Easy Star All Star | Release First Light | Review

On April 5th, New York City based, multi-ethnic reggae outfit Easy Star All Stars will release their first full length record of original material entitled First Light. Famous for their reggae reworkings of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Radiohead’s OK Computer, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, First Light is their second release of original material, preceded by 2008’s EP Until That Day.

The All Stars’ LP proves that in addition to having a knack for remaking classic rock records, they also possess a wealth of original songwriting talent. This album takes the listener on a rhythmic ride through traditional reggae with hints of dub, soul and R&B.

Drawing from a sizable pool of talent makes for a diverse range of lead vocals. Musical guests Jr. Jazz and Daddy Lion Chandell duet as a police officer and ganja farmer on opposite ends of a crop spectrum on “One Likkle Draw.” On “Something Went Wrong” and “Don’t Stop the Music” Menny More’s soulful vocals coupled with easy reggae grooves transport the listener to a distant worry-free land. “Easy Now Star,” featuring The Meditations, Lady Ann and Tony Tuff (of the African Brothers) pays tribute to the late Sugar Minott.

Whether providing luscious backing vocals, or singing lead on one of the five lady-led tracks, Joanne Williams and Kirsty Rock have two of the most beautiful voices in contemporary reggae music. A tight group of musicians, complete with saxophone, trumpet and trombone provide a solid platform for all of these songs to stand tall. While a few of these songs have been debuted in a live setting already, be sure to catch them on one of their 23 tour stops starting tonight in Vermont for the full monty.

Easy Star All-Stars First Light Tour:

3/23/2011       Mt. Snow                     Mt. Snow, VT

3/31/2011      Bourbon Quarter          Baltimore, MD*+

4/1/2011        Jefferson Theatre          Charlottesville, VA*+

4/2/2011        The Orange Peel            Asheville, NC*+

4/3/2011        Cat's Cradle                  Carrboro, NC*+

4/5/2011        The Soapbox                 Wilmington, NC*+

4/6/2011        The Music Farm            Charleston, SC*+

4/7/2011        Freebird Live                 Jacksonville, FL*+

4/8/2011        Plaza Theatre                Orlando, FL*+ (part of Florida Music Fest)

4/9/2011        Culture Room                Ft. Lauderdale, FL*+

4/10/2011       State Theatre                St. Petersburg, FL*+

4/12/2011       Common Ground          Gainesville, FL+

4/13/2011       Seville Quarters            Pensacola, FL+

4/14/2011       New Earth Music Hall   Athens, GA+

4/16/2011       World Café Live             Wilmington, DE +

4/17/2011       World Café Live             Philadelphia, PA +

4/20/2011       Highline Ballroom          New York, NY+^

4/21/2011       Castaways                     Ithaca, NY +

4/22/2011       Westcott Theatre            Syracuse, NY +

4/23/2011       The Great Hall               Toronto, ON +

4/25/2011       Cabaret Mile End           Montreal, QC +

4/26/2011       Higher Ground               Burlington, VT +

5/20/2011       Hangout Music Festival  Gulf Shores, AL

* The Green opens
+ Cas Haley opens
^John Brown's Body co-bill