Reggae band blends music, message

Published on November 11, 2012 by

Music can be amazing and inspirational at times. And at other times, not so much. Some people like it, many people love it and then there are those who just aren’t concerned about it.

Lately, I have been searching for music with more substance than just sounds — something or some group with social concepts engraved in their purpose, in their message to the world; artists who touch on ideas such as humanity and community as a whole entity. Artists who not only want to better themselves, but better society as well — upholding some kind of social message; creators who use their music as a voice of change integrating more than just art or a stage presence.

Recently, I found my self humming the lyrics to a song called “Courage to Grow.” The lyrics go something like, “You can gain the world for the price of your soul, but I hope you take the road less travelled” and later in the song…“So whether you want love or money. Good fortune or fame. You want a brand new car. You want the world to change. You better take some action right now.”

Those are positive vibes from a reggae band called Rebelution. The kick-back “worry free” lyrics come from an album called “Courage to Grow,” which was chosen as iTunes’ preference for Best Reggae Album in 2007.

Rebelution began in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2004. The performers are Eric Rachmany (vocals/guitar), Matt Velasquez (vocals/guitar), Rory Carey (keyboard), Welsey Finely (drums), Marley D Williams (bass), and Khris Royal (saxaphone, percussion, touring).
All of them met in college while in Alta Vista, a beachside community in Santa Barbara.

The group is celebrated for their creative melodies and socially conscious lyrics with proficient musicianship. Rebelution continues to create engaging and inspiring music that leaves fans with a sense of optimism and empowerment. The highly danceable sounds and kick-back vibrations can be liberating.

There are four studio albums: “Rebelution” (2006), “Courage to Grow” (2007), “Bright Side of Life” (2009) and “Peace of Mind” (2012). The group’s 2009 release of “Bright Side of Life” debuted at No. 54 on the Top 200.

On Jan. 10, the group released “Peace of Mind” through their own label, 87 Music, in cooperation with Controlled Substance Sounds Labs.

“Peace of Mind” upholds the band’s unique style while embracing creativity by blending new musical genres. A tasteful mixture of (saxophone) horns, some funky piano/keyboard parts, plus a pinch of hip-hop inspiration paves the way to a pleasant jazzy rock synthesis. The icing on the cake is the group’s substantial, encouraging lyrics by the people, for the people.

The songs are quite uplifting. It’s the kind of music you listen to to stay strong and keep a positive outlook.

All of us live in questions and get stuck in moments. We need to lean on each other for support in order to know we are not alone. We all have stories. Rebelution’s fresh funky beats and soulful songs capture that strength.

Rebelution is an up-and-coming band that resembles the sounds of musical artists such as Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, Emergency Service and even some bigger names such as Citizen Cope or Bob Marley. Even though all of these bands fit the reggae mold, each group creates original sounds. Similar to some of the bands listed above, Rebelution is not only appealing to reggae fans, but fans of all musical genres.

You, too, may begin to relax and enjoy the sounds of Rebelution. Check out a show! The band continuously tours across the United States and has toured in South America and Europe. It also has performed at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.

The band is currently touring across the country.

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