California Roots Music & Arts Festival returns for its 9th consecutive year held at the Monterey County Fair Grounds in Monterey, CA over its usual Memorial Day weekend of May 25, 26 & 27. The full line-up was released and we are pleased with some of this years newest additions. Here’s who to look out for with some names making their first appearance at the annual festival…
Cali-Roots has been a trend-setter with their festival since 2010, showcasing some of the more progressive reggae-rock groups over the last decade. It’s become a home to bands like Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, Rebelution and first headlined by Dirty Heads in its inaugural year.
In addition to Rebelution and Slightly Stoopid for 2018, we’ll see return performances from 311, Atmosphere, Iration, Steel Pulse, Stephen Marley, J Boog, Tribal Seeds, The Green, Chronixx, Raging Fyah, Fortunate Youth, The Movement, Hirie, Anuhea, Trevor Hall, Darenots, New Kingston, Mike Love and more.
The list of those making their first time appearance at Cali-Roots is much smaller, but the names are big with the addition of Dispatch, Alpha Blondy, Xiuhtezcatl, Xavier Rudd, E-40, and Tropidelic. That’s a good eclectic mix of first timers to the Cali-Roots stage, but it doesn’t stop there.
Below we compiled a list of 5 up and coming artists who will be performing at Cali-Roots for the first time that we feel absolutely deserve your attention, 3 of them being from Australia, the other 2 from Florida. To view your ticket options and reserve your presence at this years Cali-Roots festival, click HERE!
1.) Tash Sultana : Website
It’s hard to find a musician who had a better 2017 than Tash Sultana. In the blink of an eye, the incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and singer from Melbourne, Australia has gone from busking street corners and playing small music clubs, to selling out practically every show she plays around the world. Sultana’s chops on the guitar, creativity with looping and pedals, and chilling vocals have earned her some much deserved buzz.
Natasha “Tash” Sultana has quickly become a household name across music circles due to the virality of her bedroom jam sessions on YouTube, and good old-fashioned word of mouth. The 22-year old musician puts on a jaw-dropping live show, utilizing numerous instruments on stage to create the sound of a full band, all by herself. Her 2016 EP Notion peaked at #8 on Australia’s music charts, and her single “Jungle” achieved the #3 spot for the Triple J Hottest 100 year end chart in 2016 — She is a must see as she is already selling out shows in Europe, nine-months ahead of the event. She’s currently recording her debut record. Make sure you catch her performance on Sunday May 27th.
Watch: Tash Sultana – “Jungle”
2.) The Hip Abduction : Website
The Hip Abduction mixes reggae, rock, and African traditions to create their own unique sound. With heavy emphasis placed on African stringed instruments (kora, ngoni), dub-reggae-inspired bass lines, and funky afro-beat percussion, the band’s high-energy performances have won them a loyal statewide following. Formed on the gulf coast of Florida in 2009, The Hip Abduction has quickly grown from just a few African instrument playing surfers to a full-blown 7-piece reggae powerhouse.
Not only will this be The Hip Abudction’s first time playing Cali-Roots, it’ll be their first time ever performing in California. They have a couple of outstanding records under their belt with a self-titled release in 2013 and Gold Under The Glow from 2016. The St. Petersburg, FL group plan to release new music in 2017, but we cant wait to see the impression they’ll leave on a west coast audience when they take the stage on Saturday, May 26th.
Watch: The Hip Abduction – “Come Alive”
3.) The Ries Brothers : Website
From sunny Clearwater, FL comes The Ries Brothers, a breath of fresh air and one of the more musically diverse artists we’ve seen in quite some time. Blending a fusion of blues, reggae, funk and good old-fashioned rock, brothers Kevin Ries (lead guitar and backing vocals) and Charlie Ries (lead vocals, drums and keyboard bass) have officially arrived with their debut album in The View from the Outside produced by Ted Bowne of Passafire.
It’s hard to imagine that so much music comes from a duo of brothers whom one half of isn’t even 21-years-old yet. After a break-out tour with G. Love, this is set to be a break-out debut on the Cali-Roots stage as we suggest you become familiar with their debut album, The View From The Outside before seeing them perform on Saturday, May 26th.
Watch: The Ries Brothers – “Street Lights”
4.) Ocean Alley : Website
Australian psych-reggae outfit Ocean Alley released their debut album Lost Tropics in May of 2016 and 2 short years later, they’re making their debut performance at Cali-Roots Festival. With Ocean Alley there is seldom a dull moment, effortlessly transitioning from hypnotic verses and trippy organ interludes to absolutely wicked guitar solos. The band’s dynamic style and energetic live performances have gained them a strong following in their homeland. Now they are taking their party-starting sound to the rest of the world as they’ve toured through Europe, New Zealand and will grace the stage at Cali-Roots on Friday, May 25th.
Watch: Ocean Alley – “Lemonworld”
5.) Sammy J : Website
Born in Australia, Sammy J embraces his Maori and Polynesian roots to create positive and uplifting music. Mixing together island reggae, soul and jazz with heartfelt lyrics, Sammy J’s sound is exhilarating and intoxicating. Now based in the U.S. Sammy J has seemingly exploded on the market selling out venues across the west coast and Hawaii.
Since 2012, Sammy J has released a string of singles and collaborations in addition to a pair of 8 track albums with Prelude in 2013 and Lion Roar in 2016. He plans to continue releasing singles throughout 2017 with hopes of a new album dropping in the early part of 2018, hopefully in time for his debut performance at Cali-Roots on Friday, May 25th.
Watch: Sammy J – “Do You”