April 11th, 2014 5th Annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival



The 5th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival will take place at the historic Monterey County Fairgrounds from May 23-25, 2014.  This year’s impressive lineup combines the best talent from the progressive US Reggae scene with SOJA, Rebelution, 311, and Pepper with Jamaican favorites including Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, and many more.

This annual festival has come a long way in just four short years.  Festival Director Dan Sheehan enthusiastically states, “We have worked so hard over the last few years to really put this festival on the map not only in California but nationwide.  The event started off as a one day event back in 2010 with about 1200 people in attendance to a festival that is now 3 days with over 10K people coming through the gates each day.  We work year round on this event and our North Carolina event and we wouldn’t have it any other way!”  The art side of the festival is equally important.  Dan adds, “Live painters on stage has become part of the California Roots Festival since year one and it just keeps getting stronger.  We look at it as part of the overall experience of the event and the fans and bands really get into it.”

For more than a decade, U.S. Reggae artists have been organically building a solid foundation from the Hawaiian Islands to the west and east coasts.  This new generation of Reggae artists like Rebelution, SOJA, and The Green continue to reach new heights of success through prolific music releases, relentless touring, and collaboration.  The budding American scene will make you sit up and take note with impressive album sales (charting in the Billboard 200), sold out shows in top tier venues (The Catalyst, The Warfield, Fox Theater, The Greek in Berkley, Fillmore, Club Nokia) and savvy social media skills (SOJA has over 3 million followers).  The California Roots Music and Arts Festival was the first major event to take these likeminded artists and showcase them in a festival setting.

California Roots Festival uses social media year-round, engaging fans, bands, artists, and brands.  They showcase a variety of content, mixed media, and contests through networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Curtis Bergesen of Rootfire, co-manages Hawaii-based band The Green and leverages social media in strategic ways.  He says, “Digitally connecting with people through a shared passion for music is an incredible thing. Social media has allowed The Green to grow their fan base across continents, in real time.  Whether it’s sharing a new photo, or replying to a fan’s question, being active online has been vital to the band’s success.  The Green recently won a Hawaii Five-0 fan built episode contest, beating out much larger artists The Black Keys and Switchfoot.  They achieved this by engaging their audience through social media, and motivating passionate fans to vote for them.”

Jamaican Reggae artists have also recognized the potential in the flourishing US scene and have embraced collaboration with stateside artists and co-billing on tours and festivals like Cali Roots.  Well-respected reggae label VP Records, who has been at the forefront of Jamaican reggae and Caribbean releases, have recently been releasing compilations highlighting more stateside artists like their Dub Rockers, Vol 1.   “VP Records is excited to be a part of the California Roots Festival and help to create a unified global Reggae scene through the Dub Rockers label,” says Zack Reed.

The festival sold out last year so the organizers had to expand into a bigger area of the Monterey County Fairgrounds, home to the famous 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival, where Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar on fire and Janis Joplin rose to prominence.  The 5th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival looks to be on its way to selling out again, due to its strong brand and reputation as a top tier national festival.

The 5th Annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival
Dates: Friday, May 23, 2014 – Sunday May 25, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 11 pm PDT
Venue: Monterey County Fairgrounds
Address: 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey, CA 93940
Admission: Varies (see: https://californiarootsfestival.eventbrite.com)
Age restrictions: All Ages



Many of you might know Kevin Bong as the keys player for the band Stick Figure. But what many of you might not know is he also has his own solo project as lead singer and song writer under KBong. Well, Kevin has just released his debut EP entitled “RISING”. Be sure to check out this four track EP on Itunes or amazon mp3 for only $3.95! The track listing goes as followed “Rising”, “In Session” which features EN Young of Tribal Seeds, “We Had” and “Living In A Dream”



Earlier today Alific announced that he would be joining The Movement as the fourth guy on stage for their entire tour with Iration. The tour starts January 24th and ends March 22nd.  From Alific’s Website “I met The Movement’s guitarist-vocalist Joshua Swain last summer at a Rebelution show, and a few months later I hung out with bassist Jason “Smiles” Schmidt and drummer Gary Jackson at the Cali Roots Carolina Sessions. We all connected over a mutual love of reggae and hip hop. After the Carolina Sessions, I sent The Movement a demo song in hopes that we could collaborate on a recording.” - Alific




John Butler Trio is releasing a new album, “Flesh and Blood”. Pre-order the album on iTunes and get “Blame It On Me” instantly. The first single “Only One” was released just a couple weeks ago. It should be interesting to see the direction the band will go with this album, but with just hearing two of the songs, it seems like a psychedelic rock and roots with touch of blues.

January 9th, 2014 Three Legged Fox RELEASES NEW SINGLE “WE ARE ELECTRIC”!

Three Legged Fox has released their first single off of their anticipated album “We Are Electric”. You can currently download the tune for free, check it out!

January 8th, 2014 Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad IN ROOTS WE TRUST Mixtape & Tour!

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad just released the IN ROOTS WE TRUST Mixtape. It has received almost 10,000 plays in 24 hours.

Stream / Free Download: SoundCloud

IN ROOTS WE TRUST Mixtape features Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, The Expanders, andThe Simpkin Project. Mixed by Alific, the mixtape showcases three band’s interpretations of North American Reggae music. Featuring classic and unreleased tracks, this sonic blend offers a taste of what’s to come on the In Roots We Trust Tour, kicking off January 16 at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, CA!

In Roots We Trust Tour

Jan 16: Hermosa Beach CA - Saint Rocke
Jan 17: Solana Beach CA - Belly Up
Jan 18: Santa Ana CA - Constellation Room
Jan 20: San Luis Obispo CA - SLO Brew
Jan 21: Santa Cruz CA - Moe’s Alley
Jan 22: San Francisco CA - Slim’s
Jan 24: Portland OR - Star Theater
Jan 25: Seattle WA - Nectar Lounge

Tickets + Info http://livepanda.com/shows

- Giant Panda will be releasing a new studio album this summer
- Played 2013 festivals Rombello, Peach Music Festival, All Good, GrassRoots, Summer Camp
- Released song “Future” and the song’s stems for free download. Encouraging fans to create their own mix / remix


- In These Times album made iTunes “Best of 2012″ list
- Featured on NPR All Things Considered
- Performed 800 concerts in the past six years
- Show recordings downloaded over 200,000 times from taper-friendly website Archive.org
- Released two studio albums in 2012: Country, and In These Times



Stick Figure is just a few weeks away from the start of their new tour with Seedless and The Expendables. Though they were  recently on the road for a few dates in California with John Brown’s Body and Alific, this will be their first long run since The Summer Hotbox Tour featuring, Passafire and special guest Tatanka. Stick Figure has been in the process of writing for the new album, and the band has  been hard at work learning new songs from the 2012 release, Burial Ground and some older tunes as well. I’m sure the band is gearing up in excitement to be on the road again.

What can we expect out of these guys for 2014? Hopefully a main stage performance at California Roots this year, an album release and a headlining tour to follow up would be rad. But I’m sure whatever it is, it will be worth the wait.

Check out their recently released video of their Fall Recap Tour with John Brown’s Body and Alific

You can catch Stick Figure along with The Expendables and Seedless on tour starting January 24th in Portland, Organ at the Wonder Ballroom and ending in San Francisco, California on March 16th at the Filmore. Hope to see you on the road at a few shows!

Also be sure to check out Stick Figure’s new Studio Sampler for 2014! DOWNLOAD HERE

Stick Figure Website

Stick Figure Facebook
Official Tour Website

Jan 24 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR Tickets
Jan 25 El Corazon Seattle, WA Tickets
Jan 26 Fortune Sound Club Vancouver, Canada Tickets
Jan 28 Knitting Factory Concert House Spokane, WA Tickets
Jan 29 Knitting Factory Concert House Boise, ID Tickets
Jan 30 Park City Live Park City, UT Tickets
Jan 31 Belly Up Aspen Aspen, CO Tickets
Feb 01 Gothic Theatre Englewood, CO Tickets
Feb 03 The Waiting Room Omaha, NE Tickets
Feb 04 Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN Tickets
Feb 05 The Rave II (Downstairs) Milwaukee, WI Tickets
Feb 06 The Stache Grand Rapids, MI Tickets
Feb 07 The Crofoot Pontiac, MI Tickets
Feb 08 Bottom Lounge Chicago, IL Tickets
Feb 09 Agora Ballroom Cleveland, OH Tickets
Feb 11 The Met Pawtucket, RI Tickets
Feb 12 Revolution Bar & Music Hall Amityville, NY Tickets
Feb 13 Highline Ballroom New York, NY Tickets
Feb 14 Trocadero Philadelphia, PA Tickets
Feb 15 House Of Blues Boston, MA Tickets
Feb 16 Toad’s Place New Haven, CT Tickets
Feb 18 The Loft at Center Stage Atlanta Atlanta, GA Tickets
Feb 19 Freebird Live Jacksonville Beach, FL Tickets
Feb 20 Jannus Live St Petersburg, FL Tickets
Feb 21 House of Blues Orlando, FL Tickets
Feb 22 The Culture Room Fort Lauderdale, FL Tickets
Feb 23 The Culture Room Fort Lauderdale, FL Tickets
Feb 25 The Varsity Theatre Baton Rouge, LA Tickets
Feb 26 House of Rock Corpus Christi, TX Tickets
Feb 27 Antone’s Nightclub Austin, TX Tickets
Feb 28 House Of Blues Houston, TX Tickets
Mar 01 House Of Blues Dallas, TX Tickets
Mar 02 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, OK Tickets
Mar 05 Orpheum Theater Flagstaff, AZ Tickets
Mar 06 The Marquee Tempe, AZ Tickets
Mar 07 House of Blues Anaheim, CA Tickets
Mar 08 Majestic Ventura Theater Ventura, CA Tickets
Mar 14 Senator Theatre Chico, CA Tickets
Mar 15 Ace of Spades Sacramento, CA Tickets
Mar 16 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA Tickets

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