Posts Tagged ‘toots and the maytals


Slightly Stoopid – Sweet SoCal-Ska-Reggae-Grooves

On all places I would least suspect to be enlightened about good music would be my digital radio station on my television, but low and behold channel 1263 (Reggae) enlightened me once again to a band I had never heard before.

I usually put on my television reggae station as background music when I’m washing dishes or preparing a meal after work, most of the channels music is mundane or nothing more then the usual overplayed Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, or Toots and Maytals hits.  Every once and awhile a gem might pop up such as some Burning Spear, Dennis Wilson, or Yellowman, but it’s truly rare to hear something new.

When I heard Slightly Stoopid’s song “2 a.m.” the first thing that came to mind was that it was some obscure Sublime or Long Beach All Stars track never before heard. That all so identifiable and unique SoCal groove was so sweet, however,  I could not place the song to save my life.  Why had I not heard about these guys before? That was the thought that resonated through my head over and over;  the more I listened the more I could not get over how good these guys really sound.  I had to jump on a torrent and grab some samples to see if these guys were for real and viola, yep, they are the real-e-o deal-e-o!

The torrent had user made “best-of” compiliations from their 8 albums; so my first introduction to the band was what others considered their best music.  I was able to obtain all of their albums and decide for myself how consistent their sound truly is; to their credit these guys have released solid albums without question.   Their first two albums – Slightly $toopid (1996) and Longest Barrel Ride (1998) are long out of print and highly desirable by collectors; they provide a rough and gritty base for the band with a mix of punk, hardcore, and reggae influences that may not fit everyone’s taste.  I feel the band cleary defined themselves and refined their sound with the album Everything You Need (2003); this album offers a number of solid songs and is worth picking up without question.

The band followed up that album with a mix of live and studio albums that, again, should not be overlooked.   Closer To The Sun (2005)  and Chronicitis (2007) are solid albums that stand on their own right with brilliant arrangments and incredible beats that are just so much fun to play over and over again; this band is easy to get addicted to listening to on a regular basis.  There music is a perfect background to an outside barbeque  party, or just playing in your car on an awesome summer day.

Check these guys out if you can and you will thank us here at HiFi!  The band is currently on tour and hitting some pretty sweet venues across the U.S., so check them out and see if they are coming to your city this summer. 

Click here to see tour dates.


Mountain Jam VI – 2010 Line Up

Ah yes, as the spring birds make their voices heard and the flowers begin to peek out from their long winters nap it’s time once again for the summer festival announcements and this year seems off to a very impressive  start. 

I am a self-admitted jam band fan since high school loving any project involving Warren Haynes and/or Dickey Betts; so I’m sure that the 6th Annual Mountain Jam Festival will be well worth the trip. 
This year’s line up is very impressive and also focuses around the 70th birthday of Levon Helm has been contributing the music scene.  Helm will be joined by a who’s-who of musicians ranging from Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Ray LaMontange (If don’t know who this guy is you need to, very talented!), Steve Earle, and many others.

On other stages or at other times during the festival the line up is equally as impressive and I’m pleasantly surprised at the assortment and variety of artists appearing.

Alison Krauss & Union Station
Les Claypool (Primus, Oysterhead)
Dave Mason
Toots & The Maytals
The Drive-by Truckers
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Yonder Mountain String Band

These are just some of the bands performing that weekend, there are too many bands to list so check the line up link on the main page.  The Mountain Jam website has a nice free player that lets you listen to an assortment of the artists performing, so if you’re not familiar them initially you can get a better idea of what to expect.  The headling act is Warren Haynes’ Government Mule.  I saw Government Mule and Black Crowes about 10 years ago at The Orpheum Theater in Boston, personally I was not impressed but I would imagine that over 10 years they’ve developed their sound. 

Yes, the pricetag in this economy for the plain old one-day ticket is a costly $79.00; tough if you married with kids like me, but perhaps worth the cost for a full day of music and sunshine (if the weather cooperates, always a risk with outside festivals!).  If you are in the New York City area or from Upstate New York where HiFi Central is located, Hunter Mountain (where the Mountain Jam is held) is a very easy drive up or down I-87  and is nestled in among the sleepy Catskills Mountains. 
I am still hoping that one year a reunion of The Hatters (an Allman Brothers-esque band that faded away in the mid-90’s) might happen at Mountain Jam, but I’m not holding my breath.

If you would like more information about this fun summertime festival check it out by clicking here: Mountain Jam VI

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