Mystic Rebel
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Mystic Rebel

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


MUSIKFEST REVIEW: Mystic Rebel
Judianne Triglia
MergeDigital

Mystic Rebel Feeling, Sounding Good
Mystic Rebel made me want to dance, sleep and smoke all at the same
time.

The Bob Marley tribute band, Mystic Rebel returned to Musikfest
after a few years of being absent. They kicked off their North
American tour yesterday at Plaza Tropical with a set of groovy
Reggae tunes that made me want to dance even in the sweltering
humidity.

I admit I was suspicious when I white guy with short dreads took the
front mic but the collective sounded perfect. The vocals were dead
on and the music was just the right mix of funky and peaceful.
I was pleased to find that they weren't playing the usual Bob
Marley "best-ofs" but really getting into some of the good stuff you
don't hear as often.

The crowd was loving Mystic Rebel and the band was loving them back.
At one point, a women in the front row couldn't hold back any longer
and jumped up to start dancing in front of the stage. The singers
danced back at her and they exchanged thumbs ups and winks. Everyone
else nodded their heads and pulsed to the music in their seats.
People were singing along during and cheering like crazy between
songs.

Under the protection of the new Plaza Tropical tent, it was an
absolutely mellow concert. It was accented by the happy hour that
was going on at the beer tent next door.Most of the fans,
though, were simply there for the music. I highly recommend catching
this band at one of their other upcoming gigs. If you are into Reggae
you'll love it and even if you are a fly-by Bob Marley fan you'll
love it. - MergeDigital.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Mystic Rebel is a soul shakedown family, performing an amazingly accurate
and compelling live tribute to Reggae music and the forefathers of the genre,
Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and The Wailers.The Pa Natives have become one of
the most talked about and sought after live tribute acts on the East Coast.

After two nights at the 2004 Bethlehem Musikfest, as featured artist,
festival organizers said "Great performances both nights...a big hit!".
The Woodstock Times said "...there are times when
only a smokin' cover band quenches your thirst ...Mystic Rebel is one...".
Online magazine Merge Digital.com, who
reviewed the 2006 Bethlehem Musikfest said, "...the vocals were dead on..."
and voted Mystic Rebel Top Ten "Best of the Fest" list, finishing just behind
LL Cool J. The band was also Sunday headliner at the Vermont Roots Reggae
festival while touring in August.

The key ingredients...the musicians, all personally connected by friendship,
a sincere love of the music and a level of authenticity and attention to detail
that has put them in a league with Phix(Phish),Dark Star Orchestra(Grateful Dead)
and Badfish(Sublime). In the last year alone, the band has headlined two major
festivals, headlined BB Kings and Lion's Den in NYC, World Cafe Live in Phila and
House of Blues AC, as well as appearances at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock and
Revolutioun Hall in Troy NY. This March the band will play at Stratton Mtn in Vermont
for the U.S Snowboarding Championships. The word is out... Mystic Rebel is the next
big tribute thing.

Their tribute show is no lookalike novelty act, but rather an extremely
soulful and talented group of singers and musicians that play classic Reggae
from the heart. Mystic Rebel has recently been touring the Eastern seaboard bringing
a celebration of Reggae like no other. The live group, which began as simple
Wailer worship grew into a powerful unit that features superb singing, deep
grooves, Binghi drum chants and inspiring Rock Steady feel. They also have a
unique ability and desire to recreate the Trenchtown sound and experience,
with an exciting show that features actual setlist replays, performances of
classic albums in entirety, and an attention to detail that is unmatched.
Online reviewer Judianne Triglia called them "...the perfect combination of
mellow and funky...they made me want to dance, smoke and sleep at the same time.
And they didn't play the usual best-ofs, but really got into to some great lesser
known material. The crowd loved them."

Cape May, NJ born frontman Michael Jay sings the classic songs that
made Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer international superstars,
bringing spirit and reverent conciousness to the lyrics and chants. An
energetic and inspired performer, his vocalizations can be subtle and powerful,
bearing a remarkable sonic resemblence to both Marley and Tosh... with a
timeless and familiar vibe and style. Between bursts of "Wailing" vocals,
Jay throws down lots of lyrical, moving guitar solos... equally fierce,
soulful and funky, capturing all the classic licks of Al Anderson, Junior
Marvin and Earl "Chinna" Smith with ease. A veteran of the East Coast
Dead, Reggae and Jamband scene, Michael has a long resume,including performances
with many national acts Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Derek Trucks, Junior Reid,
Yellowman, Jimmy Buffet, David Grisman,David Nelson Band, Eric Johnson, Kingfish,
Merle Saunders, Marshall Tucker, Govt Mule, Jeff Buckley, Joan Osbourne,
Govt Mule, Big Sugar, Col Bruce Hampton and ARU, Peter Himmelman, Kid Creole
and many more.

The Mystic Rebel live group also features three very talented female
vocalists, adding the authentic sound and response singing style. Susan
Richardson, Raija Madsen and Devyn Madsen faithfully reproduce the classic
harmonies. Originally from Chappaqua, NY Richardson brings a warm, jazzy,
soulful vocal personality that glues the harmonies tight, along with swaying,
colorful dancing...all the while keeping the good vibes flowing. PA natives
Raija Madsen, and sister Devyn Madsen sing the high and low parts respectively,
locking it all together with energy and connection. The singing is one of
the most exciting aspects of the show, with the ladies nailing the parts,
grooving and interacting with Michael's soaring oratory. When the "I-Sisters"
hit a big harmony it brings you right to Trenchtown, with a smoothness that
only female voices can provide.

Rebel co-founder Bradley Pennock,plays the essential time-keeping "skank"
guitar onstage. His steadiness,patience and musical awareness is unmatched...
he plays it straight, skankin' and bubble. A Toronto born artist, photographer
and image archivist, Brad also acts as the group's production coordinator.
handles tour management and writes (or co-writes) lyrics for MR's original music.
Onstage Michael lead