Don’t miss the spring 2012 kickoff, as the Barn doors are kicked wide open and invaded by Stones Throw Records’ The Lions and Peanut Butter Wolf. This mash up of Hip Hop, Reggae and Funk greatness marks the beginning of a new season.
Get your pastel Sunday sweater out of hibernation and bring your favorite bunny suit down to UC Riverside’s Barn for the 2012 Spring Concert Series kickoff!!
– Leroy Sibbles (The Heptones/Studio One kingpin)”One of the best blends of global funky
elements we’ve ever heard…Great stuff
… all around, and a record that’s almost more
funkily exciting than all those old Jamaican
platters you’ve sorted through trying to get
a sound like this!” – Dustygroove“The L.A. collective emerges with an out-
standingly distilled, urban sound that mines
dub reggae in a vintage yet completely fresh
way by tastefully blending it with soul and
funk.” – Orlando Weekly
“… lean and crunchy old-school grooves that
sound like they could have been recorded
and mixed at Dynamic Studios or the Black
Ark in the early 1970s.”
– All Music Guide
The LIONS are Los Angeles’ premier all-star reggae band. The result of an impromptu recording session by some of the scene’s most soulful and notable musicians and singers, The LIONS created grooves that went beyond Jamaican music by combining new and traditional rhythms, and dub mixing mastery with the global sounds of Ethiopia and Colombia resulting in their freshman LP Jungle Struttin’ (Ubiquity Records 2008).
Since the Ubiquity release a series of 45’s have been released on their own Lions Bread label garnering accolades from fans like KCRW’s own Jeremy Sole who says: “”Like Daniel, I would step into The Lions’ den for this sound! Yes they are fierce – the kings of the jungle when it comes to skank and riddim inna classic fashion. The Lions’ new record marks a sweet revival of Dub, Rocksteady and perfect 3-part harmony that would make the legendary rootsmen proud.”
Given the popularity of the last year’s 7” 45 vinyl single “This Generation” b/w “New Girl,” The Lions have released a second 45 “Roll it ‘Round” b/w “Pieces of A Man”. The combination of MC/actor Black Shakespeare and crooner Malik Moore shine once again on “Roll It ‘Round,” while singer/actor Alex Desert rides the rocksteady rhythm on “Pieces of a Man.” This vinyl will also be available in limited quantities at Joshua Tree Music Festival until the new LP This Generation drops in July 2011.
With four vocalists backed by eight (and sometimes nine) musicians, their live set transcends any particular genre but is best described as a healthy mix of vocal and dub tracks, balancing classic reggae and soul cuts as well as a healthy portion of originals. The LIONS live is like the best summer party you can barely remember.
The LIONS have shared the stage with Gregory Isaacs, Sly & Robbie, Bunny Wailer, Distant Relatives (Nas and Damian Marley), Michael Rose, Horace Andy, The Abyssinians, Tarrus Riley, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Antibalas, The Heptones, The Aggrolites, Bedouin Soundclash, Breakestra, Connie Price & the Keystones and Dengue Fever. The Lions repertoire has been heard on USA’s hit series Burn Notice (“Hot No Ho”, “Thin Man Skank,” “Givin Up Food For Jah”), the Funk Aid For Africa compilation (“Jungle Struttin’”) and the Box of Funq compilation (“Hot No Ho”).
The Lions joint Stones Throw – Album planned for release in 2012.
“Like Daniel, I would step into The Lions’ den for this sound! Yes they are fierce – the kings of the jungle” – Jeremy Sole, KCRW
Inspired by reggae, sound system culture and the myriad of musical styles influenced by Jamaican music old and new, The Lions’ sound is firmly placed in soul music.
“All the guys in The Lions grew up on classic Jamaican records so since we began we have wanted to give our records that same edge and roughness that we grew up hearing on LPs by The Upsetters, Soul Syndicate, The Rockers Band and Roots Radics. The rhythm section was all recorded to tape, the Hammond buzzed a little, fuses blew and good mistakes were left in. We basically made the dusty reggae soul LP WE have been wanting to hear for years.” – Dan Ubick (producer)
The band draws together a dozen or so of LA’s elite reggae and soul forerunners who loosely coalesced as The Lions in 2007. Members of the legendary ska band Hepcat, Deston Berry and Alex Désert, form half of the vocal team, and the latter also has a successful career on screen, including roles in the films Swingers and High Fidelity. The other half is the sweet falsetto of Malik Moore and DJ stylings of Black Shakespeare, the charismatic cousin of Robbie Shakespeare (of Sly & Robbie fame) and co-runner of the i&i Sound System, a customised ice cream van bringing bass to the streets of the west coast and featured on the cover of both Saul Williams’ self-titled album and an issue of XLR8R Magazine.
Other members include guitarist Dan Ubick, formerly of Breakestra, Macy Gray co-writer and collaborator Dave Wilder on bass, plus musicians who have played with the likes of De La Soul, Barrington Levy, Beck, Raphael Saadiq, Big Daddy Kane and Black Eyed Peas.