Irie Sol
Gig Seeker Pro

Irie Sol

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band World Reggae

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Sep
29
Irie Sol @ House of Rock

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Dec
17
Irie Sol @ Malarkey's Pub

Wausau, Wisconsin, USA

Wausau, Wisconsin, USA

Dec
10
Irie Sol @ House of Rock

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Dec
09
Irie Sol @ Shooter's Pub

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Nov
12
Irie Sol @ 7th St. Entry

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Oct
22
Irie Sol @ Sunset Tavern

Black River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Black River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Oct
21
Irie Sol @ Shooter's Pub

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Oct
08
Irie Sol @ House of Rock

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Sep
30
Irie Sol @ Malarkey's Pub

Wausau, Wisconsin, USA

Wausau, Wisconsin, USA

Sep
23
Irie Sol @ Shooter's Pub

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Sep
12
Irie Sol @ Whiskey Dicks

Altoona, Wisconsin, USA

Altoona, Wisconsin, USA

Sep
11
Irie Sol @ Unity Unitarian Church

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Sep
09
Irie Sol @ Every Buddy's Bar and Grill

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Sep
04
Irie Sol @ Baystock

Bayfield, Wisconsin, USA

Bayfield, Wisconsin, USA

Sep
03
Irie Sol @ Wader's Tiki Bar

Cornucopia, Wisconsin, USA

Cornucopia, Wisconsin, USA

Aug
31
Irie Sol @ Discovery World

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Aug
25
Irie Sol @ Phoenix Park

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA

Aug
19
Irie Sol @ Shooter's Pub

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

River Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Aug
14
Irie Sol @ Marley's On The Beach

Warwick, Rhode Island, USA

Warwick, Rhode Island, USA

Aug
13
Irie Sol @ Best Buy - Back Bay

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Aug
12
Irie Sol @ The Dunes Club

Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA

Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA

Jul
22
Irie Sol @ Otto's Beer and Brat Garden

Minocqua, Minnesota, USA

Minocqua, Minnesota, USA

Jul
15
Irie Sol @ Whiskey Dicks

Altoona, Wisconsin, USA

Altoona, Wisconsin, USA

Jul
10
Irie Sol @ Trails End Resort

Hayward, Wisconsin, USA

Hayward, Wisconsin, USA

Jul
09
Irie Sol @ Trails End Resort

Hayward, Wisconsin, USA

Hayward, Wisconsin, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


One local band isn’t afraid to get political during one of the most tumultuous political periods in Wisconsin’s history – Eau Claire’s Irie Sol is speaking their mind by cutting a brand new single. Because six members of the band either worked at or attended UW-Eau Claire, they headed into a studio to produce an “anti education cuts” song in support of Wisconsin's university system.

Volume One is able to offer you an exclusive listen of the track below, along with some explanation from band member J Pace.

Roccupy the Dome by Irie Sol*

"It's about the war on education. A time of crisis forces an evaluation of priorities with money allocated to what is deemed essential. Cuts to education are seen as the answer to a worldwide economic crisis; however, education is essential, the soundest investment in these times and our future. Locally, the recent budget lapse combined with earlier reductions mean that over 300 million dollars have been cut from the UW System. The critical and innovative thinking that takes place on our UW campuses is directly linked to the economic and environmental well being of our state and the mental, physical, and spiritual health of its people. Education is how imagination grows, and its abundant harvest safeguards our local, global, and civil liberties." – Joel Pace, trumpet, vocals, Irie Sol - Volume One Magazine, Eau Claire, WI


One local band isn’t afraid to get political during one of the most tumultuous political periods in Wisconsin’s history – Eau Claire’s Irie Sol is speaking their mind by cutting a brand new single. Because six members of the band either worked at or attended UW-Eau Claire, they headed into a studio to produce an “anti education cuts” song in support of Wisconsin's university system.

Volume One is able to offer you an exclusive listen of the track below, along with some explanation from band member J Pace.

Roccupy the Dome by Irie Sol*

"It's about the war on education. A time of crisis forces an evaluation of priorities with money allocated to what is deemed essential. Cuts to education are seen as the answer to a worldwide economic crisis; however, education is essential, the soundest investment in these times and our future. Locally, the recent budget lapse combined with earlier reductions mean that over 300 million dollars have been cut from the UW System. The critical and innovative thinking that takes place on our UW campuses is directly linked to the economic and environmental well being of our state and the mental, physical, and spiritual health of its people. Education is how imagination grows, and its abundant harvest safeguards our local, global, and civil liberties." – Joel Pace, trumpet, vocals, Irie Sol - Volume One Magazine, Eau Claire, WI


In September we welcomed JOEL of the 11 piece reggae/soul/world band IRIE SOL on the show. We spent a half hour talking about the formation of Irie Sol, from it’s roots in Eau Claire, WI to it’s now scattered but still very well put together ensemble. With members living in Eau Claire, WI, Menomonie, WI, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN you’ll find influence in the music that reflects all three of those scenes, and more. We also talked about their newest VINYL Release, “LIVE IN NASHVILLE” which was recorded in Nashville, and has quite the tale behind it. We’d love to share it with you, but Joel does it so much better. - Los Angeles's Error FM: After Hours Radio


If you’ve noticed any incredible grooves coming from any venue in town, it was probably Irie Sol’s blend of reggae and hip-hop keeping everyone nice and chill. – Jesse Johnson - Volume One Magazine


The headliners this fourth and last day of Baystock did not disappoint. World music band, Irie Sol, played till we dropped. “Irie”, a Rastafarian word meaning positive feelings and peaceful vibrations is a popular response when you’re asked about your well being in Jamaica: “Irie, mon”.

Three singers anchored the band: Chris Junior Williams from Jamaica via Providence RI and Eau Claire; Joel Pace (pronounced the Italisn way: Pa-che’) from Providence via Oxford UK, then Eau Claire, and Lars Nelson. Rasta man Williams and hip hopper Pace bandied original verse, uniquely layering rap and reggae. Add funk, jazz, soul, rock, dancehall and you get a feel for where they took us.

Irie Sol is a big band. A bunch play trumpet. There was a woman on sax, varieties of drums and guitars and keys. Band members popped up in the audience, who joined in, including myself, shakin’ that tambourine.

The group originally formed in Eau Claire, playing shows with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, with No Bird Sing, Natty Nation and Dred I Dread. They’re proud of their roots: Sicilian, Jamaican, Persian, African, Irish, Scandihoovian, with other global ancestries and influences.
Currently Twin Cities-based, the band recently recorded their second album, this on vinyl, “Live in Nashville”. Done in one take at Chris Mara’s Welcome to 1979 Studio, it includes a version of “Fur Elise”, titled “Beethoven’s 420th.
Not only musically versatile, members of Irie Sol offer a gamut of educational opportunities including seminars on reggae, hip hop, jazz and funk history; presentations on diversity, civil rights and music; creative lyric writing workshops; seminars on music comp, production and sound engineering; and participation-based classes on percussion, improvisation and DJing.
If you missed Baystock or their recent gig at Corny’s Village Inn, check out iriesol.com. Who knows? Maybe one of these days you’ll get to groove with them at Duluth’s Reggae/World Music Festival. - Duluth Reader


Who’s Irie Sol? How you guys all met and started this band?

Irie Sol’s founder, Junior Williams, moved to America from Kingston, Jamaica, with the dream of starting a band to fuse the genres (reggae, dancehall, ska, and dub) indigenous to his native island with traditional American music forms (hip hop, funk, soul, rock, and jazz). He’s “dubbed” (pun intended) the resulting music “Alternative World” to acknowledge its roots and routes in world and alternative music and to conjure an Alternative World of global unity with music. Long before Eau Claire garnered attention on the international music scene, Junior and Kevin Zappa thought it was an ideal place to start and staff a huge band. Most members are pulled into the band’s tractor beam by “sitting in” on a tune.



What’s the story behind the band’s name?

“Irie” is a Jamaican patois word for positive vibrations. Junior would always greet band members by saying “Irie?” meaning “are you feeling happy?” so it became the word we used to refer to the project. The “Sol,” Spanish for “sun,” was added later to connote that the band views music as radiating happiness, a positive sun. “Sol” is also meant to connote soul music, another major component of our sound. We’re constantly reminded that it’s a strange name. Junior name drops the band in our songs mainly so people will know how to say it properly (“Eye-ray Soul”). We always get a kick out of how our band name gets pronounced: “Eerie S.O.L.” is one of our favorites.



What are your musical influences?

The Three (not so) Little Bobs: Marley, Plant, and Dylan. Also, the Neptunes, Mos Def, Yes, Alborosie, Matisyahu, Damian (Ziggy and Stephen) Marley, The Police, Bad Brains, Ozomatli, the Stones, Living Colour, Talking Heads, and the great bands on the Eau Claire/Twin Cities Scene. Like Super Heavy, we try to fuse genres that are kept separate. There used to be a literal barrier between white and black audiences at live shows, and we believe that this barrier still exists as a mental/cultural construct in the audiences of different genres and expectations placed on musicians and bands based on their ethnicity. It is less subtle than segregation in cities and suburbs; however, it is a similarly pervasive vestige of the racism that supported slavery. We try to cross borders, remix, sample, and mash as much as possible to bring people together with one love for music, ourselves, and each other.



What’s your method at the time of writing a song?

Accretion. We usually start with a beat built by Angelo Williamson or Kevin Zappa, or sometimes a concept from Junior, JP, or Lars Nelson (our three lyricists and vocalists). We then add layers of parts written by each of the 9 members and play the song live for a year or so to let it age on the stage. Lately we’ve been writing during live shows based on the improvisation of Edwin P, Matt Rongstad, Tom Krochok, Miguel Hurtado, and Mario Dawson. We try not to play songs the same way twice and usually improvise an extended bridge; the ones we like turn into full-fledged tunes.



How did you feel when you heard your music was featured on Pharrell Williams’ website?

We were thrilled beyond belief, especially because Pharrell is one of our heroes and we knew the exposure would gain more support for those protesting the cuts to education in Wisconsin and the world over. The song, “Roccupy the Dome,” is about human rights, education and equality being inextricably linked and fundamental.



How was it to worked with Chris Mara?

Amazing! He’s worked with inspiring artists across genres (from the Gin Blossoms to Juvenile). He has the ability to make musicians feel so comfortable that your best work is brought out of you almost at unawares; he’s like a photographer who can snap the best candid photos even during a highly structured shoot. He can produce an album with subtle suggestions and mixes that end up influencing the end result more than the most hands-on producers would dream. His Nashville studio, Welcome to 1979, is huge, comfortable, and the perfect combination of state of the art and retro. Reel-to-reel recording captures the sound, synergy, and energy of a live show. He also records in a beautiful, historic barn in the Wisconsin Northwoods, where you can watch the deer make tracks outside as Chris does the same inside (more on the antlered ones later).



Irie Sol: Live in Nashville,. How was the recording and writing process for this record? Any release date yet in mind?

We wrote these tunes like a construction crew building a house: Angelo and JP providing a hip hop/reggae foundation; Junior framing the tunes with dancehall chatting; Lars building rock bridges or choruses; Tom Nordlund coming up with jazz-guitar additions; Omari Thomas giving us the New Orleans stylings of sax and trumpet; “D Up” McDonald holding it all together on gospel drums, Steve “the locksmith” Hobert on the keys, embellishing jazzy l - Vents Magazine


Eau Claire’s very own reggaejazzohiphoppaska band is releasing its second album. Known for energetic and instrument-filled live shows, Irie Sol has consistently blended aspects of reggae, hip-hop, jazz, blues, and ska.

When the group plays their set for the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, they will have a myriad of guest performers. In addition to the Eau Claire, Madison, and Twin Cities natives that comprise the band, the show will include Omari and Babatunde Thomas (flying in from Alabama and Massachusetts, respectively) along with a vocalist from the UK, Jessie Tippett. Guest performers are a staple of their sound. Over the years the invitation for folks to come onstage has not only brought in permanent members to the band, but helped stir the goulash of Irie’s sound, creating a unique, explosive, and unforgettable sound that the group hopes to capture in its latest offering.

Irie Sol: Live In Nashville, was recorded in a city that’s (not so much) known for its reggae/funk music roots, at Chris Mara’s newly opened studio, “Welcome to 1979.” JP, one of the core members of the band, was contacted by Mara with an idea.

“He had this idea that people wanted to hear the roughness of the music again. Today everything can be post-produced to perfection. It can be auto-tuned and made flawless. Chris wanted to open a studio that would record a solid take. No overdubs, no separate tracks. When we went down to Nashville he let us rehearse as much as we wanted to beforehand, but once the tape started, that was it.” Mara is known for his work with the Gin Blossoms and Juvenile, and although Nashville is known for country music (the vinyl printings of the album will be made entirely of recycled country records), it ended up being the perfect place for this particular funky project.

“It was recorded on an old reel-to-reel,” JP said. “Chris listened to us rehearse and did the mixing on the fly. The entire album is one long take, you can hear talk-backs, conversations – you can even hear me opening and closing a door when I switched rooms to go from trumpet to vocals. There’s a lot of neat stuff on there and that’s what Chris wanted to capture.”

Irie Sol is known for its dancetastic live shows, and this latest project goes a long way in capturing the atmosphere and cohesion, even the mistakes, that a studio-produced multi-track process just can’t quite capture.

The gritty, textured quality of the recording reflects a lot of the band’s core values. The composition of the members and their musical backgrounds is as diverse they come. People from Jamaica, the East Coast, the Twin Cities, Northern Wisconsin, Alabama, and Los Angeles have all been a part of the group’s evolution.

“We’ve always promoted harmony, and our music is meant to reflect that. We converted Fur Elise to a hip-hop song; we’ve added Jazz to Bob Marley and Southern Rock to songs about peace and social awareness. We felt this opportunity helped to capture that spirit. I mean, I emailed Chris several times after the recording, after thinking about mistakes I had made, asking him to fix a flub somewhere. His answer was always the same, ‘Nope.’ ”

The recording retains that sort of honesty, and will surely be a unique experience. It is currently only being released on vinyl (until the first printing is sold) and will be available at the Aug. 25 show in Phoenix Park (with Dead Dogs and Sarah Krueger), plus The Local Store, and by request from any of the local folks who make up Eau Claire’s own Irie Sol. - Eau Claire's Volume One Magazine


Of the million-plus people who recently voiced their disapproval of Wisconsin's cuts to education funding, a group of musicians chose to channel their frustration into song. The 12-man reggae band Irie Sol, featuring seven members currently living in the Twin Cities, will be playing its protest song "Roccupy the Dome" live for the first time Saturday at the Cabooze. The song has been featured on the entertainment website Kidult.com, started by Pharrell Williams, and the band has even heard from MCs in New York who want to add their own verses to the track. JP, who wrote and sings the chorus ("You have a right to be free/You have a right to equality"), lives in St. Paul. He said the inspiration for his verse came from a dream he had about the crippling effects of Walker's budget cuts on his university. "We wanted a track that would stand up for education." - Vita.MN


Eight Is Enough A recent expedition to the Twin Cities uncovered this 8-man reggae band. Irie Sol is a tight unit with a live show that will blow your joints out. Their horn section is D-Nice... takin' out suckas and you don't know how they did it. Their eponymous debut CD drops this fall and they love the Limachips community so much they're giving up a free download of their first single, "Senorita Linda." Enjoy. GET YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD ON!
- O. Lima -- Editor-At-Large, VIBE Magazine, New York City


"Roccupy the Dome" has been featured on Pharrell Williams' entertainment website Kidult.com and some New York MCs have even contacted the band to add their own verses to the track - Minneapolis Star Tribune


As some may recall, the Leader-Telegram featured Eau Claire and Minneapolis-based reggae-fusion band Irie Sol a while back for their newest single, "Roccuppy The Dome."

Recently the band got a little more attention for the track, this time from the news and entertainment website Kidult.com started by famed hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams.

"Oprah once said 'education is the door to freedom' and our message is that this door is being shut in the face of 99% of Wisconsin, and the dead bolt is sliding into place worldwide. When funds for public education get cut, tuition increases and education becomes less accessible. That directly impacts people’s freedom," Pace said. - Eau Claire Leader Telegram


As some may recall, the Leader-Telegram featured Eau Claire and Minneapolis-based reggae-fusion band Irie Sol a while back for their newest single, "Roccuppy The Dome."

Recently the band got a little more attention for the track, this time from the news and entertainment website Kidult.com started by famed hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams.

"Oprah once said 'education is the door to freedom' and our message is that this door is being shut in the face of 99% of Wisconsin, and the dead bolt is sliding into place worldwide. When funds for public education get cut, tuition increases and education becomes less accessible. That directly impacts people’s freedom," Pace said. - Eau Claire Leader Telegram


Irie Sol is as eclectic as it gets. This isn’t hyperbole; it’s just a cold, hard, sometimes frustrating fact. Irie Sol is the bane of every modern music writer because, frankly, they can’t be put into a tidy, little box.

“We cast our nets wide,” said Joel Pace, one of Irie Sol’s 10 current members. “There is no sense in segregating musical styles or people.”

It’s this attitude that has fueled Irie Sol for the past five or so years. The band originally started as a bet to lead singer, Chris Williams, that the Midwest couldn’t sustain a reggae band, and in some ways, that bet has come true.

Irie Sol isn’t just a reggae band, they are a veritable smorgasbord of musical influence. The band themselves don’t even have a name for it. “Chris calls our style, ‘it’ as in, ‘it’s not jazz, it’s not rock, it’s just it,’ ” said Pace in a recent phone interview.

One song can range from a protest reggae march to a smooth jam to a towering inferno of funk. Yeah, one song. It’s a little intimidating to try and sum up, but for the sake of the article, let’s try.

A quick listen to Irie Sol will have you coming away with a smile on your face and maybe a few shakes in your booty. Their polyrhythmic jams are always filled with enough funky bass and keyboard to give even the staunchest school librarian happy feet, but that isn’t where it stops. Pace and Williams give heartfelt lyrics about war, protest, and living together in uncertain times while horn players Matt Rongstad and Jon Lanctin layer in cerebral jazz licks. When Pace laughs over the phone about trying to describe their influences, it isn’t condescension, it’s empathy.

So where does a Midwest rock/reggae/rap/dance/whatever band go when it needs toproduce an album? Why, the guy who recorded the Gin Blossoms and the rapper Juvenile, of course.

Chris Mara, a former Chippewa Valley native and current Minneapolis-based music producer contacted the band over MySpace, and an internet friendship quickly blossomed.

“It couldn’t have been more perfect, because those were two sounds (rock and rap) that we were trying to have come off on the recording,” said Pace.

The recording process was (fittingly) eclectic. The band recorded not only with Mara at his studio, but also at Pachyderm studio (most famous for having Nirvana’s In Utero recorded there) and various other places around the Midwest.

The result is a perfect mix of the bands influences, amazingly enough without muddying up or dumbing down any of the original sources. It’s something that is so easy to write, and yet so hard to pull off – to be more than the sum of your parts.

Irie Sol’s future is as uncertain as its past is eclectic. They are currently in negotiations with a fairly large record label, but still aren’t sure if it is the right move, or if they should go the more traditional “indie” route.

Their new album is coming out soon, but they still aren’t sure where to play a CD release here in Eau Claire (Irie Sol plans to release its album at Trocaderos in Minneapolis on Nov. 21.)

Pace doesn’t seem worried though, “Our goal is just to play our music and make as many people smile and dance as possible.”

Hardened groove-thang shakers the world over rejoice, your band just arrived, and they’re ready to party.
- Volume One Magazine, Eau Claire, WI


Irie Sol's SOLSTICE is "an instantly likable collection of songs," Ross Raihala. - Pioneer Press, St. Paul


Oh, and here’s a band from near where I live. I’m so excited they’re here in the SonicBids Lounge this month! Irie Sol is from Minneapolis/St. Paul. The bands founder, Junior Williams, the guy with the beautiful dreads, is from Kingston, Jamaica. Irie Sol is a fusion of reggae forms (reggae, dancehall, ska, and dub) with hip-hop, funk, soul, rock, and jazz, creating what Junior calls Alternative World music. The band itself is also a global fusion since band members come from Nova Scotia, Rhode Island, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Irie Sol is comprised of eight musicians who play guitar, bass, sax, trumpet, flute, drumset, djembe, and conga. This allows the band to bring in a variety of styles and influences, including the diverse vocal renderings of three singers (Junior, JP, and Lars Nelson). There is everything here from island music to soaring Spanish trumpet and guitar solos, and everything in between. Irie Sol writes original music and has a new CD, Solstice, out now.
They also offer workshops and performances for students K-12 to the university level, focusing the history of musical forms (reggae, hip-hop, jazz, and funk). In addition, Irie Sol does presentations on diversity and civil rights, workshops on lyric writing, seminars on music composition, production, and sound engineering, as well as classes on music and art, including participation-based classes on percussion, improvisation (instrumental, vocal, and lyrical), and DJing. - Skope Magazine, Boston


EAU CLAIRE — Irie Sol will present a free outdoor concert Monday, July 10, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The reggae rock band will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Central Campus Mall. Refreshments will be sold. Audience members are invited to bring blankets or folding chairs for lawn seating. Refreshments will be sold, and popcorn is free.

Irie Sol's music is a blend of reggae, dance hall, jazz, soul, rock, and hip hop. The eclectic blend reflects the diverse origins and influences of band members who hail from Canada, Jamaica, Korea, the East Coast, Minneapolis and northern Wisconsin. Band members have performed with UW-Eau Claire's award-winning jazz bands, the St. Paul Cathedral Choir and Minneapolis hip hop outfits Hyder Ali and Mel Gibson & the Pants. Melodic vocals and Jamaican-style rap are backed by a full horn section and band. Classic tunes from Stevie Wonder to Wayne Wonder are revisited over a reggae backdrop.

Irie Sol is Joel Pace (trumpet, vocals), Jon Lanctin (trumpet), Matt Rongstad (saxophone), Aryn Widule (hand drums, vocals), Chris Williams (bass, vocals), Angelo Williamson (keys, trombone), Yusef (guitar), KZ (guitar), Drew Ruenger (drums), Brother Daniel (drums), and Ben Lester (drums).

http://www.uwec.edu/newsreleases/06/june/0627SS5Sol.htm - UWEC


No, the title of this post is not a chapter from Dune—it's simply time for another Sounds Like Summer concert! Tonight in the Phoenix Park amphitheatre, you'll groove to the reggae/hip-hop/jam ensemble Irie Sol. This band is chock full of local talent, and they've been hard at work spreading their special blend of musical herbs and spices all over Eau Claire like tasty mayonnaise. (Just go with the metaphor.) You can expect horns and drums and lots and lots of love.

As you undoubtedly know by now, our killer concert series is sponsored in part by RCU, DMI Sound, Downtown Eau Claire Inc., the North Barstow/Medical District Business Improvement District, and Haymarket Grill.

Sounds Like Summer Concert Series: Irie Sol. Thursday, June 8th at the Phoenix Park amphitheater in Downtown Eau Claire. 6:30pm to 8:30pm, all ages, FREE. Ph: 715-552-0457.

Posted by Mike

http://volumeone.typepad.com/volume_one/2006/06/tonight_irie_so.html
- Volume One


Irie Sol performs at the 2006 Music on the Mall. (W/ photos)

http://www.uwec.edu/dc/ap/summer/iriesolS06.htm - UWEC


Although Monday's rainy weather forced Springfest 2007's first band to play indoors, the sunshine and smell of food Tuesday drew people onto the grass of the Campus Mall.

Hundreds lounged around the clock tower to study, eat and listen to the musical styling of Irie Sol, a band that plays an eclectic blend of reggae, ska, jazz, funk, rock and hip hop.

With this as a musical backdrop, members of The High and Mighty Jugglers club performed on side stages, a food tent created a long line of hungry spectators and passersby stopped in their tracks to see what the excitement was all about.

This scene comprised the second day of Springfest 2007, an annual weeklong campus celebration of music and spring sponsored by the University Activities Commission.

Senior Sarah Snyder, the public relations director for UAC and Irie Sol's band manager, said a different band will play from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m on the mall each day until Friday.

A selection committee chooses the bands, and some of the student-segregated fees from Student Senate are used to pay for them, Snyder said.

Irie Sol, composed mostly of students, performed at last year's Springfest as well.

As senior and bass, piano and vocal performer Angelo Williamson tuned his bass before the band's performance, he said he enjoys this type of event because of the diversity that the band gets. He added the band always likes to give something to the campus community.

Graduate student and guitar player David Fairbairn agreed.

This is his first time playing at Springfest, and he said he loved the sunny weather and was looking forward to performing.

"I think it's a nice opportunity, especially for people who might not get to a club," Fairbairn said. "I always thought it was fun to see a band playing in between classes."

Sophomore Catie Casperson was one of the hundreds of people lounging in front of the clock tower waiting for the band to begin.
"I'm really looking forward to this one," she said, adding she has enjoyed Springfest so far.

"It reminds me of when I went to Bonnaroo (a music festival) in Tennessee," she said. "It's better than sitting inside, and you get to listen to music."

Senior and hand drum player Aryn Widule sat on the bench by the clock tower waiting for his time to perform.

He said he loves performing outside and that he performed at Springfest and a UAC-sponsored summer concert in the past.

"There is always automatically a bunch of people here," Widule said. "It's a good atmosphere."

While the band played, junior Sarah Chmielewski juggled different objects as she rhythmically moved with the music.

She said she performs at a lot of music festivals. When she showed up Tuesday, she said, The High and Mighty Jugglers club asked her to join.

"It's just amazing exercise and a really great release of all the stress," she said.

Bands will perform on the clock tower through this week.

The band Chester Bay, a rock quartet of twin brother vocalists, a blues-driven guitarist and a drummer, will perform today, and Survive the Drive will perform Friday.

To wrap up another year of Springfest, The Gufs, an acoustic duo, and a special guest, Julie Moffitt, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Council Fire Room in Davies Center. The winners of the 2007 UAC Singer-Songwriter Slam will also perform.

Tickets are $6 and $4 with a student ID and are available at both the Service Center and at the door.

http://media.www.spectatornews.com/media/storage/paper218/news/2007/05/10/Scene/Springfest.2007.In.Full.Bloom-2898671.shtml
- The Spectator


It was a wild party at the Snout Saloon. It was a struggle to get from the front door to the dance floor. The house was packed and lively. And, for a good reason. The band Irie Sol is the pinnacle of a party band to come to the Snout. Their music is an interesting mix of traditional reggae and poppy hip-hop, rappin' to a reggae beat, and I loved it!

I will confess, I don't listen to a lot of reggae. Maybe a few times a year I get in a Bob Marley mood. Sometimes a little UB-40. So I am by no means an expert on the genre. I know a good time when I see it though, and the bar was overflowing with those.

The really great thing about Irie Sol is where they are taking reggae music. They are doing some of their stuff as a hip-hop crossover and I find this very exciting. I really like how they are bringing in some rap style vocal delivery.

Another thing I love about an Irie Sol show is audience involvement. Part of that, admittedly is the small size of the venue. I'll get to that whole thing in a second. But, what I am talking about now, the good half of this point, even using wired mikes, the singer was out on the dance floor. And he was great! And, it was cool! (You know how lucky we are to have these small bars willing to hire live music for us?) Another time the horn section was standing on the bar. Isn't that what a party is all about?

Musical highpoint? I really liked most all of what they played. It is good hearing live reggae. I like the rap stuff, as I mentioned. But, just for the shear party value, I really loved it when they played a Sweet Home Alabama spin-off. Everyone knows it. Everyone can sing along. The floor is packed and Irie Sol knows how to wind up an audience. They entertain. It was just flat out a good time.

I do wonder though. How does the band feel about this? Are they happy to be playing crowd pleasers? Would they rather be taken more seriously with their jamacian music? Or are they looking at it from the cup half full side, they are making so many people happy? Ahhh, if only I did interviews rather than audience lurking. I might know the answers to all of these deep questions!

Ok, now we have to get into something I didn't like. The one thing about the show was how much the band encroached on the normal audience space. The Snout Saloon is not a big bar. Irie Sol is comprised of about eight musicians, plus a person on the soundboard. They also travel with their own DJ who mixes during band breaks. There is the space used for CD and Merch sales. Before you know it the pool table which is normally audience seating is used up. The dance floor was half used by the horn section. I am not saying I have a better idea. They take up a lot of space and the Snout is small. I am sure the sound gal was happy to be setup where she was. I am sure she gave us better sound because of it. I dunno, maybe I just want to bitch about something… Anyway, there you have it.

Ahhh, and then there is the random walk up bongo player, who plays in with the band for a couple of songs. But, in this case the random player is none other than Snout bartender extraordinaire, Chad! I don't think I ever seen him drumming sober before :-) He did a fantastic job!

Irie Sol's music is available on iTunes. I just bought it. Have not yet listened to it. Their web site is at http://www.iriesol.com and they have a MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/iriesolreggae I suggest you see these guys. You will have fun. - Chippewa Falls Freaks and Geeks


Discography

"Roccupy the Dome" (copyright 2012) now on iTunes

Irie Sol: Live in Nashville (Copyright 2012), available on vinyl.

"Solstice" Copyright 2009

Purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, or CDBaby.com

Photos

Bio

Irie Sol's latest single was featured on the website of Grammy-Award winning hip hop star Pharrell Williams. Junior Williams moved from Kingston, Jamaica to America and founded his band in the city that boasts the country's best music scene: Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Irie Sol journeyed to an unlikely place to record a reggae/hip hop album--Nashville. After driving all night long to Tennessee, the band set up in the studio and tracked the old-school way, live in every sense: performed, recorded, and mixed live, all instruments playing at once, in one take. Once the tape was rolling, Irie Sol played an hour-long set, including, what may be the unlikeliest and strangest version of "F獯r Elise" on wax: "Beethoven's 420th."

The analog recording LIVE IN NASHVILLE will be released as a vinyl album. The tunes were recorded at Nashville's Welcome to 1979 Studio by Chris Mara (who's produced artists from Keane to Juvenile to the Gin Blossoms) and will be released on LIVE IN '79 (his all analog, all vinyl, all live label).

Band members hail from Eau Claire, Menomonie, Chippewa Falls, and Madison, WI; South Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN;; Detroit; Nova Scotia, Canada; Birmingham, Alabama; Kingston, Jamaica; New York City; and Providence, RI, with African, French, German, Haitian, Indian, Iranian, Irish, Native American, Scandinavian, and Sicilian ancestries. Irie Sol is, in this sense,world ROOTS music, retracing routes of regional sounds with elements of dancehall, rock, jazz,funk, and soul. Wha gwan, music lovers? Are ya feelin' IRIE?

Irie Sol has had the good fortune to share bills with No Bird Sing, Natty Nation, Dred I Dread, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, The Right Now, and 9Tomorrows. Irie Sol's music can be enjoyed at live shows throughout the midwest, on many radio programs, and by downloading our music on iTunes.

Press:
"Now Hear This: Irie Sol's 'Roccupy the Dome'"!, Pharrell Williams website: kidult.com

"A recent expedition to the Twin Cities uncovered this huge reggae/hip hop band. Irie Sol is a tight unit with a live show that will blow your joints out."
--O.J. Lima, Editor-at-Large, VIBE Magazine

Band Members

JP