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The young guns of Boston reggae, Dubbest, release Light Flashes on July 7, 2015
Since 2009, Dubbest has been forging its own path through the heavily forested reggae landscape, expertly infusing roots traditionalism with a refreshing improvisational savvy that calls to mind not only the studio experimentation of pioneering dub producers Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock and Lee “Scratch” Perry but also the real-time exploration of jam bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish. As friends in high school, guitarist Andrew MacKenzie, singer/melodica player Ryan Thaxter , bassist Sean Craffey, guitarist Cory Mahoney, and drummer Kyle Hancock shared a love of pop-punk and ska, bonding over bands like Black Flag, until they caught wind of Augustus Pablo’s 1974 dub classic Ital Dub. This was the gamechanger that set the stage for their current musical approach: using introspective, spacious bass and drum grooves to anchor a thickly-textured interplay of instruments, vocals, and timbres. With their third album, Light Flashes, Dubbest is poised for national recognition.
Polished to perfection over a three-year period, Light Flashes invokes the spark of inspiration the band felt working with veteran producer Craig “Dubfader” Welsch of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant over at Rear Window Studios in Brookline, MA. As Andrew MacKenzie notes, “It is a powerful name to us, and it tends to catch one’s attention, like an actual flashing light. It’s a great fit for this album. The name and the artwork together help bring out the album’s edge.” They credit Welsch with taking their music to a higher level of musicianship and authenticity, noting how he draws out the best from each band member and employs a large stock of vintage instruments, such as a Hammond B3 organ and 1950s Fender Stratocasters, to convincingly evoke the 1970s glory days of roots reggae and dub. Kevin Metcalfe’s mastering work cemented this old-school sound: he has provided the finishing touch on albums by U.K.’s pop, rock, and reggae luminaries since the 1960s. On the musician front, the band was aided by stalwarts of the Boston scene, including Elliot Martin of John Brown’s Body on backing vocals and 10 Ft. Ganja Plant’s Mark Berney, Jared Sims, and Brian Thomas on horns and Steve D on synthesizer.
It takes just a few musicians and their instruments to start a reggae band. But to successfully bring that breezy island sound to a landlocked city such as Dallas, Texas requires something exceptional.
Bum Lucky was born out of the desire to cultivate a distinguished reggae music scene in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Being located far from the beaches and pot-friendly atmospheres where the genre thrives forced the four-piece to dig deeper in its songwriting and sound — a welcome challenge that thrust the music new heights and enticed bands such as Fortune Youth and Tribal Seeds to play alongside Bum Lucky in their hometown.
The band’s latest EP, Show Some Love, is founded in roots-rock reggae and dub, and tinged with elements from southern rock and blues. The result is a collection of songs as gritty as they are seductive — the music embodies a rebellious spirit that serves as both a call to action and remedy on the dancefloor.
This fresh approach has rewarded Bum Lucky opportunities to share the stage with bands such as the Original Wailers, Lee Scratch Perry, Katchafire, Groundation, the Expendables, the Movement, Sensamotion, Mishka, Tribal Seeds and Fortunate Youth, among others. They’ve been guests at esteemed festivals throughout the Southwest while touring on a rigorous schedule the last several years to spread the gospel of good tunes.
Saltwater Slide is a San Antonio-based reggae/rock band that has quickly become a staple in both local and regional circles. Those who are familiar with their music are accustomed to their positive, relatable lyrics, high energy live performances, and active contribution to their local community. You can catch the guys at their annual Reggae Beach Cleanup in Corpus Christi, their band-managed Adopt-A-Spot on Mulberry road in San Antonio, or at venues all throughout Texas and beyond.
Saltwater Slide has been inspired by acts like Fortunate Youth, Passafire, The Expanders, Arise Roots, Iya Terra, Tribal Seeds, Dubbest, Roots of a Rebellion, Pepper, The Skints, Rebelution, and more, although their unique style is hard to miss and harder to forget.
Sam's Burger Joint
330 East Grayson St
San Antonio , TX, 78215