Pepper’s acoustic performance of “Around” | Top Shelf Reggae

Pepper from Kailua-Kona, HI performing their original song “Around” live at the Sugarshack Recording Compound in Bonita Springs, FL. Episode #246 of the Sugarshack Acoustic Live Music Series.

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/peppers-acoustic-performance-of-around

3rd Cali Roots 2018 lineup announced | Top Shelf Reggae

The holidays have come early, folks – the Cali Roots crew has released another artist announcement! Festival-lovers get to swallow another big bite of the 9th Annual California Roots rundown, just in time to add passes to their Christmas wish lists. If you have yet to consider Cali Roots as your Memorial Day destination this upcoming May 25-27th, this third announcement might just do the trick. Hold onto your hats.

Let the confetti fall from the ceiling: Year 9 Cali Roots is going to be insane in the membrane. 

Now, without further ado, let us tell you the latest artists to join Cali Roots 9. Amidst an already stacked lineup for 2018 is rap duo and official Cali Roots veterans Atmosphere, the band that launched the musical ‘DIY’ era Dispatch, and… a Marley?? That’s right, Stephen Marley is coming back to Monterey next May, along with Xavier Rudd, The Original Wailers, The Hip Abduction and Tropidelic. Dispatch is extremely intriguing, seeing as how they stand as not only devout humanitarians in their charity work, but also the band that kick-started ‘kickstarter’ mentality back in the Napster days. What would independent artists be without this Boston-based bellwether of a band? After being on hiatus for nearly a decade, the east coast legends are back in the tour circuit, ready to rock California Roots for the first time.

The first and second Cali Roots artist announcements came out in early October and mid-November, respectively, and consisted of some heavy-hitting reggae and hip hop names! Attached along with the third installment artists is Rebelution, Brother Ali, Fortunate Youth, The Green, The Movement, Trevor Hall, Anuhea, Slightly Stoopid, 311, Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy, Chronixx, HIRIE, Sammy J, J Boog, The Holdup, The Ries Brothers, Mike Love, Raging Fyah, and New Kingston. Let the confetti fall from the ceiling: Year 9 Cali Roots is going to be insane in the membrane. There's even a handful of current and past GRAMMY nominees in the mix.

Weekend passes are officially on sale, with early advance prices still in effect for both general admission and VIP packages. Single day tickets will soon be an option as well, for those that can’t swing all three-days. California Roots is proud to still be one of the best camping festival experiences, with onsite camping attached adjacent to the Bowl Stage. Just remember to leave the Monterey fairgrounds as you found it! And, word to the wise: download the Cali Roots app to map out your experience ahead of time. Stay tuned for the final artist announcement after the New Year, but in the meantime, check out www.californiarootsfest.com for everything Cali Roots.

Round 3 artist announcement video:

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/3rd-cali-roots-2018-lineup-announced

2018 GRAMMYS Best Reggae Album Nominees are in | Top Shelf Reggae

The GRAMMYS brings together performers, industry representatives, and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in musical recordings and performances from the previous year. The GRAMMYS are generally recognized as the highest honor given to musicians. This year is no exception. Not only are more reggae artists of different sub-genres being recognized, but more and more have been nominated, giving us all hope that the Recording Academy is working hard towards a wider spectrum.

Representing the reggae family for Best Reggae Album are:

The GRAMMYS are generally recognized as the highest honor given to musicians.

The 60th Annual GRAMMYS will air live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, January 28, 2018. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS at: 7:30–11 p.m. ET and 4:30–8 p.m. PT. The ceremony will recognize the best recordings, compositions and artists of the eligibility year, which runs from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017. The nominations were announced on November 28, 2017. The “pre-telecast” ceremony (officially named The Premiere Ceremony) will be held on the same day prior to the main ceremony.

Congratulations to all artists!

Flashback: Ziggy Marley Wins for Best Reggae Album | Acceptance Speech | 59th GRAMMYs

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/2018-grammys-best-reggae-album-nominees-are-in

One Love Cali Reggae Fest 2018 revealed | Top Shelf Reggae

It’s the most exciting Southern California event, and it’s officially taken shape – One Love Cali Reggae Fest 2018 is here, ladies and gentlemen! Back in its third year, One Love returns to the LBC bigger and badder than ever this upcoming February 10th and 11th, 2018. With breathtaking views of the Queen Mary ocean liner and Long Beach bay, One Love Cali Reggae Fest has quickly become the festival reggae-lovers simply cannot miss.

One Love Cali Reggae Fest has quickly become the festival reggae-lovers simply cannot miss.

Shortened down to only two days of three for 2018, One Lovers don’t have to worry they’re missing out ANYTHING. The lineup is one for the record books, and please be seated when you read who’s attached. Saturday – just the first day, mind you – will welcome to the stage Rebelution, Atmosphere, Iration, J Boog, Pepper, Matisyahu, Fortunate Youth, Collie Buddz… overwhelming, but wait, there’s more: Twiddle, The Movement, Ballyhoo!, Josh Heinrichs, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Jesse Royal… hold on, almost done: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Ooklah the Moc, The Holdup, Iya Terra, The Steppas, Brewfish, White Glove Service, Dubbest and Johnny Love. That is just Day ONE. If your jaw hasn’t dropped all the way through the floor yet, Day Two will do the trick.

Sunday is a little different, for there are a couple repeat (yet unique) performances! Iration will be back for round two, as will Matisyahu performing the set list from his Live at Stubb’s album. Double the trouble, double the fun – that’s the way One Love rolls! Repeats aside, Day Two also showcases Stick Figure, Common Kings, Tribal Seeds, The Green, Barrington Levy, Yellowman, The Original Wailers, Long Beach Dub All Stars, The Expanders, Nattali Rize, Mike Pinto, Arise Roots, Tyrone’s Jacket, For Peace Band, Jason J, LAW, Chris Boomer, Thicker Than Thieves, Tunnel Vision, Roots of Mine… and, oh yeah, headliner Nas with Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals as direct support. Mind blown.

Here’s the best part though – that’s not all. For those that want to start the party early, there’s an official pre-party on the boat Friday, February 9th featuring performances by Steel Pulse, The Expendables, Pacific Dub, Through the Roots and more. Um, yes please. Saturday concludes in a similar fashion aboard the Queen Mary with after-party jams by Easy Star All Stars performing Dub Side of the Moon and The Simpkin Project. Holy mother of good times, One Love Cali Reggae Fest is not messing around.

With two months and change to spare before the big weekend, tickets go on sale Saturday, December 2nd with general admission and VIP options available. The VIP experience stretches from weekend passes all the way to weekend cabanas, which come with two complimentary bottles per day with a $400 value, among a myriad of other perks. Not too shabby, considering the $7,200 price tag. You only live once, right? Even though missing one moment of this fest is almost inconceivable, there are single day ticket options for those that have to choose one day over the other. For more information on One Love 2018, visit www.onelovecalifest.com.

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/one-love-cali-reggae-fest-2018-revealed

Gisto to drop “OMW” LP | Top Shelf Reggae

Trap/hip hop artist Gisto is on his way to releasing his sophomore album OMW, exactly one year after his Orbitz EP blasted his career higher than his clientele. Stemming from critical acclaim even before his 2012 debut album dropped, Gisto’s hustling nature and dope beats have scored him stage time with some of the most notable names of rap and reggae, not to mention a 2010 Winter Olympics performance in his hometown of Vancouver. Now five years after his first full-length album, This Is It, Gisto is ready to double down with OMW out December 1st off Slammin Media.

OMW combines trap mentality, synthesizers and dancehall backbeats for the dreadlocked gangsters and dirty moneymakers in all of us.

OMW combines trap mentality, synthesizers and dancehall backbeats for the dreadlocked gangsters and dirty moneymakers in all of us. Don't believe yourself to be in either category? Your opinion is subject to change after tuning in. The album starts off with the title track: a ‘devil be damned’ trap track with vocal manipulation, a simple beat and a slight dubstep edge. After a hard day’s hustle, Gisto relishes in his reaping, for “no one can judge me, but God above”. And, speaking of deities, the track’s ethereal tonality provides the listener with an almost floating feeling, which plays into Gisto’s justifications for doing what he does – floating to the goddamn top. Following the same mindset comes track two, “DFWMF”; if ‘YOLO’ could ever be sassier, Gisto has found a way with this ‘I do what I want’ trap anthem (trapthem?). The album continues in this spoken word meets reverb fashion with songs like “All By Myself” and “Flip Em”, illuminating an almost stream of consciousness account of Canadian drug dealing. But, then, a twist! Gisto leads his listeners down a Xanny-bar rabbit hole only to hit them with… FEELINGS?? This plot point happens twice in the rundown: once at track five “Feelin Right Now”, and two at the end with track 10 and 11. Just when you’re comfortably numb, numb, na-numb too… Love ballads aside, Gisto also has a soft spot for momma, claiming that with all the trips, toys, champagne and women he’s going to have one day in “Billionaire”, he would first put in a celebratory call to mom. Coming from nothing takes a toll on people, especially when you crack the code with easy money. Would a hustler do it all again years down the line? Hindsight isn't always 20/20, as Gisto proffers in “One More Time”, even though regret is not particularly in his vocabulary either. Don’t believe him? He has a “Haters” track just for you.

OMW drops December 1st via Believe Distribution Services, and is already available for pre-order on iTunes. With a few shows booked for late January, fans can be sure Gisto will surface more often in 2018. He has to, right? You can't contain champagne bubbles once the bottle's popped. For more information, visit www.gistomusic.com.

Pre-order OMW album:

Track listing:

  1. OMW
  2. DMWMF (feat. D3)
  3. All By Myself
  4. Flip Em
  5. Feelin Right Now
  6. Haters (feat. Espliff)
  7. One More Time
  8. Billionaire
  9. Pure Energy
  10. One Of Us
  11. Whistler

Official “OMW” music video:

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/gisto-to-drop-omw-lp

Full Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018 lineup revealed | Top Shelf Reggae

The 4th annual fest in St. Petersburg, Florida just got a whole lot bigger! Following a partial rundown announcement for 2018, the Reggae Rise Up Florida crew decided why wait? Let’s lay down our lineup cards and reap the benefits of a reggae royal flush! As of this week, Reggae Rise Up Florida has been revealed in entirety… and what fest it will be. For the first year ever, 2018 Reggae Rise Up Florida will stretch three full days March 16th-18th in Vinoy Park; also novel this year are the super high-tech wristbands that act as currency if you load them right. Welcome to the future of festivals, Reggae Rise Up says, we'll make sure it’s a pleasant stay.

Welcome to the future of festivals, Reggae Rise Up says, we'll make sure it’s a pleasant stay.

At the beginning of the month, early bird artists were unveiled to get the hype going, including Rebelution, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Tribal Seeds, Jesse Royal, Mike Love, RDGLDGRN, Nattali Rize, New Kingston, Katastro, Iya Terra, Tropidelic, Jungle Man Sam and Summer Survivors. Well, RRUF thought to hell with waiting – ain’t nobody got time for that. So, without further ado, here’s the list of entertainers completing Reggae Rise Up Florida 2018: Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Easy Star All Stars, Matisyahu, J Boog, SOJA, Collie Buddz, The Expendables, Raging Fyah, Ozomatli, Sidereal, Resinated, Zander, Noneed, Badda Skat, and Kash’d Out. Holy mother of lineup heaven, RRUF 2018 is not messing around! What’s more, now that all the bands are out in the open, the RRUF crew thought they’d sweeten the deal with daily rundowns to accompany the full announcement. No longer do you have to guess which day you’d want to hit up next spring! Like you weren’t going to spring for the three-day pass, anyway…

Speaking of passes, general admission tickets for the 4th Annual are already available online, as well as VIP weekend packages. Since the fest is months away, tickets are still at their lowest price tier if you want to add it to your holiday shopping list. Single day and two-day tickets are also options, for those who are scared of commitment. For more information, visit www.reggaeriseupflorida.com.

Reggae Rise Up 2017 Official Aftermovie:

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/full-reggae-rise-up-florida-2018-lineup-revealed

Cali Roots announces 2018 round 2 artists | Top Shelf Reggae

The holidays come a little early for music lovers! In the form of artist announcements, reggae and hip hop enthusiasts wait patiently behind device screens to hear who will be featured at their fave festivals come the New Year. And, one fest in particular rings a little louder than the rest – that’s right, one of the flagships that started it all. California Roots Music and Arts Festival in Monterey, California stands as one of the first reggae festivals to truly take off, with attendance in the tens of thousands as of 2014 versus the meager 1,400 in Year One. As of October 4th, Year Nine officially took shape with the first artist announcement for Memorial Weekend 2018; as of today, that list grew substantially. Get ready to add California Roots 2018 passes to your Christmas wish lists…

Get ready to add California Roots 2018 passes to your Christmas wish lists…

Announcement #2 is a big one, revealing veteran headliner Rebelution back for 2018! What would the festival be without the band’s “bringing only good vibes” vibes? Also to join the rundown is newcomer Brother Ali, known for his spoken word and socially conscious lyrics. The Cali Roots stages also welcome back Fortunate Youth, The Green, The Movement, Trevor Hall and the enchanting island chanteuse herself, Miss Anuhea. This mixture of island reggae, Cali reggae and hip hop joins an already impressive lineup for Year Nine including Slightly Stoopid, 311, Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy, Chronixx, HIRIE, Sammy J, J Boog, The Holdup, The Ries Brothers, Mike Love, Raging Fyah and New Kingston.

One element that breaks the norm for the 9th Annual is that the Cali Roots crew has already started to unveil daily lineups. No more waiting to hear who’s playing what day! With Friday headliners yet to be declared and slots missing from the rest of the festival weekend, it’s hard to determine at this time which is the best day out of the bunch. Might as well opt for the three-day pass (you know you want to), which just so happens to go on sale November 18th at 4:20pm PST (naturally). By jumping on the early advance tickets, you’re guaranteed the best price. For more information, visit www.californiarootsfestival.com and stand by for the third and final California Roots announcement, coming soon.

Round 2 artist announcement video:

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/cali-roots-announces-2018-round-2-artists

A chat with Katchafire about their new single “Addicted” | Top Shelf Reggae

New Zealand eight-piece band and veterans in the reggae scene, Katchafire, just released an absolute beauty of a single from the long-awaited forthcoming album. Their first recording of 2017, titled “Addicted”, has finally been released.

“It’s sounding great to our ears and we can't wait to share the music with everybody.”

This track beautifully captures Katchafire’s signature sound and portrays a powerful love story. It has harmonies and head-bobbing rhythms that will take you beyond the world you know. Without saying, it also includes the signatures that make Katchafire the artist they are today, with a funky bass line, subtle and yet powerful horn section, and captivating vocals that only add to the soulful vibe of the track.

“The band and I are really excited about this chapter,” says Logan (lead vocalist). “We have been working hard to bring some new fire. It’s sounding great to our ears and we can't wait to share the music with everybody.”

The release of the single also comes with a music video. The music video itself is beautifully captured and goes along perfectly with the story of the song. “Addicted” is truly a song that speaks from the heart. Much of Logan’s lyrical content revolves around his loved ones, particularly how they relate to the itinerant life of a musician as mentioned in our interview with him below.

First off, we here at Top Shelf Reggae would like to congratulate you on the beautiful new single and video. Where do you find your inspiration for song writing?

All around, I like being home and well rested from the road and surrounded by loved ones.

What track on the new album is your favorite and why?

Hmmm, probably a track I call “Dub Dub Dub”. It talks about us digging in the trenches everyday for the last 20 years, helping to make this reggae thing global.

Please talk about, if you can, the collaborations on the album. 

I can't yet, but I'm in Jamaica next week, finishing touches on the album and I'm excited to work with an array of very talented people.

Describe your fondest memories making the new album?

I had a ball working with Steven Maxwell from our home studios over WhatsApp in different countries, and doing sessions all over the world in various studios.

How would you like someone to feel after listening to your album?

Up-full, feeling loved and re-energized.

Finally, what are you currently listening to on your down time?

“Lily Of Da Valley” Jesse Royal

Katchafire “Addicted” music video

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Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/a-chat-with-katchafire-about-their-new-single-addicted

Tatanka drops “Love Is Medicine” single | Top Shelf Reggae

Colorado-based band Tatanka is at it again, with all the bells and whistles coming out of the woodwork with their new single, “Love Is Medicine”. And, what would woodwork be without trees? Tatanka strikes a 420-friendly stance, layering even their most pop-influenced tracks with trippy, stoner dub and psychedelic sound effects. Back to that in a second. Sticks and stemming from critical acclaim as early as 2011, the Tatanka boys hit it big with their premiere self-titled album in 2014 and have hit the road ever since. Now three years later, the band is ready to debut some fresh jams to feed their semi-starved following. Fans got a first taste with “A Brighter Day” back in August; the second course in the Tatanka meal is planned to satiate the masses this November 10th off Roots Musician Records. Raise of hands – who’s got the munchies for Tatanka tunes??

Raise of hands – who’s got the munchies for Tatanka tunes??

We thought so. “Love Is Medicine” is about to be available on all digital outlets, so we’re going to tell you why it’s hot. Let’s preheat that oven (yes, more food analogies because you’re about to take one giant rip of awesome straight to the dome). The track showcases Tatanka’s love of mixing Caribbean rootsy riddims with electro synth like never before; it literally is a compilation of ALL SOUND. You’ve got echo. You’ve got Auto-Tune. You’ve got 80’s style synth keys and a bubble organ and a dubstep backbeat. Every element of the song is stitched together to tickle your brain. If the track was a weed strain, it would be Grand Daddy Scout Master OG Kush Berry Skunk Crack Widow Wreck. And, it would be a hybrid. Sound aside, the lyrics are just as green with “elevate your mind” being the central concept. The repeating “Girrl, I need your loving” in the chorus could be talking about a Mary or a Mary Jane… although all signs point to a literal POT-hole in Tatanka’s heart. Regardless the subject of Tatanka’s affection, one thing is certain: they sure love coming home from a long tour stretch to this “medicine”.

With an east coast Love Is Medicine Tour in their recent past, the band has returned home for what seems like a holiday hiatus. There are a few local shows around Denver for Tatanka fans to look forward to early next year, though! And, speaking of next year, these two singles are pointing toward big things for the band in 2018. For more information on Tatanka, visit www.tatankadub.com.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/tatanka-drops-love-is-medicine-single

The Ries Brothers “The View From Outside” album review | Top Shelf Reggae

To summarize early, this really is a genuinely attractive and overall smile-inducing set of 13 tracks from Florida’s The Ries Brothers. There are some really thought provoking lines scattered about the album; some of which will drift over you of course, but some which really do weave their way into your brain and are hugely relatable.

The Ries’s debut album The View From Outside displays much promise for the bluesy, reggae-rock genre of music. Think Jack White, meets John Mayer, meets Slightly Stoopid. This is an album that absolutely deserves multiple listens as there are so many pieces and idiosyncrasies it is impossible to truly digest them all from the first listen.

This is an album that absolutely deserves multiple listens

Plenty have tried and failed attempting to mix blues, rock and reggae into a coherent sound, but overall The Ries Brothers have delivered a solid effort. First track, “It’s Never Me” screeches out of the speakers with more than a hint of the raspy vocal sound of Charlie Ries before the screaming guitar riffs up the ante. Their cross-over style really comes to the foreground creating a consistent mix.

The track “Closer to You” is similarly captivating with a heavy melodic synth line vibe, complimenting a raging vocal delivery. The synth on this track shreds over an incredible drum beat that is relentless in pace and precision. The intensity and power of the music is unforgiving and the musicianship on display is incredible for such a young band.

The majority of studio work took place in St. Petersburg, Florida under the careful supervision of genre-bending veteran Ted Bowne of Passafire, who additionally assumes a guest appearance on “No Place I’d Rather Be.” The tracks featured in the album are a culmination of the brother’s past five years of songwriting. Sonic garnish came from the studio help of Kenny Bongos (percussion) of SOJA, Allon Sams (keys), and Kyle Schroeder (sax).

It’s a heartwarming and enjoyable album, and one which both lights up a rainy day but also inspires deep thought. Isn’t that exactly what music is meant to do?

Preview and download The View From Outside on

Track listing

  1. It’s Never Me
  2. Closer to You
  3. Street Lights
  4. Echoing Dream
  5. Neon Signs
  6. Run To The Sea
  7. The View From The Outside
  8. Sentimental Games
  9. No Place I’d Rather Be (ft. Ted Bowne of Passafire)
  10. Something
  11. Unrequited
  12. Without You
  13. Road Map

“Street Lights” – The Ries Brothers

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Release date: November 10, 2017 • Copyright: ℗© 2017 The Ries Brothers

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/the-ries-brothers-the-view-from-outside-album-review