JohnStone is a roots reggae band from Washington D.C. touring in support of the award winning album "Innocent Children" (2007). LINK: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JohnStone
Over ten years performing together, JohnStone has assembled an arsenal of crucial roots-influenced original compositions, complemented by tasteful covers saluting their favorite reggae artists. Winner of several DC Reggae Music Awards and nominee for best reggae band in the annual DC area WAMMIES. JohnStone has appeared with Burning Spear, Toots & The Maytals, Third World, Sister Carol, Yellowman, The Itals, The Meditations and many others.
Artfully produced, beautifully lyrical and thoroughly original, Innocent Children represents a cohesive blend of five personal perspectives on reggae, enlivened and emboldened by rock, gospel, R&B and jazz influences which reflect a lifetime of admiration and study of music. Innocent Children is simultaneously an authentic throwback to the 1970's - replete with hammond B3 sounds, wah-wah guitar, funk influenced drumming - as well as a fresh and innovative approach to modern roots reggae music, with unique song structures, melodic hooks and song writing savvy.
To help create a strong roots reggae base, JohnStone recruited Jalani Horton (Mt. Nebo Records, Bambu Station) to record Innocent Children. As with their previous record Eyes Open, JohnStone tapped legendary engineer Jim Fox (Steel Pulse, Black Uhuru, Israel Vibration, Eek-a-Mouse) to lend his considerable mixing and dubbing talents.
The title track Innocent Children was first conceptualized and written by drummer/singer Alfred Adams in February of 2004, while reading reports on the coup d'etat in Haiti. Musically, Innocent Children is a throwback to the late 70's reggae sound, while lyrically the song is a powerful indictment against the use of child soldiers. Other songs on Innocent Children range from straight ahead, inspirational anthems such as Peace and Love and Harmony to the moody, early 60's Coltrane influenced opus Black Spirit Swells, which shows off Benjamin Crandall's tenor sax chops and bassist Brendan DeMelle's melodic bass playing. One of the album's highlights, Black Spirit Swells (A. White) is inspired by and dedicated to the life of Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The song also references the plight of African peoples who were enslaved in the new world, and their constant hope for a better human existence in the face of desperate and sub-human conditions. A tribute to Jamaican singers who have fought for equality and justice through their art, Clinton's Lament represents lead singer Andre White at his lyrical best. On Trod Your Own, Alfred Adams and keyboardist Joseph Manekin have composed a powerful, funky tune that preaches persistence and independence in pursuit of one's goals.
Innocent Children represents the distillation of years of togetherness as a band, drawing from the musical diversity of an incredibly diverse group of musicians. It is an album with plenty of immediate appeal, though its musical complexity and lyrical provenance should provide listening pleasure for some time to come.
JohnStone has supported international acts such as Burning Spear (Winston Rodney),Toots and the Maytals, The Itals, Third World, The Meditations and Yellowman etc. and have been nominated in successive years to the Washington Area Music Awards (WAMA) and the D.C. Annual Reggae Music Awards.
Innocent Children is available via http://www.cdbaby.com, the ITUNES music store,
http://www.johnstonemusic.com, as well as local and online retailers.
For more information on CD release shows, booking inquiries or other
information please visit http://www.johnstonemusic.com or
The Attic, Santa Cruz, CA
Charlie Brownz, Wilmington, NC
Dogfish Head, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Alley Katz, Richmond, VA
Rhodeside Grill, Arlington, VA
The State Theatre, Falls Church, VA
Crows Nest, Santa Cruz, CA
Zig’s Bar & Grill, Alexandria, VA
Ned Devine's, Herndon, VA
American University, DC
Club FIVE, DC
Kili's Kafe, DC
Velvet Lounge, DC
Lulu's Club Mardi Gras, DC
Recher Theather, MD
Fletcher’s Theater, Baltimore, MD
Paloma’s, Baltimore, MD
Ottobar, Baltimore, MD
Iamp’s Fest 2003, Baltimore, MD
Federal Hill Fest 2002, Baltimore, MD
La Palapa, Ellicott City, MD
Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, DC
Bukom CafÈ, DC
The Bottom Line, DC
Ned Devine's, Fairfax, VA
Artscape Festival, Baltimore, MD
Ukiah Brewing Company, Sonoma, CA
One Love For Africa Fest, Fredericksburg, VA
Buffalo Wild Wings, Fredericksburg, VA
The Underground, Fredericksburg, VA
Club Dread, San Francisco, CA
The Shark Club, Fredericksburg, VA
The Lighthouse, Solomon's Island, MD
Buffalo Billiards, Gaithersburg, MD
Hood College, Frederick, MD
Hilton Ballroom, Lake Placid, NY
The Hoot Owl, Canton, NY
Saint Lawrence University, Canton, NY
Nick's Fish House, Baltimore, MD
Univeristy of Maryland, College Park, MD
Dockside, Colonial Beach, VA
Outer Banks Brewing Company, Kill Devil Hills, NC
SUPPORTED INTERNATIONAL ACTS
Toots and The Maytals
*World Music Central.org
* FOX 5 News
Voice of America Radio
* BBC Radio
* WPFW 89.3 FM
* “The Eagle” (American Univ.)
Andre White - Guitar
Warren Pedersen II - Bass
Alfred Adams - Drums
Benjamin Crandall - Saxophone
Ras Tahaqua - keyboards
Dub Confidence: 2010
Innocent Children: 2007
Eyes Open: 2005
Eyes Open DUB: 2005
Live On: 2001
Reggae Set In Stone
[+ Show ]
JohnStone Eyes Open (JohnStone Reggae LLC, 2005) The already-strong USA reggae scene gets anothe...JohnStone Eyes Open
(JohnStone Reggae LLC, 2005)
The already-strong USA reggae scene gets another big boost here. Washington, DC-based JohnStone play tight, uplifting modern roots that's rich with pop hooks and anthemic lyrics that carry the social conscience which has recently found itself at the forefront of reggae again. This biracial band has got their chops down, too. Live bass and drums form a solid riddim backbone that's expertly topped by stinging keyboard and guitar riffs and seasoned with dashes of percussion and saxophone.
Guitarist Andre N. White and drummer Alfred Adams handle the bulk of the lead vocals and songwriting, displaying an assured sense of both on songs that stress basic goodness ("Awakening," "Never Ever"), embrace the spirit ("Shine") and seek unity in the groove ("Celebration"). The tracks are finely crafted, full of rich instrumental layering and vocal harmony gracing the reggae foundation.
Once you've let this disc grow on you (and it will), check out the companion CD Eyes Open Dub, on which JohnStone further reveal the intricacies of their brand of reggae via dub versions of each track on Eyes Open. The songs are deconstructed to reveal their inner workings, taking the soulful sound to another level with sparse echoey effects and passages that enhance just how well the players get their licks in. JohnStone are among the best American reggae currently out there, and that's saying a lot. (www.johnstonereggae.com)
By Tom Orr
JohnStone: Rootsy and Vibrant
[+ Show ]
JohnStone offers a personal perspective on their debut disc Eyes Open (JohnStone Reggae LLC). With ...JohnStone offers a personal perspective on their debut disc Eyes Open (JohnStone Reggae LLC). With vocals and writing credits mainly shared between guitarist Andre White and drummer Alfred Adams this four-or-five piece (four members are credited but five appear in the photos) self-contained band offers a sound that stands on its own without identifiable influences in song, structure or style. The vision laid out in songs line “Black Paradise”, “The Awakening”, “Shashamane Land” and “Strong to Say” avoids standard clichés and is augmented by the steady keyboards of Joseph Manekin and bass and backing vocals from Brendan DeMelle. Other musical elements are added by guest percussionist Chet Nunoo-Quarcoo and sax man Benjamin Crandall. Rootsy and vibrant, they really hit their stride on “Shine”, which could easily be mistaken for a lost Studio One Larry Marshall cut. Also available is a corresponding Eyes Open Dub. [www.johnstonereggae.com]
by Chuck Foster
reprinted from: THE BEAT Volume 24 NO. 6 2005
Top Notch Showcase of Roots Reggae
[+ Show ]
The Washington, DC area is one of the best places in the US if you're a reggae fan, with acts like M...The Washington, DC area is one of the best places in the US if you're a reggae fan, with acts like Midnite, Soldiers of Jah Army, Carlton Livingston, and Shango Band having taken up residence there at one point or another, not to mention RAS Records, Mt. Nebo Records, and Lion & Fox Studios. Well, add the band JohnStone to that list. An active member of the DC reggae scene for several years now, JohnStone spent the past three recording Eyes Open, and the time was well spent. The care and attention spent is evident in this top-notch showcase of roots reggae. The international lineup -- including members from Jamaica, Guyana, Ghana, and the US -- blend their respective homeland's influences beautifully, performing roots with touches of soul and occasionally a more up-tempo African twist (as on "The Awakening" and "Celebration"). Lead singer Andre White's vocals are evocative -- a folksy blend of Alpha Blondy and Winston Matthews of Wailing Souls fame -- and the music is rich and heartfelt, with nary a weak track to be found. Check 'em out at johnstonereggae.com.
JohnStone plays two (2) 75 minute sets. The band plays mainly originals but have been known to play covers from Marley, Culture, Dennis Brown, etc.
A typical set includes:
(1) Eyes Open
(4) Black Paradise
(5) Strong to Say
(6) Clinton's Lament
(7) King Jah Jah Sons
(8) Black Spirits Swells
(9) Happy Day
(10) Shashamane Land
There are no upcoming dates at this time.