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Easy Star All-Stars Biography
Combining musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a superb rhythm section, the Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts since their live debut in 2003. Thanks to their best-selling tribute album releases, Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006), and Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009), the remix album Dubber Side of the Moon (2010), as well as original releases Until That Day EP (2008) and First Light (2011), the Easy Star All-Stars have built a growing, dedicated fan base throughout the world, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub and indie rock into one big family.
The band has toured in over 30 countries on 6 continents, playing over 100 shows per year for the past 5 years. They’ve played loads of major festivals throughout the world, including an unprecedented three-day, three-stage stand at Glastonbury in 2009, which earned them a UK Festy Award Nomination that year.
Easy Star’s Thrillah marks the band’s first new tribute album since 2009’s Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band. Starting with Dub Side of the Moon, the band has deconstructed classic albums and rebuilt them as reggae, helping to start a larger trend that has since become popular at major festivals and in other genres. As source material, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first album the band tackled by an American artist, a non-rock artist and a non-concept record. The group found their usual innovative ways to transform the material, turning “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” into an Afro-Beat anthem and slowing down “Beat It” into a powerfully emotional roots song. On the record, the group is joined by guest artists like Steel Pulse, Luciano, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Spragga Benz, Cas Haley, Christopher Martin, Mojo Morgan (Morgan Heritage), The Green and others. On tour, the band will present the music on their own, as usual, mixing in music from this record along with hits from their entire past catalog of tribute albums and originals. The Thrillah Tour continues the band’s nearly 10 year tradition of incredible live shows that have built them into one of the most popular touring reggae bands on the planet.
On Passafire’s fourth album release, Start From Scratch, the Savannah, GA based Rock outfit is truly starting from scratch. Injected with energy from a new member (keyboardist Mike DeGuzman), a freshly formed band-owned label (FlameGuy Records) and a new producer, Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers, Sublime, Meat Puppets), the band have made their best album to date. Trekking down to Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, TX, where Connor Oberst, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sublime and many more recently recorded, they expand their sound from their previous releases; deeply honing guitar tones, exploring synth sounds, and laying down tracks of Harmonica and Banjo. “We always wanted to have a good balance of organic and synthesized sounds and we finally had the chance to make that happen this time,” recollects singer, Ted Bowne. Songs like “Dimming Sky,” “Lorelie, and the title track, “Start From Scratch,” exemplify this newly found balance.
Passafire was formed in 2003 by students attending Savannah College of Art and Design. Throughout the years they have become a perpetually touring band playing hundreds of shows a year with bands like 311, Pepper, Rebelution, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, The Wailers and many more. Bowne doesn’t mind the grueling schedule and adds, “Touring is the best way to keep the buzz about the band going. What keeps it fun and exciting is the people we meet and places we get to see. We are in a new city every day so there’s always something to go see or do. If we didn’t tour constantly, we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are. That’s a fact.”