John Brown's Body:
Together for two decades and hailed as Future roots, reggae, and dub with an intricately balanced weaving of vocals, percussion, keyboard, bass, guitar, and stunning 3-piece horn section that ties it all together (WRUV), John Brown’s Body (JBB) is building a legacy that has inspired and carved a path for the now thriving contemptary American reggae scene (Rudeboy Reggae). Formed in Ithaca, New York, in the mid 1990s, at a time when there wasn’t yet a far-reaching U.S. reggae scene, JBB was one of a small handful of U.S. reggae bands that began touring nationally. Since then, JBB has played an important role in helping define distinctly American reggae. JBB’s music is steeped in traditional vibes, but unapologetically incorporates elements from other genres. While most American reggae bands tackled typical reggae themes (such as religion and marijuana), JBB acted more like an indie band, writing songs that used the vocabulary of reggae to express their own experiences. Their unique approach resonated with the masses. The group’s 2008 full-length record, Amplify, hit #1 on the
Billboard Reggae Chart, 2012’s JBB In Dub EP reached #1 on iTunes’ Reggae Chart, and in 2013 Kings And Queens topped both Billboard and iTunes Reggae Charts at #1. Today, JBB’s signature style has become the norm for U.S. reggae bands - and many in the genre admittedly point to John Brown’s Body as a key influence. Their eleventh studio release, Fireflies, comes out September 9th on Easy Star Records.
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Phil Grajko was born and raised in upstate NY. He picked up a guitar at age 10 and has never looked back. Since that time he's written hundreds of songs and played in dozens of bands of all styles. But above all, he's remained true to his first love.
In 2012, following the death of a dear friend, Phil decided to embark on a new musical adventure. He teamed up with his sister, Hannah, and long-time friends Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand to begin fleshing out a new batch of songs. These back porch jam sessions eventually led to the album "Made of Light", which blended uplifting reggae songwriting with acoustic bluegrass and folk instrumentation.
Grayak is the original pronunciation of Grajko, meaning "player" in Polish. This name was chosen to pay tribute to the Hindu concept of Lila, which depicts the whole universe as a creative play, the dance of the Divine.
Between playing shows with his reggae band "The fat Peace" and his solo act, Alex Gideon has made a name for himself touring extensively throughout New York State and the entire east coast over the past 5 years. From earning a Sammy nomination with his bands E.P. "What's The Rush", to opening up shows for national recording artists including Turkuaz, Zach Deputy, The Main Squeeze and John Browns Body; Gideon has gained recognition throughout the CNY area. Playing a range of genre's including Reggae, funk and classic rock, Gideon brings his music to life through the use of a loop pedal; overdubbing and creating live songs with various percussion, vocals and guitar. Most recently he has been putting the finishing touches on his first solo release, a 5 song E.P. entitled "Know different than before" which will be followed by a spring tour across Upstate New York.
Thunder Body is analog roots reggae, futuristic gospel, and psychedelic madness. Thunder Body is an adventure in sound, a sweet soul experience. There is no other band like Thunder Body.
Thunder Body consists of Matthew O’Brian (former lead singer and guitar player in Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad), playing drums and singing, Rachel Orke (former GPGDS) on analog keyboards and melodica, Dennis Mariano and Sam Snyder on guitar, Jeremiah Pacheco on bass, and Brian Blatt on “Science”. Thunder Body is a timeless new direction in music.
Formed in spring 2010, Thunder Body has shared the stage with Third World, Ozomatli, John Brown’s Body, Rubblebucket and many others. The band offers a self-titled 5 song EP, with a full-length studio recording to be released in the fall. In July, Thunder Body will embark on a journey out to the West Coast, ending with the Poudre Valley Reggae Festival in direct support of the Wailers.
“This was some of the most tripped-out reggae I've ever heard. It was so slow & gooey that it kind of felt like a 'chopped & screwed' version of classic island tunes… a true force of reggae…[Brian Blatt] brought the perfect amount of psychedelic weirdness and pushed this band into a realm that not many bands occupy.” - Chicago Jam Scene