September 14, 2006
High on energy
The reggae of Roots of Creation
By Erica Febre firstname.lastname@example.org
An audience member at a recent show came up to Roots of Creation, an improvisational reggae rock band, and said, “you guys sound like Black Sabbath meets Bob Marley.”
Roots of Creation — which has elements of dub, dancehall, live electronica, hip-hop and funk — originated in Brookline and now is based in Boston. The group is celebrating the release of its new album, Rise Up. Their first album, The End of the Beginning, was released in 2004. Both albums were released under Bombshelter Records, an independent label.
“Our musical roots are with reggae. We throw in other instrumental influences in as well but, lyrically, we’re influenced by reggae music. We’re making reggae using our own style but, at the same time, respecting the fundamental elements of reggae music,” said Brett Wilson, on lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitar with Roots of Creation.
Roots of Creation includes Wilson, who is the founder of Bombshelter Records; Mike Chadinha on drums, percussion SPDS sampler pad and vocals; Tal Pearson on keyboards, and Ian Stich with bass and basslines doubled on electric guitar.
The new album features a number of guest musicians including Jay Fellito on the track “Proggae,” playing the bass guitar; Gordon Stone (Phish, Moe, Strange Folk), Drew Sawyer, Christopher “C-Money” Welter, Brian Thomas, Sam Kininger (Soulive), Ras Howard Henry and Ron “Eric” Burgundy.
“Some fans say that they like us because we’re kind of Sublime-ish. We get heavy sometimes and we’re militant and sometimes we go leftist on things. Originally we never set out for a reggae band, but it influenced us and we just kind of progressed into being reggae,” Wilson said.
Unity of mankind, world peace and “feelin’ irie” is a theme prominent in most reggae music and Roots of Creation features a number of tracks expressing the desire to end social segregation, end war and secure absolute freedom and liberation for all.
And the album just wouldn’t have a reggae feel without tracks emphasizing the legalization of marijuana. Rise Up features such two tracks: a funky track called “Legalize and Tax It” and “Breathe It, Exhale,” which says that “smoking green is a part of self-expression.”
“It’s like a symbiotic relationship between the crowd and us. If the crowd’s really getting into it, we’re feeding off the crowd. It’s a really high-energy show,” Wilson said.
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Meet the Roots
Rock to the sounds of Roots of Creation on Friday, Sept. 15, at Harlow’s Pub, 3 School St., Peterborough and on Friday, Sept. 22, at Milly’s Tavern, 500 Commercial St., Manchester. To hear tracks from Roots of Creation go to sonicbirds.com/rootsofcreation or myspace.com/rootsofcreation.