Michael Jackson Reggae Style in Easy Star All-Stars' Thrillah, with The Aggrolites
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The last date listed for Easy Star All-Stars: Thrillah, with The Aggrolites was Sunday October 7, 2012 / 8:00pm (Doors at 6:00pm).
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Syrian singer Omar Souleyman and his synth partner, keyboardist Rizan Sa'id, get the joint jumping with their innovative brand of techno-folk, based on the Middle Eastern dance music known as dabke. Once a favorite at weddings, Souleyman's influence has now spread throughout the world, after Bjork picked him to record three remixes for her acclaimed Biophilia disc. Since then, he's released his own well-received studio album, Wenu Wenu, and appeared at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Norway, not to mention major music festivals in Denmark, the UK and even at Tennessee's famed Bonnaroo. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Combining musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a superb rhythm section, the Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts since their live debut in 2003.
Easy Star’s Thrillah marks the band’s first new tribute album since 2009’s Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band_. Starting with Dub Side of the Moon_, the band has deconstructed classic albums and rebuilt them as reggae, helping to start a larger trend that has since become popular at major festivals and in other genres. As source material, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was the first album the band tackled by an American artist, a non-rock artist and a non-concept record. The group found their usual innovative ways to transform the material, turning “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” into an Afro-Beat anthem and slowing down “Beat It” into a powerfully emotional roots song. On the record, the group is joined by guest artists like Steel Pulse, Luciano, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), Spragga Benz, Cas Haley, Christopher Martin, Mojo Morgan (Morgan Heritage), The Green and others. On tour, the band will present the music on their own, as usual, mixing in music from this record along with hits from their entire past catalog of tribute albums and originals. The Thrillah Tour continues the band’s nearly 10 year tradition of incredible live shows that have built them into one of the most popular touring reggae bands on the planet.
The Aggrolites are more than a band they are a movement unto themselves. They carry a banner – one created with their own hands. This banner reads, “Dirty Reggae,” and represents their signature fusion of reggae, soul, grit and determination. For seven magnificent years, this dirty reggae bunch has rolled from city to city, across the pond and up main street USA. They rally the kids, the parents, the students, the cops, the bosses and the drifters. The people come, they relish in The Aggrolites, the dirty reggae and the joy that comes with it all. The liberating rhythms and catchy grooves demand a return trip.
Out of the Los Angeles school of hard knocks, The Aggrolites have earned a PhD in “feel good music.” On the road they educate with the thunder and punch of the reggae drums and bass, the ripping, soulful melodies of the organ and guitars, and Jesse Wagner’s voice – a gift from the heavens, a perfectly intact gift from Otis, Sam, Ray and Wilson.
Early 2011 saw the release of their 5th full-length collection Rugged Road from Young Cub Records. The sessions were released as a series of vinyl and digital singles, as well as a compilation. The recordings took place at Young Cub Records’ studio headquarters in Boston, MA. Of the sessions, Roffredo says the band wanted to “lay down these new rhythms on reel to reel tape, playing all together in one room.”