band tossed out sliver shark inflatables for “Shark Fighter” and striped beach balls and donuts while playing “Pool Party”. Front man MC Bat Commander engaged with the crowd, showing them a great time. After having to cut their set short, The Aquabats made up for it by socializing and taking photos with their fans backstage.

New Jersey’s Streetlight Manifesto was welcomed to the stage by screaming fans. Carrying on the energy from The Aquabats, the band played “The Three of Us” as fans danced and sang along. Their ska punk, east coast sound got the pit going again. The band also played “Watch it Crash”, playing a great set for the thousands of fans spread out across the beach. Local favorites Reel Big Fish rocked the stage, as lead singer Aaron Barrett led the band through playing songs like “Everything Sucks”, “Sell Out” and “Beer”. Joining the band onstage was Taylor Morden, playing trumpet.  As fans packed the beach in all directions, the band also played “Your Guts”. Showing off his insane guitar playing, Barrett and the band closed out their set with their famous cover of “Take On Me” by A-Ha, leaving fans wanting more.

Festival co-producer John Feldmann and Goldfinger were up next, entertaining fans with covers of their favorite songs. Guest appearances onstage included Dave Wakeling, singing “Mirror in the Bathroom”. As the sun started to set, the band played “Amber” by 311 with Nick Hexum joining on guitar. Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome helped keep the crowd rocking to a cover of “Date Rape”, even covering “Song 2” by Blur. Closing out their set, the band played fan favorite “99 Red Balloons”. With the sun sliding into the ocean, blink-182 jumped right into “Dumpweed”. The crowd lost their minds, knowing they were going to be treated to the 20th Anniversary performance of Enema of the State, played in its entirety front to back. Many of the songs on the album haven’t been played since 1999, like the song “Anthem” — the final song of the album. Coming back for an awesome encore, with the other festival co-producer Travis Barker killing it on the drums, the band closed with “Feeling This”, “Bored to Death”, “The Rock Show” and “Damnit”.

As the sun shone down, fans returned to Huntington Beach for Day Two on Sunday, April 28th. Excited for another day of music and family fun, some kids were off playing in the sand, as parents made their way to the stage, some with children on their shoulders to check out the music. Starting out the day with more of a hard rock lineup, were UK transplants Lowlives. The band rocked the stage with their songs “Burn Forever” and “Black Hole”. Don’t miss this talented band of musicians at their upcoming show at The Roxy in LA on May 29th and their new EP Burn Forever coming out September 21st. Taking to the stage next was the impassioned Teenage Wrist, showcasing their grunge/alt/rock sound with Kamtrin Mohager’s strong voice emoting lyrics in songs, such as “Stoned, Alone”.

… an amazing weekend of ska, punk and rock all along the beautiful coast of southern California.

Story Of The Year came out playing everything from their fast and crazy punk songs all the way to their love songs. With their upcoming release of their concept album Wolves, the band was pumped to be playing for their fans just as their fans were stoked to see them again. Stealing the day, Less Than Jake brought the crowd to life and a ska sound back to the day, as they showed off their amazing horn section reflecting their ska roots. The crowd was pumped to hear all their favorite songs. Dan Campbell and The Wonder Years lit up the stage and got the crowd going, playing songs like “Sister Cities” and “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then”, while closing out their set with fan favorite “Came Out Swinging”.

Slowing the evening down was Anthony Green. Green’s indie/alt rock songs had the crowd swaying like the palm trees in the wind as they experienced his superb voice. Bringing John Feldman, from Goldfinger onstage to sing a few songs, the crowd was excited even further. Surprise number two was Travis Barker coming out to play on “Dear Child (I’ve Been Dying to Reach You).” Longtime fans flocked to the stage to see the NorCal pop-punk band The Story So Far. As the sun faded into the Pacific, the band kicked off their set with “Empty Space”, as their loyal fans heartfully sang along. The band also played a few new tracks from their album Proper Dose. Playing a 13-song set, the band initiated crowd surfers and a mosh pit with songs like “Heavy Gloom” and “Out of It”.

Anxious fans were ready for festival finalé, The Used. Kicking off their set with “Take It Away”, the band was also joined by percussionist Street Drum Corps on songs “The Bird And The Worm” and “Blood On My Hands.” John Feldman hopped onstage to cover Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” and Linkin Park's “Shadow Of The Day”, paying an emotional tribute to the late Chester Bennington. The band also met with longtime fan Kelvin, from the Livin’ The Dream Foundation and invited him on to the stage to sing along with them. The band was brought back out for an encore and performed “A Box Full Of Sharp Objects”, wrapping up an amazing weekend of ska, punk and rock all along the beautiful coast of southern California.

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/kroqs-2nd-annual-back-to-the-beach-festival

Julian Marley comments on new album, ‘As I Am’ | Top Shelf Reggae

It’s been 10 years since the release of Julian Marley’s GRAMMY-nominated album, Awake. When asked if he felt any pressure to release another GRAMMY-worthy album, he confidently said he was not. As the ninth child of Bob Marley, music has been such a huge part of his life that he is constantly making music that speaks to him. With such a long hiatus between albums and plenty of time to write, it’s no surprise that there are 17 tracks on the new album entitled As I Am.

'As I Am' calls to reggae lovers of all kinds…

As I Am calls to reggae lovers of all kinds, as it carries an amazing variation of style from traditional roots to dancehall. Julian Marley’s inspiration in writing and producing this album comes from his time spent living in Britain with his mother, as well as the times we are now living in, his love of nature and God, noting tracks like “Straighter Road”. “Straighter Road” happens to be one of my favorite songs that speaks to me about the state of the people in the world today, on a personal note. There are so many internal and external pressures, and staying grounded can sometimes be a challenge for us. When I asked Julian how he manages to stay grounded and positive, he stated that his connection with nature, music and God keeps him rooted in a positive place. His British influences came from the great music movement of the era that was coming out of the UK at the time, like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, R&B and Punk. Julian has been playing with his band, The Uprising, since the 90’s.

On this new album, Marley collaborates with Shaggy, Beenie Man and Spragga Benz. Over the years he has collaborated with brothers Damian and Stephen Marley, among other artists. When I asked if there is anyone he would like to collaborate with that he hasn’t yet, he replied that he doesn’t plan those things; they tend to happen naturally and organically. Julian Marley and The Uprising’s east coast tour kicks off next week in Virginia. Select venues will have VIP packages with the opportunity to meet the band. He said that fans can look forward to fun-filled evenings that include early entrances to meet Julian and The Uprising, JuJu Royal products and As I Am CDs.

Check out the new album below. If you’re on the east coast, it's time to get your tickets! And, stay tuned for the west coast tour announcement coming soon here on Top Shelf Music!

Purchase or stream As I Am album:

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/julian-marley-comments-on-new-album-as-i-am