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WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: Robert Ranson “Lonely Eyes” | Top Shelf Reggae

Good things come to those who wait. In the case of Robert Ranson fans, the wait two decades in the making is finally coming to a close! Robert Ranson, a lover of music from an early age, has rocked the past 40 years performing in multiple bands and cover bands, yet has always transpired to produce his own solo album. Nearly 20 years ago, Ranson recorded an entire album that he deemed 'unready' to release onto the public. His unreadiness persisted until recently when he made the decision to re-record his entire debut album Still Dreaming, adding one new track to it along the way entitled “For You”. 

… Ranson coaxes salvation and the sense of finding oneself to listeners.

“My inspiration is found in the relationships, events, emotions and dreams that have been a part of my life,” Ranson recalls. “That said, I have written a number of songs for the sole purpose of creating a fictional story. However, even these stories are drawn from my personal experiences although they’re written from the storyteller’s perspective.” 

Sounds intriguing. With the album set to hit digital outlets July 20th, Ranson proffers a taste of his solo musical prowess in this world track premiere of the lead single “Lonely Eyes”! A song about using the tropical oasis of Jamaica to escape a failed relationship, Ranson coaxes salvation and the sense of finding oneself to listeners. With Afro-Cuban percussion, a jazzy bubble organ and a smooth Spanish guitar, Ranson croons “reggae beat and a Jamaican heat is what she came here for”. Time to turn up the fire, Caribbean style. Click below to be the first to hear it before the single hits digital outlets April 26th!

Exclusive world premiere of Robert Ranson's “Lonely Eyes” single:

Links: Facebook | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/world-track-premiere-robert-ranson-lonely-eyes

Life is Beautiful reveals jaw-dropping 2019 lineup | Top Shelf Reggae

Few festivals continue to best themselves year over year. Longtime fests such as Coachella and Bonnaroo make it seem easy, as the uptick of underground alternative artists to choose from climbs ever-higher. What can we say? Alt is in. One festival risen in the ranks to rival those longstanding legends is downtown Las Vegas' Life is Beautiful, a three-day September party that combines the thrill of Sin City with the awe and wonderment embedded in a world-class weekend of music. And, similar to 'Chella (et. Al), LIB is much more than just music.

It's all you could ask for. It's all encompassing. It's all happening once again at Life is Beautiful.

Taking up multiple city blocks of DTLV, Life is Beautiful welcomes attendees with interactive art sculptures, forward-thinking lectures and delectable A-grade cuisine. Cirque Du Soleil will be there. The House of Yes will be there. And, anyone who's had the priviledge of experiencing anything related to those mind-expanding, sensory-overloading entertainment enigmas will certainly enjoy their presence at LIB 2019. And, that's just two of the advertised acts alongside musical guests! As per always, Life is Beautiful 2019 is set the third weekend of September, landing on the 20th-22nd this fall, meaning that you now have the best chance to score tickets at the lowest prices when they go on sale tomorrow at 10am PT.

Before you whip out your wallet, I'm sure you want to know who's on the big reveal for 2019. Well, in case your Instagram feed hasn't alerted you already, does a Black Keys reunion show do anything for you? How about LIB veteran Chance The Rapper taking centerstage, as well as Post Malone, Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend and Zedd. Just those acts alone shine a light on how LIB incorporates a vast array of artists into the mix. Genres are a thing of the past — everyone's welcome now. That's one of Life is Beautiful's sayings, after all! Living up to their slogan, Lil Wayne will also be a part of 2019 on top of performances by Portugal. The Man, Rüfüs Du Sol, Janelle Monáe, Louis The Child, Lord Huron, Walk The Moon, Phantogram, Tash Sultana and almost too many more to list! Rap and hip hop meets alternative and mainstream meets rock and funk meets reggae and world. It's all you could ask for. It's all encompassing. It's all happening once again at Life is Beautiful.

As mentioned above, tickets for Life is Beautiful 2019 are about to go on sale for both general admission and VIP passes. Payment plans are further available for those who qualify, so don't think about missing out due to a strict budget. For more information or to hop on the ticket train when they go live, visit www.lifeisbeautiful.com.

Life is Beautiful 2018 Year in Review official video:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/life-is-beautiful-reveals-jaw-dropping-2019-lineup

Watch Sol Seed’s new video “Shades of Green” | Top Shelf Reggae

Voted Eugene Weekly’s “Best Band of Eugene” five years straight, the Oregon reggae-fusion group Sol Seed brings the message of their new single “Shades of Green” to life in their new Sugarshack produced music video released this week.

The clip mixes an energetic live performance by the band, with footage of the stark contrasts of city living versus beautiful shades of green in the mountains.

Vocalist and bassist Benny Pezzano states, “We give thanks every single day for the abundance of nature and beauty that the PNW provides for us. It's our muse for our single 'Shades of Green' and has shaped our perception of the world and how we want to live within it.”

Links: Spotify | Pandora | iTunes | Facebook | Instagram 

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/watch-sol-seeds-new-video-shades-of-green

Bret Bollinger and the Bad Habits at Discovery Ventura | Top Shelf Reggae

Ecstatic fans packed the Discovery in the quaint beach city of Ventura to feel the good vibes of Bret Bollinger and the Bad Habits. On tour to promote the album Lo-Fi, Bret alongside Tomorrows Bad Seed members Jeff, Dre and Patrick kept the energy high and the crowd bouncing. While playing new songs like “Sober”, “Unlucky” and “Mama”, they also played a few Pepper favorites like “Bring Me Along”, “Ashes” and a new song that just dropped with Stick Figure.

With the love of Ohana flowing through the room, Bret brought up Ventura local Kyle Smith to sing “Hit Me Up” and “Give It Up”, bringing down the house. Could there be a collaboration brewing? One is never disappointed by a Bret Bollinger and the Bad Habits show. With Bret’s smooth vocals, Jeff’s wicked guitar riffs, Dre’s funky bass and the animal Patrick on the drum kit, they keep you wanting more!

Photography by Jenni Lynne

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/bret-bollinger-and-the-bad-habits-at-discovery-ventura

Sabroso Taco Fest 2019: Day Two | Top Shelf Reggae

Day Two of Sabroso Taco Fest in Dana Point, California started off rocking right off the bat with Plague Vendor and Face to Face, in between Lucha Libre wrestling matches and mosh pits. The fest sponsored by Gringo Bandito hot sauce was packed with people, eager to see who would win the weekend's 'Best Taco' award at the end of the night. Lucha Libre body slams were in full swing as Black Flag and Descendents kept the pits circling.

Lucha Libre body slams were in full swing…

Before The Offspring took the stage to close the weekend down, vendor representatives lined up onstage alongside Jackass' Wee Man to reveal the winner of 'Best Taco'. The competition was steep, which was also the case of the taco-eating contest that followed immediately after. Gulping down water in between breaths, tacos were consumed at an astonishing rate! And, what better way to wash it all down than with The Offspring's spicy stage performance. Until next year, thanks for the inclusion, Sabroso Fest!

Photography by Heather Vandemark

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

WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: Soulfiya “Bush Doctor” ft. El Dusty | Top Shelf Reggae

Riverside, California might not be the first place you look to find legitimate reggae. Yet, Riverside rising star Soulfiya is about to leave his mark on the reggae genre with his Bush Doctor EP, coming to all digital outlets as of tomorrow! Tomorrow being April 20th, what better day to launch a musical tribute to the ever-growing marijuana movement than 420? Soulfiya teamed up with GRAMMY-nominated dub artist El Dusty for the album, rendering a final product with enough reverb to blow your car speakers out as you roll one up. Expect deep, bassy, booming vocals (similar to Alborosie) over Cumbia-meets-Caribbean instrumentals. 

… “Bush Doctor” is exactly what you need to complete your 420 celebration. 

To hype hitting stores (and the hazy holiday) tomorrow, Soulfiya premieres the album's title track today only on our site! Check out the world premiere below, with lyrics that burst into your ears “like an M16”. Soulfiya tributes the “Bush Doctor” for bringing the “healing of the nation” and with its Latin influences, inadvertently alludes that what Bob Marley began in Jamaica decades ago isn't isolated any longer. Marijuana, whether recreational or medical, is a human right. With a fun high-pitched outro, “Bush Doctor” is exactly what you need to complete your 420 celebration. So, give it a listen! For more information on Soulfiya or to snag his hot, new EP tomorrow, visit the links below.

Exclusive world premiere of Soulfiya's “Bush Doctor” (feat. El Dusty):

Links: Facebook | Instagram

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/world-track-premiere-soulfiya-bush-doctor-ft.-el-dusty

Reggae Rise Up Utah 2019 revealed | Top Shelf Reggae

Reggae Rise Up Utah (RRUU) has done it again! Pack your bags and get ready for the festival of all festivals from August 23-25, 2019. Set in the beautiful mountain range of Heber City, UT, River’s Edge Campground offers it all. I don’t know if you are as excited as I am, but after attending last year's festival, I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting! So, here it is!

Pack your bags and get ready for the festival of all festivals…

Friday, August 23rd starts off the weekend with a solid line up. Returning to RRUU are The Green Leefs kicking off the day, followed by Pacific Dub and Xiuhtezcatl, the latter of which just finished up a tour with Trevor Hall. RRUU veteran Mike Love returns, along with Morgan Heritage and fan favorite Collie Buddz who will light up the stage with Nahko and Medicine for the People following. Closing out the night will be Rebelution. Naturally.

If you’re staying on the grounds in a cabin, camping in a tent or in an RV, you will love the easy access to the venue. If you’re staying offsite, be sure to get there early on Saturday, August 24th to see Tribe of I, Summer Survivors and Kash’d Out. And, you won’t want to miss Ballyhoo!, Passafire and Iya Terra! Last will be the amazing sounds of The Green and Matisyahu, before Slightly Stoopid rounds out the evening. Stick around for a possible sighting of Don Carlos performing with the band!

As if that wasn’t enough amazing music at a venue set back in the mountains with a beautiful river running through it, the final night of RRUU does not disappoint! Kicking off the day will be Talia Keys, Herban Empire and The Elovators. Protoje, Twiddle and The Movement are set for the afternoon, while the weekend ends with powerful performances from Xavier Rudd, Stephen Marley and Dispatch.

Each night, after the headling band, local reggae bands will be performing to keep the party going. You never know just who might show up! With a variety of food trucks, craft breweries and vendors, be sure to bring your appetite and an extra bag for shopping! River’s Edge Campground is nestled in the valley of Heber City, with cabins, RV spots and tent camping along the Jordanelle Reservoir. For ticket prices and more information, visit www.reggaeriseuputah.com.

Reggae Rise Up Utah 2018 official after movie:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/reggae-rise-up-utah-2019-revealed

BeachLife artist Anuhea interviews | Top Shelf Reggae

Island reggae goddess Anuhea has been making major waves in the music industry for 10 solid years and the swell of her success isn't crashing down any time soon. With award nominations piling up for 2019, as well as a greatest hits compilation album and several mainland excursions, it's safe to say Anuhea is one woman continually on the rise. One such festival on the horizon happy to host the Hawaiian chanteuse among other reggae names is the premiere BeachLife Festival coming to Redondo Beach, California this May 3rd-5th, 2019. Ahead of the fest, Anuhea agreed to chat about what 'Beach Life' means to her, what she's excited about for summer and more. 

TSM: Regarding your music, your sound has grown so much over the years, from island vibes to edgy EDM. Your music encompasses a wide range. What influences you forward as an artist?

  • Anuhea: Oh my gosh. So, growing up in Hawaii, reggae has been really popular. Like, my dad used to listen to Bob Marley and all of those legends back in the day — Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, all of the classics. And, then you have Hawaii's own style of reggae, island music. A little more 'love song'-oriented… even some country influences too, because we have a lot of that paniolo — that Hawaiian cowboy style. Especially on Maui, where I'm from. So, that laidback, romantic love versions of reggae songs is what absolutely touches my heartstrings.
  • But, truly, I'm really inspired by everything. Disney movies, I know every single word to The Little Mermaid. All the N*SYNC, Backstreet Boys music… all of that stuff, too. And, then I went through my EDM phase, like when dubstep came out, I was right there in the rave scene with my glowsticks and all that. I have a little bit of everything inspiring what I create. And, then I have my acoustic guitar. It's the only main instrument that I play, so that always has a root to most of my songs, as well.

Well, that and your ukulele.

  • Yeah, I'm not as good on the uke, but I pretend to be.

Oh, no girl, you slay. Speaking of music, if you're into everything, what's in your heavy rotation right now?

  • I'm actually training for a half marathon, which is on Sunday. So, finally on Sunday, I'm going to get it over with! This is now my second one; it's been kicking my butt! But, the thing is, I've been needing to listen to uptempo hot music, so I go on whatever playlist on Spotify that's like a pop workout or a high-energy workout. A lot of Rihanna, a lot of Post Malone remixes, The Weeknd, all that popular pop stuff. Even rap. I like it all.

You make it sound like you're Rocky Balboa training, running up the steps!

  • [Laughing] I wish I could shout out a band right now, but I have not been listening to anything super new or gotten obsessed with a band in a while. So, I'm really excited for this training to be over and I can start relaxing and vibing into music.

Congrats and good luck, Sunday! I'm sure you're gonna kill it. Besides running and music, are there any other hidden passions that you have?

  • I'm passionate about my son. He's five years old and about to go into kindergarten. I've just been embracing this 'mother life' and doing my best to balance the tour life that I was living when I got pregnant. I was literally on a tour bus when I found out I was pregnant; I was at SXSW in Austin. So, that was kind of the life that he was born into. But, as he gets older and he's no longer a lap child on airplanes and stuff, I want to spend more time with him. Give him more stability, for sure. He comes with me on tour often or at least just for the summertime, he'll come and enjoy himself. I do pick and choose what kind of shows I do because of him nowadays, too. I love to do more family-friendly, all-ages stuff rather than a lot of the 21-and-over clubs that I used to do before I had him. So, he's affected my life in so many ways, in the best way.
  • And, in that same vein, I just started a foundation which is almost a non-profit. We're almost confirmed to become a non-profit and we're going to make that happen in the next couple weeks!

What is it regarding??

  • It's a non-profit for scholarships for Hawaii students to get into college. Or, any other sort of higher education. It's called the Aloha Always Foundation. It's on my website and you can see the mission. It's speaking to empower, educate and inspire Hawaii kids. We have humble beginnings. I'm just fundraising on my own, because we weren't a non-profit and I couldn't accept donations from others or anything yet. We are able to get five Hawaii kids scholarships. I accept applications, I have to research each one and I'm the one bawling my face off because each one is so amazing. They're so worthy. I can't wait to expand that passion of mine. My dad was a teacher, my grandma was a teacher, my great-grandma was a teacher. It's my way of living in their vibe without being a teacher myself.

That's so inspiring! And, you're a mom and you have a musical career and you're keeping up your health. What don't you do?

  • A lot!! But, thank you, I appreciate that.

And, touching on your website, I also noticed a blog. What's that about?

  • Oh yeah, that's been a new little thing of mine. It's been one of my New Year's resolutions. It's been 10 years now; this is the 10th year since I've had my first album out. I've been doing it a little longer… you know, coffeeshops and bars and stuff, so it's been longer than 10. But, my first album came out in 2009, so I kind of wanted to just switch it up. Do something a little different. I really want to start reaching out more, not just on a musical level, but a personal level. Almost like a talk show? I like to do the video aspects of it, as well. Anyway, I've been doing a weekly vlog that goes along with a blog for my website. People have been tuning in! It's been taking off. I get 5,000 — 6,000 views a week. I go post on my Instagram page and people open it to ask questions that I talk about, like Wine of the Week. I'll have a juicy story that we'll share or a funny story that happens to you on TV or something.

You're an open book and anyone can tune in! The raw Anuhea life. You have your son and marathon coming up, but you also have a tour! I know you're hitting BeachLife Festival shortly in southern California. As an island girl performing at BeachLife, what is your definition of 'Beach Life'?

  • That's a great name. I love the name and know the festival is in its first year, so I have a feeling it's going to be a successful one because so many things encompass that 'beach life'. I also went to college in southern California. So, California beach life — I've lived that, too. Taking bikes to board walks down in the OC or bar-hopping to cool live music is all a part of it. Not having to bundle up or wear warm clothes, letting the day turn into the night… it's all a part of that. And, of course, going into the water, surfing, that kind of lifestyle. That's Beach Life vibes.

You rep it hard, coming from Hawaii! You're actually pretty much the only female reggae artist on the entire lineup. How do you feel about that?

  • I'm very surprised, very honored! I know that there are a lot of female surfers on there. Willie Nelson is there, who has been a big influence on my life, so that's great. And, then the Grateful Dead, that whole legion of Deadheads who live on Maui, so that's a huge disconnect from anybody else on the bill. I love the diversity and I love that I'm a part of it for the first one.

And, you're one of the leading women of the reggae genre, anyway! Do you ever dwell on how it's a male-dominated genre and you're just rocking it in your own female-empowering way?

  • I mean, I feel like that's the case in so many careers in this world and that's what women are all striving for, equality. Wage equality and not letting the fact that we're female ever be a detriment to us in a business sense. And, that's why I'm taking a turn right now, 10 years in. I'm definitely looking at my music career as a business and I'm trying to maximize it for my future, for my son's future and set an example that it doesn't have to be that you're a 'starving musician'… you can really make it into a career for yourself. You can be smart about it. As women, we're smarter than men (I think all women are), so we can kick some major butt. We don't have to be touring in a van or have 10 people to one bed, like how some of these bands are doing it. It doesn't have to be like that. We can really rock it and live our best life as music breadwinners.

You're like a superhero. What's next for you?

  • I'm nominated for some big awards here in Hawaii! The Na Hoku Hanohano Awards is like Hawaii's version of the GRAMMYs. It's been 10 years since I won with my debut album. I was nominated a few times in between, but I never won. So, I'm really, really excited about this. I'm up for 'Female Vocalist of the Year' and 'Contemporary Album of the Year'. And, just a couple days ago, I found out I'm also nominated for 'Artist of the Year' in the Island Music Awards, which is one of our top radio station award shows. So, this is going to be a fun award year! I get to dress up and attend and stuff like that.
  • I also have a Best Of album that will be coming out in the fall! A lot of people nowadays don't buy albums; they just buy singles. But, some people do love CDs and I always find that when I go to my shows and I'm selling merch, people want that song off of that CD and that song off of that CD, so I'm just going to compile them together into one thick Best Of album. We're going to have it on vinyl, we're going to have new music videos to songs we haven't done videos for, even though they're 10 years old. We're going to do remixes of some old favorites. We've got some real cool stuff up our sleeves. I'm super excited about that!

Well, thank you so much! I'm looking forward to your performance at BeachLife coming up. Is there anything else you wish to say to fans?

  • Just thank you to everybody for so much support over the years! The highs and lows, the ebbs and flows, the pregnancies and taking a break and all that stuff. These people have stuck with me throughout the years and I just continue to try and entertain them.

For more on Anuhea, visit the links below:

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/beachlife-artist-anuhea-interviews

Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019: Day One | Top Shelf Reggae

Friday, March 15th began the Reggae Rise Up Florida 2019 weekend. It was sunny, warm and had a palpable excitement in the air. First up, Xperimento brought the island dance vibes on the SMKFLWR stage, about a 10-minute walk from the main Rise Up Stage. Following up the addictive melodies were local in Guerrilla Panic. Four out of four years performing on the main stage at RRU, Oceanstone brought great energy to a crowd still just getting situated. Meanwhile, back at the SMKFLWR Stage, Bret Bollinger was bringing a very sweaty, yet feverishly ready crowd his solo album LoFi in HiFi fashion. This performance was like an espresso shot to kickstart many of us who were lagging. Bollinger’s solo album is everything you want and more!

It was the perfect way to end Day One on such a high.

With that notably giant smile from ear to ear, Josh Heinrichs was up next on the Rise Up Stage. His performance was beautiful, as well as fun, and that balance is incredibly interesting. Keep in mind all throughout this three-day festival there was a third ‘unofficial stage’. Sugarshack blew us all away by going above and beyond what any of us expected. The team created a interactive stage out of their spot on vendors row. Acoustic sessions were not just a highlight, but a high point of each day. It was exciting to see who would crease the pop-up stage next!

SMKFLWR stage hosted Ms. Nattali Rize. For the second year, I got to witness a crowd stop dead in their tracks and listen. She is the type of performer that inspires you to do and BE better. Sticky Fingers gave a performance that caressed my soul. A huge highlight of my weekend and a bucket list band, many of us stood in awe. The band's live set is incredible and I don’t think they can do any wrong. Common Kings are known for addictive songs that lift you out of your seat. This day was of no exception. Pepper was another highlight set for me; this trio lives for live performances. The amount of energy, spirit and love they express and leave onstage is visibly seen on the faces in the crowd. Plus, KBong made an explosive appearance before his later Stick set!

It is not a surprise that after their over a 40-year reign, Steel Pulse still shows up. The word impressive is an understatement if describing these group of music men. With the night sky laying itself heavy overhead, I made my way back to the Rise Up Stage for the last and main performance of Day One. None other than Stick Figure could close out such a giant day. Cocoa the Tour Dog made her way to each corner of the stage, as if to greet us all. The band's energy was contagious. It was the perfect way to end Day One on such a high. Stay tuned for Day Two and Three to come!

Photography by Jay Cohen

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/reggae-rise-up-florida-2019-day-one

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