Check this page for updates and announcements from Easy Star.
August 21, 2012JBB IN DUB EP OUT SEPTEMBER 18
"It's been four years since groundbreaking reggae band John Brown's Body last put out a record, 2008's Amplify, which debuted at number one on Billboard's Reggae Chart. The wait for new music is over, as the octet will release an EP of mostly instrumental dub, JBB In Dub, on September 18th. Two days later the band kicks off their fall U.S. tour at One Pelham East in Newport, RI. The four-week tour will span the Northeast, the West Coast, and Colorado.
Once again working with their longtime label Easy Star Records, John Brown's Body has focused this latest release on dubs that reflect both their foundations in classic reggae drum and bass-style music and their usual progressive approaches to the genre. JBB In Dub features six dubs, plus "The Grass," featuring vocals from front man Elliot Martin. The songs were mixed in Boston by former JBB engineer and current 10 Ft. Ganja Plant member Craig "Dub Fader" Welsch (State Radio, The Aggrolites) at his studio.
The band has posted the song "Wellington" for free download on their Facebook page, so fans can get a taste of the new music.
Quote from drummer Tommy Benedetti:
"This will be the first time we have brought some of the heavy dub explorations of our live show into a studio setting. We put together a set of brand new songs, classic JBB dubs that have never been recorded, and a new version of our fan-favorite "The Grass." After seven full-length albums, this EP represents a unique sound for us, and we can't wait for people to dig into it!"
When it was released, Amplify was praised by All Music Guide as having "some of the most gorgeous melodies in all of modern reggae music." It was followed by a remix EP, Re-Amplify (2009), while the band continued their usual heavy touring schedule. In the past four years, JBB completed first-ever tours of New Zealand, the UK, and Europe. Based in Boston, Ithaca and Brooklyn, NY, the eight-piece band has already begun recording a new full-length studio album, slated for release in 2013.
For a full list of tour dates, visit JBB's website. " More info »
August 08, 2012R.I.P. SLUGGY RANKS
"We are very sad to hear of the passing of another member of the Easy Star family, Andrew Gregory, known to most as Sluggy Ranks. He was killed in an auto accident in Kingston, JA on July 29th. Sluggy appeared on our very first album, Easy Star Volume One, with the stand out cut, "Ethiopia," and he was known to many more of our fans from his vital contribution to Dub Side of the Moon - lead vocals on the first song on the album, "Breathe." We send our condolences to his family, friends and fans worldwide. We will miss him. " More info »
July 10, 2012BILLIE JEAN EP AVAILABLE NOW
"As the anticipation builds for the upcoming release on August 28, 2012, of Easy Star's Thrillah, Easy Star Records is excited to release the digital-only Billie Jean EP via iTunes including two tracks off the album: "Billie Jean" featuring Luciano and "Human Nature" featuring Cas Haley. The EP also features two non-album "Billie Jean" remixes from Mister Vibes and Sounduo and an exclusive dub version of "Billie Jean," mixed by producer Michael Goldwasser, along with Joe Tomino (Dub Trio/Matisyahu).
Luciano's stunning vocal performance on "Billie Jean" is his third collaboration with Easy Star, having also sung "With A Little Help From My Friends" on Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band and co-written the early original single "Hopes On High" with Michael G for Easy Star Vol. 2: Dancehall Culture. Guest vocalist Cas Haley also has a rich history with the Easy Star All-Stars, from multiple tours together to appearing on their 2011 album First Light. The two join up again for three upcoming tour dates (8/10 @ The Festival of Gnarnia, 9/7 @ High Noon Saloon, 9/8 @ Shangri-La Festival).
On the two remixes, Israeli dub artist Mister Vibes strips down his version with twisting melodica lines and spaced-out effects, while dubstep, glitch, and electronic fans will gravitate toward the Sounduo remix. Sounduo is the post-dub, audio/visual live performance project of Miami's William Mills and Zach Morillo.
Go to the Easy Star All-Stars website to help us spread the word about the EP. If 1500 fans share info about the release via Facebook, it will free up the non-album track "Human Nature Dub" for download!
" More info »
July 05, 2012THE SKINTS ADDED TO FOUR UK ESA SHOWS
"We are very excited to announce the teaming up of London's fast-rising reggae/ska band The Skints with Easy Star All-Stars on their fall tour. The Skints will be on four of the shows at the start of tour – Reading, Kendal, New Brighton and York – while the last 10 shows will have Laid Blak lending support. Both The Skints and Laid Blak are coming on strong in the UK scene and we are excited to be pairing new blood with Easy Star All-Stars on this run.
Check out The Skints' latest video for "Rise Up" here and their first single, "Ratatat," here. Check out Laid Blak's "Red" video here.
For more details on the UK tour and links to buy tickets, go here.
" More info »
June 12, 2012EASY STAR'S THRILLAH COMING AUGUST 28
"Let the record be revealed! Easy Star's Thrillah can be pre-ordered now! You can also listen to the first single "Billie Jean" for the next week until June 19 (and download it for free). Check the Fall Tour dates in US and UK. More dates will be announced soon. Check out the teaser video for the record here.
Following up on the hugely successful reggae tribute albums of Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006) and Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009) comes the reggae adaptation of the greatest selling record of all time – Michael Jackson's Thriller. The album, titled Easy Star's Thrillah will be released August 28, 2012 (a day before the 53rd anniversary of Jackson's birth). Easy Star's Thrillah brings back several of the reggae stars from previous albums, such as vocalists Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Steel Pulse, Luciano, Mojo Morgan (Morgan Heritage), alongside the diverse playing of guests Yossi Fine (David Bowie, Lou Reed, Stanley Jordan), Joe Tomino (Dub Trio/Matisyahu), Andy Farag (Umphrey's McGee), and horn tracks courtesy of Israel's highly-acclaimed funk/hip-hop band Hadag Nachash. The album will be preceded by the July 10th digital release of the Billie Jean EP, which includes two album tracks, along with non-album remixes and a dub version.
In selecting Thriller, Easy Star Records co-founder Lem Oppenheimer says, "We've always tackled the greats - The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead - but while we wanted to take on another huge album, we also wanted to blaze new trails. In Thriller we found those new trails in a number of firsts for the series: the first album by an American artist, the first non-concept album, the first R&B/soul record, as well as the first release from the 80s."
"For me, I was most excited for Thriller," says producer/arranger/guitarist Michael Goldwasser. "I was always more of an R&B/soul and reggae kid growing up and I have an intense personal connection to Michael Jackson's music." As usual, the process initially involved Goldwasser spending a few months on arranging the songs. "Writing the arrangements for this album was a cool challenge. I didn't have to try to make non-dance music into dance music as on our previous albums because the original Thriller is so danceable already, but I needed to find ways to make each song groove in a different way from the original version. I didn't want any of the arrangements to be obvious in that regard." In the end, Goldwasser's arrangements are some of the most interesting in his career.
Now that the hard work in the studio is done, the band is looking forward to bringing this music on the road, adding some dance/pop songs to their already varied sets. The band's live show, which was nominated for a UK Festy Award in 2009, already features tracks from the band's previous three tribute albums, along with original material. An extensive fall tour of the US and UK is already set up (US dates listed below), with more to come over the next year. As the original Thriller album comes up on its 30-year anniversary in November, what better way to celebrate this timeless album than to catch the Easy Star All-Stars perform their reggae-infused versions of this pop masterpiece.
" More info »
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