Soldiers of Jah Army, honorary mayors of Reggaetown.We've pounded it into these pages more than enough in the past six months, and a sincere apology to all if this seems like a message from the Department of Redundancy Department, but ... what is up with all the friggin' reggae going down in this town? At this point, I'm not even sure how I feel about it, but I sure as hell can't avoid it. And maybe we shouldn't even worry - the Benders (we're taking a week off from mentioning "Bendites" in the paper) seem to love it.
This weekend could very well be the peak of the local reggae movement with three separate reggae shows in a matter of 48 hours. Here's a rundown of what you can (if you so choose) sway, bob and swing your dreads to:
The Bad Fish Band
9pm Friday, Jan 25. Summit Saloon and Stage, $5.
If you don't think a town like Corvallis can breed a quality reggae funk band, take a listen to the Bad Fish Band. These guys have a smooth reggae vibe, but also a complete funk attack that's likely to pack the Summit dance floor. What's perhaps most appealing is Bad Fish's horn section, providing a tasty punch that's often-absent in modern reggae and funk bands. When it comes to horn sections, the more people in the band the better.
Soldiers of Jah Army, Jah Sun
9pm Friday, Jan 25. Domino Room
If it has the word "Jah" in it, you can bet your half-full Red Stripe it's gonna be reggae - which is, of course, the case with these two acts. SOJA is far and away the most popular band you're going to find during your weekend of reggae. The Washington, D.C. quintet is in the middle of a monster tour supporting their well-received new EP, "Stars and Stripes." Overall, SOJA plays a refreshing, well-wrought, and somewhat traditional style that we don't always get around here. Hip-hop/reggae crossover Jah Sun makes his way up from Aracta to open this gig.
9pm Saturday, Jan 26. Summit Saloon and Stage. $5.
These six Eugene ire practitioners have been on the prowl up and down the West Coast in the past year, gaining some major respect from reggae purists along the way. Of the three shows, Root Down seems to have the most rocking capability, which they can pull out at any given time, even mid song. Not knocking the other acts on this page, but Root Down have the best handle on generating reggae tunes that are neither trite nor predictable. They seem like pretty nice guys as well - you can download their debut EP for free (don't cost ya a dime) on the band's website: www.rootdownsound.com.