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Sabroso Taco Fest 2019: Day One | Top Shelf Reggae

Holy Guacamole! Sabroso has been so successful over the years that the 6th Annual Sabroso Taco Festival turned into a two-day festival for 2019! This is 'nacho average' festival. Craft beer, ciders, tacos, Lucha Libre AND punk rock music! Gringo Bandito is the official sponsor for Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival. Dexter Holland, frontman for the headlining punk band, The Offspring, created the hot sauce for fun. Now, 10 years later, over a million bottles have sold around the world.

This is 'nacho average' festival.

Fans got a free commemorative Sabroso glass upon entering the gates Saturday, April 6th in Dana Point, California to fill as many times as they could between 1-4pm. The lines were stacked, but went quickly, enough to get quite a buzz going. Taco eateries competing for 'Best Taco' were throughout the venue. Everything was timed perfect, so you didn’t miss anything. In between bands, Lucha Libre wrestling was entertaining the fans. I may have called it 'Nacho Libre' a few times, I mean, we were at a taco festival. Serious fans love their Lucha Libre, cheering for their faves, wearing the masks and, of course, yelling at the referee.

Good Charlotte had to back out last minute, but we were pleasantly surprised with Adolescents to fill in with a little switch to set times. The Suicide Machines have a pretty big fan base. Jason Navarro went out in the crowd, greeted fans, jumped in the mosh pit and let the fans join in on vocals. Old school punk rock Strung Out, Lagwagon and Bad Religion all killed it onstage. I don’t know if there is a sweeter sound than the whole crowd singing in unison to punk rock songs, knowing every single word. I especially love hearing Bad Religion’s “Fuck You” sung loudly with everyone’s fingers in the air. Flogging Molly is an amazing, high energy, seven piece Irish-American punk band. Even if you don’t know a single song, you’re going to have fun at their show. You can’t help but move your body to this music. Mosh pits circled in the front and others doing do-si-do with their friends. Everyone was drunk and happy closing out Day One of Sabroso.

Stay tuned for Day Two with 'Best Taco' and 'Taco Eating Contest' winners!

Photography by Heather Vandemark

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

Kash’d Out drops “Weed Man” single feat. Edley Shine | Top Shelf Reggae

Florida reggae-rock band Kash'd Out is following up on their February single “Good At Gettin' By” with “Weed Man”, an ode to… well… the weed men of the world. Off LAW Records, like the band's debut album, the single features the talents of Edley Shine (of Born Jamericans) and addresses the fact that — albeit legal in some places — not all of America has jumped on the legalization train. Weed dealers still exist! Currently, 10 U.S. states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 34 have passed bills for medical use only. The march for marijuana is there, yet there is still a long ways to go.

Kash'd Out's “Weed Man” stands as a tribute to the herbal soldiers fighting the good fight…

What's special about this single is that it coincides with Kash'd Out's Sunshine State's decriminalization, a bill that passed several years prior. Florida citizens voted in favor of medical marijuana in 2016, yet the governor delayed its instigation, declaring any marijuana use a criminal offense. Fast forward three years and the bill to decriminalize finally launched into effectiveness as of March 15th. A step forward, yes, yet Florida residents still have to jump through hoops to gain a legitimate medical marijuana card in order to frequent the few dispensaries that have popped up over the past month. Good thing your friendly neighborhood weed dealer isn't going anywhere… at least not for the time being.

Despite Florida hopping on the 'weed for the public' campaign, some states still label any marijuana use or possession as a felony offense. We're looking at you, Idaho. Thus, Kash'd Out's “Weed Man” stands as a tribute to the herbal soldiers fighting the good fight out in the red state trenches till this pointless battle against weed is rendered outdated. To be honest, your weed dealer is reliable, there when you need him and “always got the fire on deck” according to Kash'd Out. Cheers to you, brother! With horns in the chorus and a cool guitar leading into the second verse, the track switches back and forth from Edley Shine (the self-appointed 'weed man') and Kash'd Out lead singer Greg Shields. Shine's deep, bassy voice contrasts with the sopranic vocal range of Shields in such a way that it instills harmony: a yin and yang of weed transactional symmetry. The weed dealer appreciates the business, the stony consumer appreciates the product. And, not only that, but the act of weed dealing embodies a personal element to it; when a dealer comes to your door (or vice versa), you bro down with him. He is your homie. Lest we forget this business has a humanitarian side… something which should be kept in mind when the industry transcends over to the corporate world. Dispensaries selling legal weed is great, but the relationship between stoner and dealer is one to be cherished. It's getting more rare by the day.

Kash'd Out celebrates the release of “Weed Man” with a 'Twas The Night Before 420 show in their hometown on, you guessed it, April 19th at The Abbey. Whether this single and its predecessor are paving the way to a new album has yet to be disclosed by the band. Let's hope so, since Kash'd Out is pumping out mucho fuego! For more information, visit the links below or www.kashdout.com.

Purchase or stream “Weed Man” single feat. Edley Shine:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/kashd-out-drops-weed-man-single-feat.-edley-shine

Trevor Hall at The Observatory OC | Top Shelf Reggae

It was a warm spring night as Trevor Hall’s villagers packed The Observatory in Santa Ana, California on Saturday April 6th for the magical final night of the Moon/Sun west coast tour. Hall brought his mix of Sanskrit chants, rock-reggae and folk-roots with his messages of love and healing.

The sold-out crowd loudly sang along, getting caught up in the spiritual journey that is a Trevor Hall show.

The sold-out crowd loudly sang along, getting caught up in the spiritual journey that is a Trevor Hall show. Young kids on parents’ shoulders singing along lifted the spirit of the night even higher. As Halls powerful voice and deep lyrics filled the room, Will Evans on guitar, Jordan Perlson on drums and Brian Lang on bass, completed Hall's unique sound. The band played fan favorites such as “Lime Tree”, “Jagadeesha” and “Where’s The Love”. They also shared their new song “Strength In One”.

Be sure to catch up with Trevor and the guys at Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia or when they return and start their east coast tour!

Photography by Jenni Lynne

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/trevor-hall-at-the-observatory-oc

Bumpin Uglies ‘Buzz’ EP review | Top Shelf Reggae

No time to stop in all aspects. Bumpin Uglies is a plethora of different music, yet they are for sure a fusion of reggae, punk and ska. Formed a little over a decade ago in Annapolis, this funky foursome has paved a dusty tour van path across the country since the band's formation in 2008. The newest EP, Buzz, is a six-song compilation released rather quickly after the crazy success of their 2018’s full-length album, Beast From the East. Since the jump, these guys — nay, men — have showcased their growth in their music. Past mistakes, dead end jobs, drinking to alleviate pain, loss (or lack of) family members, a cigarette after a long day… These are all familiar issues to each of us and they are just a few relatable things you can find on ANY BU album. That said, I do hear and feel a more adult pace, as well as lyrical content, in Buzz

… feel a more adult pace, as well as lyrical content, in Buzz. 

It is difficult to find lyrics that speak to everyone. Not having any gas is legitimately an issue and starts the song “Self-loathing”. The track's words create vulnerable, raw and frankly intimidating feelings. They are direct reflection of our own fears, emotions and insecurities like an old attic mirror. Along the reality check lines, working a dead end serving job is captured so perfectly in the song “Serving”. I would know…

Then, there’s the album's namesake “Buzz” with a big feature from their brothers in ridiculousness, Tropidelic. When you add some Trop to a record, just expect serious sounding brass. My favorite song is actually a ballad called “This Is Ours”. In dedication, I’m sure to his wife and their newborn son and first child. Brandon has the ability to make all of our shortcomings feel less debilitating verbally. Wolfie, TJ and Chad are each phenomenal musicians individually, but all together are a force. It’s like a taco — you need each ingredient for the best end result. BU is the defintion of an underdog band that has never let naysayers' opinions stifle the raging fire inside all four of these men.

Bumpin Uglies was a breakout performance last month in the sunshine state at Reggae Rise Up Florida, recently partnered with Ineffable Records and have numerous festivals on the calendar, as well as an upcoming tour coming at you. This EP is impressive and most definitely shows the guys maturing into who they are destined to be. If you have yet to check out Bumpin Uglies, I suggest you do so! Click the links below for the band's upcoming tour and festival listings. If you have NOT heard Buzz and would like to, just hop in… Next stop, Uglies Nation.

Purchase or stream Buzz EP:

Track listing:

  1. Locust Avenue
  2. Island Time
  3. Buzz
  4. Serving
  5. Self-loathing
  6. This is Us

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/bumpin-uglies-buzz-ep-review

San Diego Bayfest to bring reggae to Waterfront Park | Top Shelf Reggae

San Diego at the beginning of summer is a beautiful sight. Combine that with the biggest reggae-rock band in the business celebrating their success in their hometown and you have the makings of an epic summer kickoff party! Every time Slightly Stoopid has a hometown show, the whole city comes together; now compound that with the second biggest SD name, Tribal Seeds. Well, let's just say San Diego Bayfest 2019 has the right idea.

Every time Slightly Stoopid has a hometown show, the whole city comes together; now compound that with the second biggest SD name…

Presented by Music Box and DM Events, SD Bayfest is a one-day fest filled with music and more at the sweet waterfront location of San Diego's Embarcadero Marina Park North. Coastal, tropical and smackdab downtown, The Embarcadero is home to many a music festival, including 91x's Scallywag, EDM's CRSSD Fest among a myriad of other mixed genre events, so it's only natural that a full day dedicated to reggae-rock pops up from time to time.

Expected to host 7,000+ attendees, the premiere San Diego Bayfest will have tunes wafting out over the ocean breeze starting at noon on Saturday, June 1st, with sounds from Band of Gringos, HIRIE, Don Carlos, Fortunate Youth and, of course, the aforementioned industry giants Tribal Seeds and Slightly Stoopid. What would a Stoopid show be without the direct support of some of these quintessential bands, anyway?

Tickets are already on sale and you better be sure that this summer jam will sell out soon!  Don't just think it's about the music either; SD Bayfest plans to offer craft beverages and food from local vendors in between arts and crafts booths. Talk about keeping it local to the maximum! To grab your tickets now, visit www.sandiegobayfest.com.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/san-diego-bayfest-to-bring-reggae-to-waterfront-park

WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: SUNDUB “Burden of Love” | Top Shelf Reggae

Hailing from Brooklyn, the soulful sounds of SUNDUB are finally coming to streaming outlets tomorrow with their inaugural single “Burden of Love”! The track, off the band's forthcoming debut album, features the talents of Easy Star All-Stars' Chronic Horns and Larry McDonald, not to mention that it was mixed by Steel Pulse's Sidney Mills! Quite an impressive lineup, considering it's SUNDUB's first recorded release. Yet, this funky, groovy reggae band is far from the bottom of the totem pole, with the brother-sister team of Joanna and Ben Teters holding down the proverbial helm since the band's 2013 formation. Now, six years later, Top Shelf Reggae is proud to host the world premiere of “Burden of Love”, a single that shows off the band's unlimited potential they've had all along.

“Burden of Love” shines a light on the rush of emotions enveloping a budding relationship… yet forewarns that every rose has its thorns. 

With a danceable reggae beat and a cool guitar guiding the way, the track unfolds as an apprehensive love song (hence the title). “Burden of Love” shines a light on the rush of emotions enveloping a budding relationship… yet forewarns that every rose has its thorns. Sure, you want to cast aside “the doubts you've held onto” as you free fall into the unknown, but moving mountains for love also comes with a “price you will pay”. “When you love someone and you don't see their face… // When you wake up in a lonely place…,” Joanna sings, “That's the burden of love.” With gentle harmonized backup vocals delivering this missive, the chorus is as beautiful as it's bittersweet. A balance act, just like love.

Be the first to tune into this steamy hot jam before it hits digital outlets tomorrow by clicking the stream below! SUNDUB plans on releasing the full album mid-June, celebrating at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on June 13th. For more information on SUNDUB and their music, visit www.sundubmusic.com.

Exclusive world premiere of SUNDUB's “Burden of Love” single:

Links: FacebookInstagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/world-track-premiere-sundub-burden-of-love

Tribal Theory turns up the heat in “Midnight Getaway” single | Top Shelf Reggae

Well-balanced, genre-hopping bands are the best. Bringing a little hip hop, a little reggae and a little of everything else in between, San Diego band Tribal Theory pleases almost everyone, standing as a staple paving the way to the future of music. No exaggeration, Tribal Theory is the real deal. After the band's formation in 2005, the TT boys have racked up awards for their recorded releases one after the other, including “Best World Music Album of the Year” at the San Diego Music Awards in 2013. World music, you speculate? Yes, their diverse sound can even fit into that category.

Following a few lineup changes, the band is stronger than ever…

Following a few lineup changes, the band is stronger than ever, evidenced in the latest single “Midnight Getaway” that dropped on all digital outlets officially today. The song incorporates smooth rhythms, singalong lyrics and enough attitude to last all night (and then some). To women all dolled up at night with nowhere to go, why don't you ditch your absentee BF for a little debauchery Tribal Theory style. Hop in the whip for a “midnight prowl”, cruising top down and all out into the early hours, leaving your inhibitions in the dust. This snooze you lose, live-in-the-moment vibe is accentuated with Tribal Theory's signature easy-on-the-ears RnB harmonies, as well as the funky hip hop beat backing this bump-and-grind late night jam. The Tribal Theory boys aren't too devilish though, claiming “I ain't tryin' to serve up some controversy”; they're just taking advantage of being in the right place at the right time if the opportunity presents itself. So, question is, will you allow it? “It's the weekend” after all… indulge away, ladies. You know you want to.

Joining Tribal Theory on the track is Jeff Bernat and Rob $tone to generate the perfect blend of synth and substance. “Midnight Getaway” is currently climbing the online charts and is available to stream via the links below. With such a banging single right off the bat after a slight band hiatus, fans of Tribal Theory are eager to hear what's next. Another album? A summer tour? To be the first to know what's up Tribal Theory's smooth-talking sleeve, keep your eyes on www.tribaltheorymusic.com.

Purchase or stream “Midnight Getaway” single:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/tribal-theory-turns-up-the-heat-in-midnight-getaway-single

No Kings shines with ‘Steady Yourself’ EP | Top Shelf Reggae

Ocean Beach band No Kings is back in action with Steady Yourself, a brand new four-track EP! No Kings hit the ground running since their start in 2013, rolling out three recorded releases in three years. By 2015, the band pumped the brakes, slowing their roll to bring out the best in their music and four years later, boy, did they bring it. Steady Yourself exemplifies everything you want out of beach life: surf vibes, bar scenes and smoky memories. If you have never ventured south to San Diego's Ocean Beach community, then you might not understand the vortex that inhabitants can find themselves in there. 10 years can fly by to find yourself still sitting at the same bar running into the same friends. However, living the high life (literally) might render some reality checks, brought forth courtesy of No Kings.

'Steady Yourself' exemplifies everything you want out of beach life…

Steady Yourself starts out with the title track, a playful walking bass and a heavy guitar. Such differing tonalities allows the song's subject matter of drinking with a vengeance to be spelled out in sound form: we find it fun to beat ourselves up weekend after weekend. Why do we do poison ourselves with long night's out over and over? “Steady Yourself”, my friend, before you dive too far out the deep end. As you chiggity check yourself before you wreck yourself, take the time to pipe down on some fresh ganja with an old acquaintance. “Friendly Fire” suggests what better way to catch up with an old flame than some herb. Talk about rekindling the fire. Song number three, “Kooks' Revenge”, takes you on a wild instrumental ride, surf rock styley. With news reports advising people to stay indoors echoing in and out in psychedelic fashion, listeners get a glimpse into manic minds prowling the streets. And, last but not least, the EP ends with “On the Floor”, complete with a bubble organ and a ska beat. A muted trombone meanders the background as lyrics like “you know I catch myself slippin' up a time or two” set the scene for this upbeat party song. Finding yourself with the sun in your eyes wandering a “back alley” at God knows what time… who hasn't been there?

No Kings has outdone themselves once again, maintaining a positive outlook even if some of the songs come with lessons to learn. Steady Yourself is out now on all digital outlets and to commemorate its release, the OB boys are already on the road promoting it! Stretching from San Diego to San Francisco and back, you can catch this lively band in action throughout April. For more information, visit their shiny new website at www.nokingsband.com.

Purchase or stream Steady Yourself EP:

Track listing:

  1. Steady Yourself
  2. Friendly Fire
  3. Kooks' Revenge
  4. On the Floor

Links: FacebookInstagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/no-kings-shines-with-steady-yourself-ep

Attending Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019 | Top Shelf Reggae

Some people embark on trips and adventures alone or with family members. For some of us, a vacation is usually traveling for live music. I had far too many bags packed, yet was ready to set out on my short two-hour journey from southwest Florida to stunning St. Petersburg. Planes landing, parking garages filling, normally quaint streets draped in sticker-covered cars and the smell of sweet sensimilla and Nag Champa engulfing the oceanfront area (and about 50 miles surrounding)… Here we go, Day One of Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019.

It’s not déjà vu, just my third year in attendance. Mainly local artists were on site creating live and life-sized pieces, each making for the perfect selfie or group picture opportunity. When it comes to art and live artists, this festival has set the standard. Giving back to the incredibly receiving St. Pete community is big in the book of what this fest is all about. The ocean breeze engulfed my hair and sun blared down upon us as we finally made our way to good ol’ Vinoy Park. I wish someone had made a slow motion montage of the thousands of people walking the beautifully bold and old-fashioned brick streets towards the venue. It is such a magical place, man. Now onto the music. Xperimento opened up Day One on the SMKFLWR stage, which was located in the Bay Area of the park. The backdrop is the city of St. Pete with a giant port. This vibrant and spicy performance commanded my attention and made me dance instantly. Next up were the native jammers of Guerilla Panic on the same SMKFLWR stage, where the local love was shown as well as received. For the fourth year performing on the main Rise Up Stage, we welcomed another group from St. Petersburg — Oceanstone. These guys show lots of love to their fans and I strongly suggest catching a live show!

Here we go, Day One of Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019.

It was time to run over with a certain 7-year-old to shoot Bret Bollinger of Pepper. Be sure to check out his solo album LoFi out now! The new album is amazing and catching this set was a must. A few hours before his band took to the main stage, Bollinger brought it HighFi to the SMKFLWR stage and to everyone in a five-mile radius. The one and only Josh Heinrichs set out spreading his mission of love and quality vibrations. I have never seen this guy with anything but a gigantic smile on his face. This area, St. Pete, always has a warm welcome for Josh and this festival is no exception; sets like his are the main reason I wish I had someone to love on while the music intoxicates the crowd around me. Next on the Rise Up Stage was a band I didn’t think I would ever get to see. Sticky Fingers was the biggest highlight of the entire festival for me, other than JJ, the 7-year-old photographer in the pit beside me. Sticky Fingers definitely took me to another place while opening up with one of the best, “Land Of Pleasure”. They played a little bit of everything and, by everything, I mean nothing but the best. The breeze from the ocean 50 yards away was welcomed by all and the set was perfection.

Back at the SMKFLWR stage, I stumbled on Ms. Nattali Rize enlightening everyone in sight. She places her soul on a platter, performing with wisdom and intellect against the rise of Babylon and any forms of discord and dislike. She makes you feel grounded and that is everything. I took on a second solo photographer at that time out of Orlando, Florida. He is tight with most of the bands and accepts the role I’ve given him as unofficial weekend ‘Top Shelf Reggae Rep’. As we approached the photo pit, the crowd was roaring and ready. Leaving it all on stage with a special appearance from KBong, Pepper got the crowd amped to an incredible high. These guys are so fun; you don’t just watch them, you vibe with them and feel like you're at a party. Bret Bollinger brought my little assistant photographer onstage and had the crowd show him love. It was pretty outstanding and I couldn’t help but think I was slightly outshined, lol. Access backstage for one song turned into the entire weekend for my kid assistant.

Common Kings followed with their slick lyrical styling, paired with incredible melodic and musical tempo. The SMKFLWR stage was getting a beating and it was from all of the funk. 40 years and still going hard, Steel Pulse hit the SMKFLWR stage with the calm of a new moon. Not one person over by the oceanfront stage was unhappy during this set. At this point, I looked up and realized some of the most timeless roots reggae music was speaking soundly with strength through the palms. Amen to these OG’s and take note artists just starting out expecting the world and then some — stay humble. I then spoke with a couple I met at the Stick & Movement NYE show in Orlando who are both now in their 70’s and think catching Stick Figure live is their idea of a great date night. Can you say relationship goals?! While the sun had fully set into the water's horizon, the stage lights began to dance and Cocoa the Tour Dog entered out to the sold-out crowd of thousands. It was a magical set and all I could see for what seemed like miles was “Smiles On Faces”. Stick Figure is a game-changer if you need some chill in your life. Just incredible, as always. Sun kissed and exhausted, zombie-like hippies lined the streets heading back to our hotels, Airbnb’s, couches, floors and hommocks. The real champs attended afterparties while I enjoyed an incredible bed early in preparation for Day Two.

The second day began with a shower and a strong cup of Café Bustelo®. I checked my gear and waited as most of my equipment charged. I mentally reminded myself to be in the moment. Those go by so quickly. My friend stayed behind as I left on the six-minute walk to the park from my Airbnb. I saw so many great people in that six minutes that I wish RRUF was once every season. Getting in the festival gates early gives you a great opportunity to check out the environment, artists, vendors and talk with festival workers. Vinoy has some of the best security, (shout out)!!

Day Two started off with Artikal Sound System on the SMKFLWR Stage — a beautiful visual and musical performance. I always enjoy seeing an artist in a trance grooving to their own music. Be on the look out for this band! I find them extremely intruiging and all the ingredients are there. The next set was one of the coolest things most of us had ever seen. In case you don't remember who these beach bum rockers were from the weekend, maybe lead singer J Kool’s backflip from a tent top on the stage may help jog your memory, stoner. Serenation are locals who just rock. The amount of energy they bring makes it so hard to look away. If you missed J Kool step it up once again by crowdsurfing for what seemed like five minutes, then you missed, hands down, one of the best sets all weekend. I love this band. By the way, the bassist is a badass chick who holds them all down. Get it, girl! 

The sea of people went on and on until it reached the actual ocean.

Another band with the four year RRUF Alumni status is a group I know and love, Summer Survivors, out of Sarasota, FL. I’ve personally watched this lineup change over the years, but what they have now is 'it'. A new vivacious singer, a drummer with vibes for days and a contagious smile, and a guy who has never let any of it hit the ground. I totally suggest giving these Summer Survivors and the new stuff they are making a listen. I personally can’t wait. San Diego natives and friends, Through The Roots, took over the SMKFLWR stage for another ridiculously great performance. The set was smooth and crisp and reminded me that I need more TTR in my life. Arise Roots followed on the Rise Up Stage and gave an incredible live performance, too. I always try to catch these guys when they tour: such good people, vibes so sunny. 

Since both myself and my 7-year-old sidekick share the same favorite bands, we pushed through the sea of dreads and patchouli smoke to the best second stage I’ve ever seen. SMKFLWR, what’s up!! It was time for The Movement and we were ready. JJ and myself met two years ago on my birthday during their Sounds Of Summer tour. He was then five with headphones on and the son of some of my favorite music family members. That didn't stop him from being front and center, riding the rail in his mom's arms and jamming to none other than The Movement. We kept in touch and always talked shop (camera stuff) at shows. He’s usually captured sitting on the rail in many of my shots. Anyway, JJ went backstage (since every band gave him all access) and asked Joshua Swain, MVMT’s lead singer, if him and myself could have all access for the set. Josh agreed. Thanks again, JJ! The set incorporated some stuff off of the Golden album and some new tracks like “Siren” and “Cool Me Down”. When you looked out at the crowd, you saw a sea of people and not an available spot in sight. The sea of people went on and on until it reached the actual ocean. So, I guess you could say the crowd was neverending. Needless to say, the boys blew all of us away and Matt Goodwin offered up a guitar solo at the end that was so fucking nuts. Congrats guys, what a set.

There’s something about an honest and open woman that is such a beautiful and empowering thing. Some may even call that woman a queen… or Patricia Jetton, leader of an incredible band of loveable misfits and otherwise known as HiRiE. In six-inch heels and with daughter, Beija, watching intensely, HIRIE moved a crowd of people off their feet. Not only is the music she and the guys make real, intense and unapologetic, it is also five star. HIRIE took time from her set to touch on mental health, addiction, love, loss and life as we have a female revolutionary on our hands. Never stop HIRIE, much love.

I have seen J Boog on a number of occasions and I truly feel each time is better than the last. Another heavy-hitting artist who simply coexist with others so cohesively. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good J Boog set. Ziggy Marley has a calming vibe that I very much appreciated as the sun went down and the wild things began coming out to play. There is a certain vibe and mystique to the Marley brothers and I find them, as well their individual performances, captivating. I have been listening to next duo since middle school and they sure did come out swinging. Method Man walked out first as Redman followed. They played back-to-back bangers, shared spliffs with the crowd and spit water at all of us. What if I told you I didn’t wash my hair and just re-straightened it? For some, that performance had to get cut short to head back over to the main stage to see another favorite and groundbreaking band, Slighty Stoopid.  The evening was made as soon as I saw the red solo cup get lifted up to cheers the crowd. Slightly Stoopid ignites a fire in many of us and it becomes more than just music. I left the pit and sat in a chair in the back for the remainder of the set. All I could think about was how lucky I was. Don Carlos made a very special appearance and brought with him a smile for days and a sequin jacket that made us all look sloppy. I stayed and talked with Cocoa for a little then made the short trip back to that comfy bed, legs feeling like solid tree trunks and I was off to sleep.

If you have read this far, you are correct in assuming I did not break my face this year (reference RRUF Day Two 2018). Day Three, otherwise known as St. Paddy’s Day, could not offer me enough caffeine. But, hey, JJ and myself had another full day ahead of us and we handled it like pros. The Honey Hounds surprised us all and, in the same token, gave us what we needed. A change-up. The band threw us a curveball and I definitely want to see more from them. I caught Tribe Of I with some friends and I could not stop saying how great they were! Now that I’ve heard them live, I’m spoiled. They're so good and the diversity was unique enough to catch my full blown attention. Hopefully, they set an east coast tour soon. Jah 9 was relaxing after a walk in the hot sun. The rain subsided for the weekend and we were grateful. Bumpin Uglies has grown so rapidly in size that someone in the crowd even held a “Play Dayman” sign. One of my faves out of Maryland, this band is what you should strive to be if you are in the pursuit of musical success. The set was insanely amazing: the crowd knew every word along with myself and it felt like home. No matter what type of music you like, you will never be able to deny the talent — musically and lyrically — that Uglies puts out. Check out their new EP Buzz out now and thank me later!

I thank you all for making this event grow more and more each year.

Since 2008, I’ve been ‘buzzin’ over Shwayze and his “Corona And Lime”-themed style. This was such a fun set and it definitely brought me back to a much simpler time. Keep touring, man, I loved it! All-around fan favorites was what was left of the RRUF19 lineup and the un-official St. Patrick’s Day band, Fortunate Youth, had a performance of a lifetime. Equipped with a proposal of two wonderful souls, Fortunate Youth is one band that steadily brings love to the darkest of paths. Absolutely nothing was different about this performance. These guys are another group of kind and genuinely humble humans. The set was incredible and made my day.

The SMKFLWR stage was about to get its worst beaten yet as Iya Terra hit the stage. I have been following this band the longest and they have moved actual mountains in the three short years I have been a fan. Another set in which the crowd knew every single word and sang them all. Tribal Seeds put on a seamless performance for the second year in a row at the main Rise Up Stage. This band is predictable in the sense that they are always great; they own the music they play and have honed their craft to perfection, in my opinion. Shout out to their videographer and my personal friend, Jozer! His work is on point. Trevor Hall is for lovers. I don’t know what else to say on this topic. Talent like his is unparalled and you feel each emotion, each riff and each pause. When you feel the music… thank you, Mr. Hall.

As I left, I gave my best bud JJ the camera I had shot so many shows and monumental experiences with. I had named her Clementine about eight years back and told him she needed to be looked at, but worked fine. I gave him the camera and told him not to change her name. He agreed and smiled from his heart. Here’s to supporting each other. Closing up this wonderful time and so many’s lives was none other than Rebelution. I had to catch my Lyft home as Reb hit the stage, but I heard about three songs as I waited a little ways up the street. The stars were shining like they had something to prove and my mind was drifting to my home and the reality I had waiting for me. I thank you all for making this event grow more and more each year. I thank you for your smiles and laughs, your stories and triumphs, as well as the hardships and raw honesty. Until next time, Reggae Rise Up 2019 is a wrap.

Photography by Jay Cohen

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

Stephen Marley at LA’s The Roxy Theatre | Top Shelf Reggae

On Tuesday evening of March 26th in The Roxy Theatre (West Hollywood), there was barely room to breathe. The audience was waiting anxiously for eight-time GRAMMY-winner Stephen Marley to begin the show. It was sold out and the crowd was absolutely excited. As soon as the performance started, they were immersed in an astonishing atmosphere.

Stephen Marley and his band filled everyone with inspiring energy…

Stephen Marley, proud son of legendary Bob Marley, and his band emitted vibes of freedom, positivity and love during the whole evening. The audience reciprocated singing every word, harking to the music, shouting in chorus. Standing in the crowd, one could experience something intimate at the same time. 

Stephen Marley and his band filled everyone with inspiring energy performing legendary songs and this evening couldn’t be more magical.

Photography by Julia Kovaleva

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/stephen-marley-at-las-the-roxy