Review:: Strictly Roots | Morgan Heritage


Morgan Heritage aren’t newcomers to the reggae scene, recently releasing their tenth album, Strictly Roots. I’m a beginner when it comes to reggae music, but Morgan Heritage has found a way to bring in new fans while keeping their old ones.  Their easygoing sound combines a mixture of pop elements and traditional reggae style to put a modern twist on the genre.

The title track “Strictly Roots” is the perfect opener for new fans of the genre It’s straightforward in introducing the rest of the album, with its easy beat and layered vocals. “Light It Up” is a listening experience to remind that you that their music is not about the bad times, but instead reggae is about fun and good vibes. Older fans might get a bit confused because Morgan Heritage introduces a more pop sound in their reggae, but they still can appreciate the homage to their roots. “Child of JAH” has remnants of
their traditional reggae style with slight mainstream undertones.  Its lyrics are meaningful and hail to their Jamaican roots.

The tracks continue to feel more and more modern as you listen to the rest of the album.  The reggae style becomes more of a base line for the pop-style vocals.  There’s a mixture of rap, jazz, and layered vocals but the messages behind the songs still invoke positivity and relaxation. “Sunday Morning” is one of those tracks that plays with pop-reggae
infusion – it’s smooth and upbeat while still incorporating pop elements.

Morgan Heritage’s twist on reggae music in Strictly Roots draws a newer fan base that might be more open to exploring the rest of the genre.  While older fans might miss the traditional aspects of the band’s sound, they still hold on to the fact that they are
redefining what the genre could bring to mainstream music.  They’ve already shown what they can do when you mix a wide variety of sounds, and it’s pretty amazing.

Release Date: April 20th, 2015
Runtime: ~50 minutes
Rating: 3.5/5
Check Out: “Child of Jah,” “Celebrate Life”

Track listing:
1) Strictly Roots
2) Child of JAH
3) Light It Up
4) Rise and Fall
5) Perform and Done
6) So Amazing
7) Wanna Be Loved
8) Why Dem Come Around
9) We Are Warriors
10) Put It On Me
11) Sunday Morning
12) Celebrate Life
13) Keep On Jammin

The Lawsuits Announce New EP

Philly based band, The Lawsuits, have announced that they will be releasing their new EP on September 23rd. This self-produced EP, titled Tumbled, pulls inspiration from blues to reggae to gospel. The band states, “These four songs represent where we are at the moment. We believe these recordings display progression from our last set of recordings.

Check out the track listing below!

1. (Darla Nye) Never Love Someone
2. Gimme Gimme
3. Sweet Marcelle
4. You Aren’t The Same

Ballyhoo Announce New EP and Tour

Ballyhoo will be releasing their new EP, Halo, on June 17th! The band recently released one of the tracks, “The Lazy Song” (Bruno Mars Cover), which debuted at #6 on the iTunes Reggae charts! 

You can find the EP artwork, track listing, and upcoming tour dates below!

Track Listing:
1. Halo (Beautiful Day)
2. No Good (Sound Lounge Session)
3. The Lazy Song (Bruno Mars Cover)

Upcoming Tour Dates (**Full U.S. Tour dates to come**):
5.30 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
5.31 – Richmond, VA @ The Canal Club
6.6 – Philadelphia, PA @ Hard Rock Live
6.21 – Selden, Long Island, NY @ Beer Fields Craft Beer & Music Festival w/ Matisyahu
6.27 – Baltimore, MD @ Power Plant Live
7.6 – Nags Head, NC @ Kelly’s Outer Banks
7.7 – Ocean City, MD @ Seacret’s
7.14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE w/ 311, Sublime with Rome
7.19 – Lombard, IL @ Brauer House
8.24 – Myrtle Beach, SC @ The Boathouse

Interview:: Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why

Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do in the band!

My name is Quincy Mumford, I am the front man, lead singer, and rhythm guitar player in Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why.

The new album, Its Only Change, is simply phenomenal. It displays the perfect mix of genres from funk to rock to soul to reggae to jazz and it’s all just very captivating. At the same time, it’s almost daring to mix so many genres into one album. What inspired you to create an album like this?

I listen to so many different types of music that it just come natural to write in many different ways. I don’t say to myself, ok today im going to write a funk song, or a ballad… Whatever I feel, is what I write. So in many ways these mix of genres, are not intentional.

When listening to Its Only Change, you can instantly sense a mix of emotions that was put into this album. Which song is the most personal to you and can you explain the meaning behind it?

Probably the song, “Eventually”. It comes from a place of struggle but also hope. The song is about having the weight of life on your shoulders, and stress weighing you down, but realizing that life is but a journey, you must keep on keepin on and you will get there eventually. Playing that song always puts a smile on my face

You’ve played over 400 shows since starting Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why. If you could choose one as the most memorable, which would it be and why?

That’s a hard one! There have been so many! Recently…we played a festival in CT called “Blues on The Beach”. There were at least 5000 people on the beach dancing like crazy. We were on a huge awesome stage, with killer lights, and totally nailed our set!

In May of last year, you released your first live album. Did you find it difficult or challenging to record a live album versus recording in a studio? And would you do it again if you could?

With a live album, you only have one chance to make it right. There are no “do overs”. We had to practice non-stop to create a killer liveshow. We performed 3 shows over 2 days and picked the best songs from each show. Even though we recorded in a studio for the latest record, it was pretty similar to the live one, in the sense that we only had 10 days to create it. Such a short amount of time to get everything just right. I would do another live album in a minute. I had a blast making it!

If Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why could create a dream tour, who would be on it and what would it be called?

Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why / Ryan Montbleau Band / Soulive / D’ Angelo …. It would be called Soul Cruise!

You’ve been a band for over 5 years now. What are some life lessons you’ve learned from both being in a band and being on the road?

There are a lot of life lessons to be learned like…Make sure you always have your luggage with you, because you never know when your going to be stranded with your van broken down 150 miles away. Also, to give back and pay it forward because you never know when you will need a helping hand. There have been number of times when we have needed a place to stay because we could not afford a hotel room, and kind people that enjoy our music, complete strangers have put us up for the night. Be kind, be positive, live to love, and respect each other!

It seems that with every new album that you put out, you create a challenge for yourself. With this album, I think it’s the mixed amount of genres and instruments used to create your sound. Are you currently working on new music with a new challenge for yourself?

Always! haha.. We just recently recorded live in the studio with a studio audience, doing new and old songs, all with acoustic arrangements. Not sure when or how we are going to put it out, but we love to have options and new music to sell or give away!

What do you hope your fans walk away with after listening to Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why?

I hope they walk away feeling liberated, understood, and lifted.

What can we expect next from Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why?

Lots of touring, new music, and new videos! stay tuned!

Come out and see us live for the full experience! We promise you will not regret it!