An organic conception of South Florida Funk & Folk, North Florida Blues & Greens, Afro-Jazz rhythms, with subtle Reggae breakdowns.
Saltwater Grass is a soulful mix of styles reflecting their diverse backgrounds and deep connection to their music. Backed by a Miami-born percussionist, Western Florida drummer, and fronted by a singer trained in bluegrass pickin' circles in the back woods of Central Florida. The bands sound is filled out with a blues driven electric guitar, a rock-solid bass, and man bouncing between a wailing harmonica and sax.
After recording their self-titled debut full length album in late November 2008 with engineer Tom Pisani (The Band, Van Zant, The Machine) Saltwater Grass has been working hard on spreading their music from their home in Jacksonville Beach and beyond.
Over a year later and now finished with their second album, titled, "Out of the Everywhere," Saltwater Grass is relentlessly infiltrating ear drums of suspected and unsuspecting music go-ers all around the South East! Featured at Major Festivals like, Bear Creek Music Festival, SpringFest, Black Water Music Festival, and stretching as from from The Florida Keys to Coast of South Carolina, Saltwater Grass has been and always will be Road Ready, Tried and True.
With shows booked around FL, GA, SC into early summer 2011, the band continues to grow and evolve as their audience grows bigger, greener, stronger.
Rich Hansen - lead vocals & rhythm guitar
Austin Johnston - Bass
Ryan Daley - Lead Guitar
Nico Lembo - Drums
Jp Salvat - Percussion
Jeff hoff - Harmonica & Sax
1. Saltwater Grass (self-titled)
2. Out of the Everywhere
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Reggae rock is a genre that boasts its share of easily recognizable clichés: fast-strummed guitar ...
Reggae rock is a genre that boasts its share of easily recognizable clichés: fast-strummed guitar chords, formulaic lyrics concerning the sun, the surf, and smoking pot, and a solid rhythm section featuring bass and drums passable enough to make the whole shebang sound great after a few Sunday afternoon beers. Standing out in the crowded reggae rock field shouldn’t be too hard, then, and Jacksonville Beach band Saltwater Grass proves that point by easily transcending the narrow stereotype. On their self-titled debut album — recorded right here in the Oldest at Eclipse Studios — Saltwater Grass has produced a jazz-inflected, blues-tinged, just-countrified-enough dose of coastal Florida-inspired originality.
Opener “Party Ball” boasts a simple two-chord structure that’s instantly livened up by multi-instrumentalist Jeff Hoff’s rough-around-the-edges trumpet. Singer/guitarist Rich Hansen, whose pleasantly gruff pipes were trained by bluegrass pickers, adds a tinge of melancholy to the late-night tale, while lead guitarist Ryan Daley’s sparkling slide guitar also blesses the track. On “The Truth,” Hansen’s throaty preacher-style delivery dazzles, especially on the telling lyric “Revolution sounds great until the rent comes due.” And that’s all before Hoff’s wailing Black Sabbath harmonica and on-point congas from percussionist Juan Pablo Salvat steal the show. Only two songs in, it’s obvious that Saltwater Grass isn’t just another lame Slightly Stoopid rip-off.
Hoff matches Daley’s buoyant guitar note for note on “Boxes,” while “I’ll Be Around” gets the acoustic blues treatment, with Hoff’s harmonica again shining brightly alongside the Allman Brothers-reminiscent guitar solo. “Further On Down The Road” is the first song on Saltwater Grass that boasts a proper reggae lineage, with a loping dub bass line courtesy of Austin Johnston perfectly accompanying the surf-themed lazy day lyrics. But “Yesterday” is more of the same, save for Alex Santeiro’s steady drumming and Daley’s psychedelic guitar pedal, which also dominates the so-so instrumental “Brooklyn.”
The back end of the album finds Saltwater Grass stretching their legs, cruising through jam-rock workout “Slow Road To Georgia” before light R&B and funk accentuate the break-up tale “End Up Getting Down.” Whirlwind acoustic guitars and introspective lyrics from Hansen place “Ricardo’s Waltz” firmly in Dave Matthews Band territory, while “You Can’t Run” clearly owes a debt to the swamp rock of fellow Jacksonville products JJ Grey & Mofro. And album closer “At Least,” while nothing extraordinary, sounds catchy enough to put a smile on the face of any live audience.
So sure, Saltwater Grass may be front-loaded, with its strongest and most original tracks coming in the first third of the album. But at least this Jax Beach sextet stepped out of their comfort zone, wandering through North Florida’s rich, rootsy musical soil instead of focusing solely on the pleasant but constricting sounds of the sea.
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1. I downloaded this album without ever hearing the band before and it greatly surpassed my expectat...1. I downloaded this album without ever hearing the band before and it greatly surpassed my expectations. It's very hard to find a jam band style that I can get into but this is one of the few. I loved the vocals in every song and the variety of instruments compliments the feel of each song. I'd recommend this album to anyone. Well done.
2. This is a great band out of Jacksonville Florida. Their music is fresh and unique. I love to listen to them. The blend of guitar, drums, harmonica and horn are great!
3.This album is so sick! Def check it out if you haven't.
Florida Times Union Review
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Saltwater Grass: March 7 Saltwater Grass sounds like it ought to be a bluegrass band, but it's no...Saltwater Grass: March 7
Saltwater Grass sounds like it ought to be a bluegrass band, but it's not. The trumpet is pretty much the giveaway. The band, or its predecessor, formed a couple of years ago and played a bit of bluegrass. But it's gone through heavy changes since then.
It's grown to six people: Rich Hanson, vocals and guitar; J.P. Salvat, percussion; Ryan Daley, guitar; Austin Johnston, bass; Jeff Hoff, harmonica and trumpet; Alex Santeiro, drums. The music is sort of funk, with some Afro-Cuban rhythms, but it's not just that.
And they've been really busy lately: Miami and St. Augustine last weekend, Orlando and Gainesville the weekend before that.
"Our social lives," Salvat said, "have been destroyed." And they've recorded their first CD - self-titled, self-produced and self-released - that they'll release at a performance Saturday night at Freebird Live, with Cornmeal and Greenhouse Lounge opening. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
HomeGrown Music - Bear Creek
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October 30, 2009 -- Jacksonville Beach FL , based Saltwater Grass is currently in pre-production for...October 30, 2009 -- Jacksonville Beach FL , based Saltwater Grass is currently in pre-production for their upcoming album due out in early 2010. In addition to preparing for Bear Creek Music Festival in Live Oak, FL. (Saturday 5 pm, Music Hall Stage) the band has been busy welcoming a new member, as well as performing for former President Bill Clinton and opening for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
"This album is going to be a definite departure from the first one," said guitarist Ryan Daley. "We've spent a year writing and have really focused on exploring our influences a little more, something I feel we only hinted at on the first album."
One major change in the SWG sound is the addition of James Nicholson on drums. The former Berkeley student and protégé of Atlanta 's Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon, Aquarium Rescue Unit) joined the band in September and made his presence known from his first show, opening for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach , FL.
"I'm glad he was able to make his debut at a big show like that, he's added a new dynamic and really marks the next step in the evolution of the band," said vocalist Rich Hansen.
SWG found themselves in Orlando , FL in early September sharing stage with Bill Clinton when the former president speaking on campus at the University of Central Florida .
"That was a thrill and a totally unique experience," said bassist Austin Johnston. "Music has taken us a lot of places but there is no way I would have bet on meeting the president because of it."
Look for Saltwater Grass on the road in early 2010 in New Orleans La. , Atlanta , GA. Charleston , SC. and Asheville , NC . as they tour in support of, as yet untitled second album.
Our shows have varied from 4 1/2 hour club gigs to 45 mintute opening slots.
The truth, End up getting Down, Further on Down the road, are just a few songs in our arsenal. We dont do to many covers but if we do they range form Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, Deveil Makes Three...
There are no upcoming dates at this time.