SoFla Flow pays tribute to South Florida's wonderful jam-band, reggae, and related activity: heady, homegrown, local stuff.
Deerfield Beach band the Resolvers' new album, Big Band Reggae, debuted at number five on the Billboard Reggae Charts, and that was before it was released online, which happened last week. As readers may have picked up on from various posts (here and here, for example), County Grind thinks this band deserves all the little gold stars of feedback that it can receive.
Big Band Reggae is a profoundly original statement in the world of reggae, both the album and the sound to which the title refers: the well-nurtured child that this 11-piece musical family has been bringing into the world for a couple of years now. On the six-song record, it's clear that not only is the child up on its own two feet but it's dancing like James Brown. The record delivers it so well that the listener can't help but shake loose and join in.
Right out of the gate, the album declares that it has as much to do with the Godfather of Soul as it does with Bob Marley. It is fun, kickin' party music grounded in the love that makes roots reggae so wholesome. Blaring horn solos throughout are dizzying, while the bass walks along, steady like a lion. All of the elements, too many to describe individually, shimmer and hang together organically, as a lively, energetic whole.
The songs are creative in their writing and arrangements, and the band is at once disciplined and loose in delivering them. Here, as with all good music, the players are able, well-practiced, and so relaxed that the music moves on its own.
The big chords and the group sound that happens is powerful, but there is also subtle, playful communication among the instruments we appreciate. Throughout the record, which was recorded live in the studio, the Resolvers perform at a high level of connection, joy, and enthusiasm. And that feeling is as contagious and infectious as the catchy hooks woven into each soulful jam.
So infectious is this music that the 30 or so minutes simply fly by. At no point does the album drag, nor is anything cut short or choppy. The start-to-finish flow is dynamic and engaging, with ample space allowed for the sound to arise, boogie, and rescind like a fun, surfable wave off the coast of South Florida.
Take this music out in the sun or crank it after dark at your next house party. Big Band Reggae is a great offering from an inspired and upcoming band, just in time for summer.
You can catch the Resolvers live, along with several other bands at Lake Worth Reggae Fest this weekend. First, here is a little taste:
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Lake Worth Reggae Fest featuring Maxi Priest, Inner Circle, Resolvers, Jahfe, Mixed Culture, Fourth Dimension, Roots Shakedown, and Spred the Dub. Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 31, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 1, at Bryant Park, Lake Avenue, Lake Worth. Tickets cost $10. Click here.