Thursday, January 01, 2015
For 15 years, Lujan has lent his talents to an all-star list of Reggae talent.
Now, it's his time to shine on his own.
The Salinas reggae artist, founder of the seminal local reggae band Dubwize, has performed with Mikey Dread, Eek-A-Mouse, Dub Congress, Cali Nation and many more. He released his first proper solo album "Journey In Song" on New Year's Day. Buy the album here.
To celebrate, Lujan performs Friday, Jan. 2 at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz. He will be backed by his Yard Stylee All-Stars band. DJ Dread Ramas of Bless King Sound, One-A-Chord, and Militia of Love will open. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7 advance, $10 at the door. For more info, go here.
Lujan talked to "The Beat" about the new album and the journey that got him to this point.
Q: Talk about the album title:
A: “Journey in Song.” After all these years of playing in Dubwize, playing in so many other bands, it’s been a long journey to get to this point. The people can get a little feel of that journey in this album. The lyrical/musical content, they can feel it, they can relate to it and get a feel on that journey. Hopefully, it might touch their own journey. A lot of people can vibe with it.
Q: You mention the artists you have worked with. Give us a list of all the bands you have worked with the past 15 years.
A: The main one would be my 14 years with Dubwize. (We started) even before that. Also, backing people like Dub Congress (on bass). I started backing Mikey Dread, Million Styles, The 7th Street Band, Cali Nation, Wasted Noise (on trombone). It’s all part of the journey. Danny I, Army from St. Croix, Louie Culture, Eek-A-Mouse.
Q: Mikey passed a few years ago. What was it like playing with him?
A: I got to play bass with him. Dubwize backed him. He called us for random things. That was pretty cool. We got a lot of learning experience from that.
Posted by Marcos Cabrera at 2:48 PM
Friday, December 05, 2014
That means more jam bands and live hip-hop, while staying true to the reggae-based acts that have made it popular with its loyal fan base.
Today’s third round artist announcement included popular festival veterans SOJA and Iration, along with fellow reggae bands Pacific Dub and Soul Majestic.
They will be joined by some first-time festival acts, including Australian roots jam band the John Butler Trio, SoCal hip-hop icons Cypress Hill, the Ethan Tucker Band, Cas Haley, and KBong.
The Cai Roots Festival takes place May 22-24 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey. 39 artists will perform, including The Roots, Slightly Stoopid, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Tribal Seeds, G.Love and Special Sauce, Dirty Heads, Steel Pulse, and Dilated Peoples.
The festival has leaned toward reggae-inspired acts during its first five iterations. Festival producer Dan Sheehan said there was a conscious effort to broaden the festival’s musical lineup while staying true to fan tastes.
“With the lineup this year, we wanted to stretch our wings without alienating the core audience that helped us build this festival,” said Sheehan. “We don’t want to do things our core audience doesn’t like. We were conscious of that.”
That core audience has helped the festival out weeks in advance the past two years. Last year, the festival drew 11,000 fans per day, utilizing the main arena stage.
The festival has built anticipation by revealing the artist lineup in tiers. With the third lineup announcement, Sheehan said the festival is entering new territory.
“It was important for us to expand our wings. We get lumped in as a reggae festival, and yes, the core of our bands are reggae driven,” said Sheehan. “But we don’t’ want to be considered just a reggae fest. We want to be considered much more. It’s music, a conscious music festival. Just music, good music. From top to bottom, that’s what we have on this lineup.”
Posted by Marcos Cabrera at 10:04 AM