Easy Star All-Stars - First Light
On First Light, the eclectic, multi-ethnic group builds on its love of reggae traditions and finding progressive ways to expand their craft while showcasing their individual talents. Known for their trendsetting catalog of reggae re-interpretations of classics, the Easy Star All-Stars are taking this opportunity to introduce fans to a different side of the band.
For over a decade, the Easy Star All-Stars have brought reggae to the masses by releasing a highly successful series of tribute albums. Dub Side of the Moon (2003), a reggae re-invention of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, put Easy Star All-Stars on the map. The success of that album led to an ever-growing demand from fans to see the band live. That year, the band played its first live shows outside of New York and since then, they have played on 6 continents in over 30 countries. Following up Dub Side was Radiodread (2006), the band’s version of Radiohead’s OK Computer. In 2009 came Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band, a cover of Sgt. Pepper’s that was the first reggae record to crack the Billboard Top 200 chart in over 2 years. In 2010, the band worked with outside producers to remix Dub Side of the Moon - the resulting record, Dubber Side of the Moon, debuted at number 2 on the reggae chart.
First Light’s 14-track journey showcases the band members experimenting with songwriting. While some songs remain true to their signature hardcore reggae feel, other tracks (”In The Light,” “First Light (Ramblin’ Fever)” and “Unbelievable”) incorporate R&B, pop, and soul. Founding member and album producer Michael Goldwasser contributes several of the tunes. Other tracks were created by a collaborative songwriting process amongst the members of the collective.
Opening First Light is the buoyant and breezy “Don’t Stop The Music” featuring vocalist Menny More, setting the tone for the album with a modern reggae anthem. “First Light (Ramblin’ Fever)” is inspired by one of the band’s earliest tours in a vintage 1957 bus that drove the band crazy with its unexplained noises, lack of heat and inability to go in reverse. All-Star alumni Junior Jazz and Daddy Lion Chandell return to sing on the wry herbal ode“One Likkle Draw.” Written by Goldwasser, the track is a duet between a ganja farmer and a police officer, touching off both comedy and drama. The hard-hitting reggae track “Easy Now Star,” also penned by Goldwasser, pays tribute to the late Sugar Minott, a long time member of the Easy Star family. Easy Star rounded up Sugar’s original musical partner Tony Tuff (from the African Brothers), along with the Meditations and Lady Ann, to write and perform a song inspired by this reggae luminary.
Easy Star All-Stars have cooked up a fresh and vibrant reggae sound that only they can deliver. Look for them on the Atlantic Coast this April (with support from The Green and fellow Easy Star label-mate Cas Haley, who also contributes vocals on the First Light track “Unbelievable”). Easy Star All-Stars will also spend the summer overseas and at music festivals nationwide.
In early 2012, Easy Star All-Stars will release their next (top secret!) tribute album to take the music world by storm again.