Back by popular demand, is Rootz Underground! One of Jamaica’s more recent contributions to the international Reggae and World music scene, the six-member collective is back on tour having just begun their latest run around the US.
Kicking off their Roots and Culture tour last week in Seattle, Washington, the group will once again play down through the Western US, hitting venues they’ve done well with recently, as well as covering areas new to the group.
Performing in major western markets through mid-August, Rootz Underground will then hop on a plane and zig-zag the hemisphere. The group is set to play a gig at the King Fu Neck Tie In Philly, PA before crossing the pond for several European festivals. However, the Rootz crew won’t have much time to enjoy Germany, Austria, and Belgium as the group must shoot back to the states for a performance at the infamous, Burning Man event, in Nevada’s Black Rock Dessert. Hosted by Reverbia, the all live music camp, this marks the first time a major Jamaican band has ever performed in Black Rock City.
After ten-plus years of performing Reggae music together, performing countless shows and releasing several records, this contemporary Reggae-Rock band is gearing up to release a new record. Set for a February 2014 release, Rootz Underground’s follow up to their 2010 release Gravity will be titled Return of the Righteous Volume I.
Composed as two double releases, the first volume in entitled Fire, while Volume two will be Ice.Fans get ready for a powerful new Reggae record that features a handful of special guest. Musical collaborations with reggae icons like Dean Fraser and Wayne Armond, as well as the inclusion of a brass section and percussive elements complete the evolved, and enriched sound of Return of the Righteous Volume I.
Lead singer Stephen Newland, explains, “Return of the Righteous is the vibration in the air of Righteousness returning to the hearts of people in general. The album title does not refer to specific individuals or groups but rather speaks of universal love and connection of all life. This notion is expressed here in musical language with an accent on JAH highest love and goodness. Sometimes the battle must be won with love rather than war.”
The modern reggae of Rootz Underground blends Trance, Hip Hop,Dub, and Ska with nuances from R&B, Jazz, Latin, Rock and music from those who helped spawn the Punk movement to forge a unique sound. Reggae fans, critics, promoters and DJ’s agree that Rootz Underground is a group that can make an impact as large as their predecessors, inviting comparisons to bands such as Steel Pulse, Black Uhuru, Third World, Burning Spear, The Wailers and Chalice. With engaging messages and compelling stage shows, Rootz Underground goes beyond a niche definition, reaching across reggae boundaries into Pop music realms.
Rootz Underground Tour Dates:
July 17th @ D’Ecibel. Idaho Falls, ID
July 18th @ Urban Lounge. Salt Lake City, UT
July 19th @ Cervantes Other Side. Denver, CO
July 20th @ Take It To The Bridge Fest. Bond, CO
July 24th @ Last Exit Live. Phoenix, AZ
July 25th @ The Green Room. Flagstaff, AZ
July 26th @ Winstons. San Diego, CA
July 27th @ Slide Bar Rock N Roll Kitchen. Fullerton, CA
July 31st @ Saint Rocke. Hermosa Beach, CA
Aug 1st @ The Independent. San Francisco, CA
Aug 2nd @ Hopmonk Tavern. Sebastopol, CA
Aug 4th @ Reggae on the River. Piercy, CA
Aug 7th @ Applegate River Lodge. Applegate, OR
Aug 8th @ Munch & Music. Bend, OR
Aug 9th @ The Journey’s End. Mad River, CA
Aug 16th @ Kung Fu Neck Tie. Philadelphia, PA
Aug 23rd @ Chiemsee Reggae Festival. Germany
Aug 24th @ Austra Reggae Sunsplash. Austra
Aug 25th @ Uhuru Festival. Belgium
Aug 29th @ Burning Man. Black Rock Desert, NV
Aug 31st @ The Standard. St. Augustine, FL
Sept 1st @ Summer Jam Festival. West Palm Beach, FL
Sept 14th @ Unity Festival. Guerneville, CA
Rootz Underground Links:
Backstage: A Rootz Underground Story
Rootz Underground Website
Rootz Underground facebook
Article By: Aaron Solomon
Photos By: David Norris & Bill Colbridge
WATCH: Rootz Underground perform an entire set from 2012’s Ostróda Reggae Festival!