Copper’s Sunsation rolls out good vibes
April 9, 2009
In keeping with the Easter spirit, Copper Mountain’s Sunsation 2009 features soul-elevating music, chock full of One Love.
The Original Wailers, featuring Junior Marvin and Al Anderson, headline the event at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Bob Marley and the Wailers formed in the late 1960s in Jamaica, pioneering roots rock reggae. Marvin joined the band in 1977, right before “Exodus” was released, and Anderson has been with the group since the early 1970s.
When Marley died in 1981 at the age of 36, the band members continued as The Wailers. Then, last September, Marvin and Anderson branched off to form The Original Wailers.
“We wanted to keep the standard of music high rather than working (for fame),” Marvin said, talking about how Marley was “very demanding,” rehearsed a lot and paid strict attention to the quality of the music. “The emphasis was always on the music ” putting out a good product with a good message.”
The Original Wailers pay homage to Marley by playing songs like “Exodus,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” “No Woman, No Cry” and “I Shot the Sheriff,” but they also add more of a rock edge to their tunes.
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Currently, they’re testing a few singles, including “Solution,” in live shows, as well as during band rehearsals. They plan to release a new single before summer.
In the meantime, they continue spreading their good-vibes message.
“It’s good music for dancing and rejoicing, but at the same time, you can learn something from it,” Marvin said. “The message is very people friendly. It’s very warm, kind of a summer feeling. It’s not something that taxes your energy. It’s pretty easy to get along with.”
The Lee Boys kick off the eighth annual Sunsation at 1 p.m. Saturday with their African-American “sacred steel” ensemble, then end the weekend with a 3 p.m. show Sunday.
The three Lee brothers, Alvin, Keith and Derek, grew up in a Pentecostal church, where their father was the minister. He taught them how to play gospel music, and now they’re teaching their children. Their three nephews join them on this trip.
At the core, the sound is gospel based (hence the word “sacred”), revolving around the pedal steel guitar (hence the word “steel”).
“It’s a style from right out of our church,” said Alvin Lee. “We just infused it with blues, funk and soul.”
They aim to touch people with their songs like “So Much to Live For,” “Lord, Help Me to Hold Out,” “Feel the Music” and “Give God Some Praise.”
“We are definitely messengers,” he said. “We speak through our music.”
The Lee Boys invite everyone to have a good time, saying:
“It’s definitely not sittin’ music. You will be inspired.”
BoomBox delivers a signature sound, different from anything heard or seen in music these days. DJ Russ Randolph and singer and guitarist Zion Rock Godchaux see their style as “the future of music,” Randolph said.
Since fans are more technologically hip ” “they’ve seen it all,” as Randolph said ” the duo strives to produce something unique. They build tracks on two drum machines, then Randolph mixes the two tracks live, while Godchaux layers in guitar and vocals.
“On the basic level, we think of it as dance music,” Randolph said. “We weave, tweak and morph it live and build pieces of funk.”
The team, based in Alabama, has worked together for five years. Godchaux began playing drums at age 2 and was writing his own songs as a teen. Randolph started out on drums, then became a sound engineer. It’s Randolph’s soundscape understanding and Godchaux’s knack for songwriting that helps BoomBox resonate with fans.
“A lot of people think electronica bands equal crazy, random beats for drug-crazed people to dance to, but we put a little more thought behind it,” Randolph said. “We’re actually writing a song, and people leave with a concept of a melody.”
They explore the audience’s energy and have a “real-time experience with the crowd,” he said.
“We try to create a fun place “relaxing and welcoming,” he said. “We definitely want it to be a comfortable environment, (not one) that beats people over the head with tracks.”
As One Gospel Choir plays Sunday, ringing in their harmonious music and message. Band leader Tarell Martin crosses boundaries of nearly every popular musical genre with his original songs. Backing him up are voices filled with praise, purpose and passion; the website calls the music Prince meets Kirk Franklin.