with Simpkin Project, New Leaf, Synrgy
Thu Aug 12
with Simpkin Project, New Leaf, Synrgy
|Age:||Ages 21+ Only|
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Ticket Price: $15 advanced / $15 day of show / $27 reserved loft seating (loft seating is available over the phone or in person at our box office)
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.
The album maintains a fresh and fascinating feel with its contrasting blend of catchy uptempo crowdpleasers and dub instrumentals that manage to stay sunny. Thanks to the professionalism of its recording and arrangements, it stands out as a worthy successor to the greats of yesteryear who guide the band’s aesthetic: Toots and The Maytals, Augustus Pablo, and Gregory Isaacs, to name a few. Crowd favorite “One Thing” closes their shows, but starts the album on the right foot, establishing its dub vibration. The next two tracks, “Spend The Day” and “Weeping Heart,” create a radio-friendly one-two punch through energetic grooves, soulful melodies, and lyrics meant for singing into a lady love’s ear. Another love song, “End Of The Road,” is probably the album’s oldest track and one of many to feature a three-part horn section imported from ska, here as an expression of heightened emotion. On the track, “Give In,” the horns join the bass line to deliver raw power meant to be cranked at high volume. Keyboards take center stage on the space jam “Leaving,” the instrumental “Escape Route,” and the live-show staple “Cross Pollination.” Light Flashes closes with “Leave In Dub,” a track that proves why Welsch’s nickname is “Dubfader”; it also provides the perfect coda to the final song, “By Design,” driven by Elliott Martin’s stellar harmony vocals.
Dubbest has just launched an album release tour that will introduce them to the West Coast territory that put North American reggae on the map, home to heavy-hitters like Groundation, Slightly Stoopid, and Rebelution. Live shows give the band a chance to stretch their legs and revel in spontaneity. They like to expand the dub sections of songs to showcase each performer and surprise the crowd with obscure roots reggae tracks. As MacKenzie puts it, “It’s always an exciting show because you never know what we’ll play.” The combination of this in-the-moment energy with Light Flashes’s studio wizardry and songwriting prowess causes a combustion that propels the band’s musical journey toward timelessness.
Simpkin Project plays a multi-faceted blend of reggae and Americana that varies greatly on its exterior layers but only atop the organic rhythms of reggae music. Their sound has been described as “uncompromising… blend[ing] authentic roots rock rhythms with a wall-of-sound production style,” and the lyrical compositions of frontman Phil Simpkin range “from the simply truthful to the stirringly anthemic.” Their dedication and respect for reggae music is both seen and heard through their non-stop, enthusiastic live performances, songwriting style and studio recordings.
Rich guitar work that draws from influences in blues and rock ‘n’ roll is rarely in dull company, propelled steadily forward by the band’s thumping drums, bass and percussion, and the clockwork sound of rhythm guitar that defines Jamaica’s most culturally celebrated music. Their keyboard arrangements are lush and vibrant, providing a melodic backdrop against which three-part vocal harmonies shine brightly.
These pieces come together to form a kind of living machine comprised of six cogs that change shape and size and tempo, and it moves not only bodies on a dance floor, but the hearts and minds inside them.
Simpkin Project’s music can be likened to a dialect of its parent language – culturally adapted to make sense in its place and time. It is music that addresses the struggles we all face; showing us that there is beauty in all things, from love to loss to injustice, and thus remaining true to the messages of traditional roots-reggae without which it would not exist.
“We love reggae music period. It is what we were all raised on. Strictly roots, rock, reggae music. What other genre of music exists solely as the vehicle that carries within it messages of peace, positive vibes, respect, love, empowerment, and spiritualism?”
Danny (singer/songwriter) fronted Los Angeles based Reggae/Soul band INTERNATIONAL FARMERS who wrote two albums before he moved to Hawaii. After two years on the island, he moved to Carlsbad to become a rep for Stone Brewing Co. Scott Clayton, long time friend in the biz, came across him on Facebook one day & noticed he moved to the area. Knowing Danny's skills & style, Scott jumped at the opportunity to work on this project.
Scott & Jonam LeBlanc have been a drum & bass pair since 2008, 1st backing Ikaika Beamer, & next starting the band SHORELINE ROOTZ. Jonam started a family and went to golf academy; while Scott started a music booking agency. Scott, Jonam, and the original horns were all in Shoreline Rootz together.
In 2017 the original horns, the Brassholes moved on, but are always part of the project's roots. Jeff(trombone) has moved north near the bay area, and Carlos(trumpet) has his family focus. The horn section is represented by the talent of Jeff Dresser on saxophone, and Donny Carter playing both trumpet and trombone. Jah Mex completes the band bringing his experience on keys, back up vocals, and the melodica.
Fast forward and we've finally gained back the urge to create music like we used to with a couple new band mates & share it with our fans!
The name "New Leaf" derives from us all coming back to music after it taking a toll on us. Opening a new chapter in life, looking at things in a new & positive way, and starting over fresh is what New Leaf is all about. We feel our sounds reflect this way of thinking as we feel it's very unique & special.
SYNRGY is a Soul Rock Reggae group known for high energy live performances, consistently catchy tunes, and their tour heavy lifestyle.
With 3 full length albums (Live in Love, Synrgy Self Titled, and Dream On), 2 EP's (Lost and Found and Summertime) , and a very anticipated collaboration album in the works that will be mixed and mastered at Imperial Sounds Studios by EN Young of Tribal Seeds, SYNRGY continues to provide their loyal audiences with a very diverse musical catalog.
Their sound spans from traditional Roots Reggae to a smooth Soul Crooner's style that gives them an original flare while still being able to maintain the fundamentals of the Reggae music. Add some Rocksteady/Ska-esque influence, and some contemporary tones, and you have yourself a good idea of what to expect from SYNRGY.
They've got roots that span from the deserts of Arizona to the hills of Humboldt, from the Oregon Forests to So Cal Coastlines. Originating in Flagstaff AZ in 2007, the group has relocated several times. In 2008, the band moved to Humboldt County in Northern California. In 2011, they made another move up to Ashland in Southern Oregon. In 2015, the band moved to San Diego, CA area, settling just south of the border in beautiful Rosarito, Mexico, to continue to spread their uplifting musical message.
They've toured all over the United States, having played over a thousand shows in 20+ states and have been featured on festivals such as California Roots, Reggae On The River, Field Of Haze, Summer Meltdown ,Reggae On The Mountian, NW Roots Festival. They've played with bands like Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Iration, SOJA, Alborosie, Katchafire, House of Shem, Yellowman, Hirie, The Slackers, The Expanders, Indubious, The Simpkin Project, Jah Sun, Iya Terra, Ital Vibes and countless other artists.
SYNRGY continues to become a household name in the genre as one of the hardest working Reggae groups that are "On the Rise."