California Roots Insider Tips from 831 Promotions
There's so many amazing bands at California Roots festival this year, and some big name acts I can't wait for. However it's finding those new up and coming bands that's always thrilling for me....so let me tell you about the ones I am most excited to see.
The Simpkin Project
Stick Figure is one of my favorite bands, and their songs get kind of addictive….what I love most about them is that Scott takes you on a journey of what’s happening for him in that moment. His lyrics follow him through an event, thought or feeling, and often all of the above combined into one experience. Thats what each Stick Figure song really is for me, an experience. They are unlike most other bands or lyricists in that way. To a new listener the music can sometimes sound disjointed at first, but when you listen again, you realize that you are exactly where you are supposed to be on the journey. Two of my favorite songs are “Livin’ it” and “Weight of Sound”. “ Livin’ it” always reminds me of my boyfriend, and a night similar to ones he often has which leaves me smiling to no end. “Weight of Sound:” which features TJ O’Neill, is just is good in so many ways. The lyrics for this song really get me.
“Tomorrow will come and the sun will shine
Well I'll be sitting here right by your side
So let the music soothe your soul
Let the music take control
Everything you do or say comes back to you
When things don't work out right, you got to push on through
So keep on running, keep on moving
Everything is gonna be alright
Keep on smiling, keep on laughing
Every little thing is gonna be alright”
My favorite thing about Stick Figure is that all of the music is written and played by Scott Woodruff. This “one man band” is pretty extraordinary in my humble opinion. Scott blends a nice mix of reggae and dub, and the songs get stuck in your head the way your favorite radio pop song does. I even find my kids singing these songs. Scott has put together a talented group of musicians to play with and hit the road with his unique blend of reggae.
Stick Figure currently has 5 full length albums under their belt is on their 4th tour. Interested in learning more? Well, first go see them Friday afternoon on The Bowl Stage at 1:45. I will see you there!! Secondly, you can also find them at the following places:
The Steppas out of Hilo Hawaii are a force to be reckoned with. One of my favorite up and coming bands in today’s reggae world. These guys deliver a powerful hit with their music that is full of positive lyrics of peace and love and solid rhythms. A unique blend of surf rock, jam band, urban beat hip hop, jazz and ska background with a slight sublime influence. They come across with a new fusion sound that you don't want to miss. You find yourself rocking out hard to this band. Their band name The Steppas, is a reminder to step and move forward.
The Steppas have self produced their first two EP’s and with the recent release of their First Full Length coming soon, they are currently on their Spring Rising Tour. You can catch them at CaliRoots on Friday at 12:00 on The Original Stage. I will definitely see you at this show because I love these guys. You can find The Steppas at the following places:
Kimie Miner is a native of Hawaii and has an amazingly beautiful voice. Kimie’s music reflects aspects of reggae and acoustic soul with just a hint of R&B. She writes about all the good that comes out of bad, and is always inspired by Love.
THis is a woman in worth keeping an eye on, and Im sure her performance at CaliRoots will not disappoint. You can catch her on Friday at 4:15 on The Original Stage. You can also find her in the following places:
The Simpkin Project is a recent favorite here in the 831 Promotions Office. One we have a hard time not listening to. This is a group made of some powerful musicians, and you can hear it. They have a heavy rock influence which is evident in their music and they play a very unique and quite frankly awesome blend of Reggae and Americana. Ya, you read that right. Their music is multi-layered on top of a solid reggae foundation.
Front man Phil Simpkins lyrics will stir you. I feel the essence of Jerry Garcia in Phil’s words and music. Their is a deepness of life experience that comes through. You are taken to places in your soul that have evolved through sometime tough life experiences, but which are reflected with a positivity that is inspiring. My two favorite songs are “Everything You Want” and “Wanderer” . “Everything You Want” speaks of a deep longing …
“Your love is like an ocean deep and wide.
I want to jump inside.
Swim your every shore, explore your every tide.
Submerge myself within the comfort of your waters.
Sit back on some great vista content to only ponder.
You are the object of my love I must confess.
You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me yet.
You are the only one everything to me, I will make you see.
If I could be…
Everything you want, everything you need.”
Wanderer hits a special place inside of me that I relate to in a profound kind of way.
“Livin alone, a wonder with no home, continues down the road. Moving along he sings his song, then goes on, to where he never knows, leaving one day he made his way, come what may, from then was on his own. Steadfast and true he walks a path tread by few, the only that he knows. Step into the light of the day, I've often heard the wanderer say. Walk into the rays of the sun. Embracing all that will come.
So much he learns, immersed he turns and holds on, to every brilliant dawn. Balanced and soothed, his spirit moved, its so strong, his journeys been so long. Walking the earth, he feels a change and rebirth, and thinks about his home. One day at last he makes the choice to go back, the path for him was shown. Step into the light of the day, I've often heard the wanderer say. Walk into the rays of the sun. Embracing all that will come.
Makin his way, back to the place of his birth, so much he missed out on. He left to go be, among the things that he loved, so many wondered where hes gone. Coming across the life he knew but had lost, he’d take it back at any cost. Now in his place, he takes the reigns of his fate, regaining what he lost. Step into the light of the day, I've often heard the wanderer say. Walk into the rays of the sun. Embracing all that will come.”
Having been a wandering, nomadic spirit most of my life, this song resonates very personally and deeply with me, and has been one I reflect on frequently when I feel the urge to jump ship and disappear into the universe.
The Simpkin Project is hands down one of the bands that I am most excited to see live, as I have not yet had the pleasure. You can see The Simpkin Project live on Friday at 2:45 on The Original Stage. You can also find them at the following places:
Bumpin’ Uglies are an Annapolis based band. with a heavy punk/reggae sound, Bumpin Uglies are a well oiled machine. Lead man Brandon Hardesty writes lyrics that are honest and cut through his humor with a biting reality. My favorite of their songs, “White Boy Reggae” is a humorous yet honest tribute to life as an artist. He dismisses stereotypes by describing the one he falls into.
“But I can't relate to a struggle that I've never seen.
I can't praise a god that I don't believe
You might think I be lying when it comes from the seems.
But I'm not a fucking lion I'm a drunk with a dream
And I'm a million miles away from everything,
I thought I'd become.
I've lost all my faith in the Lord above.
And if I work real long and keep my convictions.
I could still fill and satisfy everyone's predictions
So I drink to stay numb,
But I sing to stay alive.
There's no shot big enough to keep me satisfied
No rhymes smart enough for me to save my pride.
There's a fire burning in me that I cannot deny it!
This is a song has become an Anthem, and a great example of Brandons powerful yet humorously real delivery of lyrics and sound. You can catch Bumpin’ Uglies at 9:45pm on The Original Stage as the Fan’s Choice Winners. You can also find them in the following places: