The Seed
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The Seed

Roanoke, Virginia, United States

Roanoke, Virginia, United States
Band Rock Reggae


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



"Top Tickets-The Seed live!"

Let me ask you something. Do you like to feel your music? I don't mean occasionally snapping your fingers when you remember there's a band on stage. If you're that kind of cat, then step -- you won't understand. No, I'm talking about real feel. It's the cool groove, the supernatural sensation of a rubber band rhythm that snaps against your spine. It's the kick drum's drop that hits so hard you forget about your pool game and start giving in to the vibration the bass has put in your shoulders. I've been admiring the Seed's ability to channel the holy groove since the band first graced open mic nights, dropping its reggae "riddim" and ska-funk in a fusion of jazz jam, and I've yet to be disappointed. If you know what it means to feel the music, this show is for you.

By John Persinger, Inside Out (weekly entertainment section), The Roanoke Times - The Roanoke Times (9/14/06)

"This is Damn Good!"

"Hey, You guys are trippin me out! This is damn good! I've been listening to Reggae since about '79 and have never heard anything from the states that sounded so real and hit the mark so dead on. Awesome!" - Billy Hume (Producer - Lil' John & the Eastside Boyz, Yin Yang Twins, Youngbloodz...) (10/7/06)

"And Whosoever Diggeth A Pit"

High on ginseng and life, I found the highlight of my week in ...The Club at Fiji Island... I got to listen to The Seed. A trio of talented local players, they hit me from out of nowhere. And I liked it. A chewy chunk of jazz bass funk and reggae riddim, they held the pocket behind an original mix of fusion guitar and bluesy, breathy vocals. Their delivery was low-key; no outrageous physicality or crowd-pumping Top 40 renditions. Instead, their performance oozed cool, and clicked with the Club’s own retro vibe, elevating the value of the space between the notes and filling a quiet room with the whispers of forgotten soul. Not bad for some younger cats.

But this isn’t yesterday’s music we’re talking about. The Seed set themselves apart through the infusion of the reggae influence, which plays a major role in the diverse nature of their sound. While the improvisational spirit of jazz exists in the bass, he opts to play more consistent up-tempo lines over the drummer’s island rhythms. Bringing out the funk by accentuating the one drop (reggae’s characteristic hit on the 3rd beat of each measure) and using a more contemporary choice of notes, they create a middle ground between the unpredictability of Monk and universal groove of Marley. It’d almost be blasphemy if it wasn’t so entertaining.

The guitar is soaked in reggae’s up-beat choppiness, but moves the melody along with a choice selection of jazz chord voicings, blues bends, and disco-era wah sounds. It was also less dominant in the overall mix, standing as a contrast against the bass, and focusing most of the listener’s attention towards the beat. The same could be said of the vocals, which spiced up the sound with it’s soul...The Seed break through the popularity barriers typically associated with their style, and still manage to sacrifice very little in the way of musical integrity. A traditional jazz enthusiast might raise an eyebrow at employing the heavy-handed generality of reggae’s beats, but would also be the first to admit the importance of exploration in new, and ultimately unexpected musical directions. While they’re hardly pioneers in the fusion, The Seed are a welcome alternative for anyone who’s desire for mellower sounds has been soured by the stereotype of annoying hipsters and an overly cerebral approach. You don’t have to be a thumb-snapping coffee house denizen to enjoy what they do, but expect to tap your feet every now and again.

It’ll be interesting to see where The Seed go, especially if their position as the Club’s “house band” pushes them creatively...For now, though, the Club and The Seed appear perfect for each other, once again making it cool…to be cool. I predict there’s an audience hungry for such a thing; for those who know what it means to chill. This means good things for The Seed.

- The Phantom - The Phantom Critic (2/8/06)

"Voted Top band for 2006 and 2007!"

Make it two years in a row! The Seed was voted number one band in the region for 2006 and 2007 by The Roanoke Times Annual Music Poll! - a survey consisting of music fans and supporters throughout southwest Virginia. - The Roanoke Times (1/1/08)

"Voted Best Vocals and Best Musician 2007!"

THE SEED'S founding members and songwriters have been recognized as southwest Virginia's best! Stephen Lewis was voted Best Male Vocalist 2007 by The Roanoke Times and Brent Hoskins was voted Best Musician 2007 by City Magazine! The future looks bright for this band.

Thanks again VA!

- Roanoke Times and City Magazine

"Top 5 MusicCast videos....The Seed claims 3 spots!"

Top 5 music videos this week on the MusicCast

After three weeks at Number 1, The Roanoke Allstars have been displaced at the top of our local music video chart. Instead, The Seed weighs in big -- with all three of their new videos placing in the Top 5. And after about two months in the Top 5, Red Clay River falls out. Once again, though, two of the five most popular videos in MusicCast land -- the ones from The Wading Girl and the Roanoke Allstars -- are ones submitted by the band. So if you're thinking your band's video should be in the Top 5, well, post it to our site, and maybe it will be. Details are below.

Here’s the week Top 5, based on number of plays on this MusicCast this past week:
1. "No More," by The Seed
2. "Can You Understand," by The Seed
3. "Untitled Waltz," by The Wading Girl
4. "A New Season," by The Seed
5. "OxyContin Rock," by the Roanoke Allstars
Updated April 30:
For the fifth week in a row, The Seed holds down the top spot in our Top 5 list of the most-played local music videos on the MusicCast. In fact, they hold down the top three spots. But we had a new video added this week -- the Pickin' Buds -- and they instantly moved into the Top 5, displacing Illbotz, who had themselves displaced The Wading Girl. Meanwhile, the Roanoke Allstars hang in there with "OxyContin Rock."


"The Roanoke Times...Front Page!"

Replanting The Seed
Popular Roanoke band The Seed has decided it's time to move on and is heading to Washington, D.C. to lay down some new roots

By Tad Dickens

Things couldn’t be going much better for The Seed.

Two years in a row, the band was voted best local band in The Roanoke Times’ annual music poll. Singer Gabe “The Ambassador” Lewis won best male vocalist in the 2007 poll. Drummer/guitarist Brent Hoskins was voted best musician in City Magazine’s 2008 poll. The band has a strong following for its fine live mix of reggae, ska and Latin grooves.

It just finished a CD that includes such guest artists as guitarist Sol Creech, multi-instrumentalist Tim Smith (Tim Smith Band, Squirrel Nut Zippers) and members of the Alliens . A CD release party is set for Friday at 202 Market.

Only one thing makes sense now: move out of town.

The Seed’s core — Lewis, 27, Hoskins, 29, and bassist Jay DeCicco, 25 — will head for Washington, D.C., the first week of July.

“We want to be around more musicians to push us and inspire us,” Lewis said. “We know we’re not going to make it with what we’ve got now, so we want to try something new.”

This is a band that has stuck together through intercontinental distances and the difficulties of keeping a bass player. A simple move north shouldn’t throw these guys too much. As Hoskins and Lewis passed their mid-20s, they decided it was time to get serious.

“This has been good,” Lewis, 27, said of coming up in Roanoke. “It was a good place to sprout.”

The next stop could well see the band in full bloom, said Jake Dempsey, who produced, mixed and engineered the new record at his studio, the Red Room.

“I think there are good things on the horizon for those guys,” Dempsey said. “Their music is very strong and accessible. D.C. has a great reggae community, so they’ve got that going for them. … They are great, positive people; they work hard, and the band is awesome. I think that if they stay at it and keep their business senses about them, they’ll be touring full time in a few years.”

Planting The Seed

Percussionist John “Slothman” Spence, 29, is the reason Hoskins and Lewis came together. Spence and Hoskins met and became musical partners when they were students at Northside High School. When Spence transferred to William Fleming High School, he met Lewis, and wound up introducing the two.

“Before we knew it, we were writing songs and jamming on four -tracks,” Hoskins said. “This was our first real band.”

They parted ways for a while, with Hoskins heading to Florida to learn audio engineering at Full Sail University. Lewis went to Roanoke College, and wound up teaching English in Korea.

Hoskins came back to Roanoke after squeezing Full Sail’s two-year program into one. The pair kept mailing each other four -track tapes, making beats and writing songs. They ran up phone bills playing ideas for each other — “the magical speaker phone,” Lewis called it.

“Next thing you know, we had CDs and tapes full of ideas,” Hoskins said. “We said, 'Why don’t we try this’ ” as a career.

In 2004, Lewis returned from Korea. By fall 2005, he and Hoskins had a band name and were building an audience.

But The Seed couldn’t keep a bass player. Even DeCicco moved to Philadelphia for a while, joining his family in a restaurant business last year. But the experience “sucked,” he said. It was time to come back to The Seed.

By then, the band had cut its CD. Lewis and Hoskins wrote all the songs, but they say the self-titled CD is “Jake’s baby, too.”

“He listened to our ideas and helped us make those happen,” Lewis said. “But he also had great ideas of his own that we hadn’t thought of.”

In DeCicco’s absence, Dempsey wound up playing bass on about half the tracks.

“It was a real pleasure working on it, because the material just stands on its own,” Dempsey said via e-mail. “It’s full of these great hooks that really stick with you.

“It’s reggae, but it has a real pop sensibility. That made my job easy. Their music actually has a message, too. That’s kind of a rare thing now.”

Long nights in the studio passed easily with The Seed, who knew what they wanted musically and who know how to play their instruments, Dempsey said.

“Gabe and Brent are two of the funniest guys I have ever met. They never stop. They would come in the studio and cut up for nine hours straight. They had me rolling every night.”

Bringing on the funk, soul

March 14 at Martin’s Downtown Bar and Grill. The Seed is onstage . Spence and Hoskins are percolating on a stock reggae groove while DeCicco pumps tightly articulated bass lines. Lewis pops and scratches his guitar strings with his thumb and fingernails, nailing the beat on two and four and hitting with bluesy guitar solos.

Lewis begins singing Beres Hammond’s “They Gonna Talk.” The band learned that song from an eight -track tape, Hoskins says later.

A crowd slowly builds in front of the Martin’s stage - The Roanoke Times (4/5/08)

"Gold Medal-"Best Musicians" 2007"

The Seed was awarded the Gold medal for "Best Area Musicians" for 2007 by The Roanoker Magazine. The award was based on a poll of readers of the regional magazine. - Roanoker Magazine (June '07)

"Voted Top Band for 2007"

The Seed was voted best band of 2007 for southwest Virginia by readers of City Magazine. - City Magazine (September '07)

""These guys really bring it every time!""

"The Seed is one of Roanoke's most consistent performers. Tons of energy and positive music that gets the whole crowds' bodies moving guaranteed! They have the addictive rhythm and tight musicianship that has become very hard to come by. By far some of the best original music being played in the Roanoke Valley right now! They master their carfully selected cover tunes in a soulful and funky style that truly is a breath of fresh air!"

"The Seed is responsible for two of the top five nightly sales totals in our two year history that totals hundreds of shows. These guys really bring it every time!"

-Jason Martin
Martin's Downtown - Jason Martin (owner of Martin's)


- "THE SEED" (2008)
- "Rise Up!" Demo (2007)



The Seed is a group of talented twenty-somethings currently hailing from Washington D.C./Northern Virginia (U.S.A.). Newly formed as of the Fall of 2005, The Seed began as a reggae/rock-infused trio. Since then, the group has set out to create a tactful array of soulfully crafted, melodically smooth gems that would not only incite listener appeal but would also provoke deeper thought on issues of societal development, personal growth and the direction of the youth of today. During 2006 and 2007 the band underwent several changes to the lineup at bass, keys and lead guitar, but the founding members and song writing core of S.G. Lewis "The Ambassador" (Vocals/Guitars) and Brent Hoskins (Drums/Percussion/Guitars) remained the same. The addition of bassist Jason DiCicco in 2007 set the stage for the release of The Seed's full length self-titled debut album in May of 2008. The band credits much of the early success of the album to college and internet radio. Lewis, Hoskins and DiCicco are all natives of the Blue Ridge Mountain region of Virginia. They are occasionally joined in the studio and on stage by various musicians including childhood friend John "Slothman" Spence (Percussion/Vocals), Jamiel Allen (Keys) and James Pace (Keys). It is the band's intent to make music that makes you feel good or just feel, period. Reggae and R&B, Funk and Rock - multiple styles of music have brought inspiration to the band throughout the years. Such influences can be heard in the stylings of The Seed's repetoire as their rhythms touch upon many different genres. The Seed's sound is one even haters have to listen to and it is just the beginning. For more information please visit The Seed’s official website

-Voted #1 BAND 2006 - ROANOKE TIMES
-Voted #1 BAND 2007 - ROANOKE TIMES
-Voted TOP VOCALIST (Stephen Lewis) for 2007- ROANOKE TIMES
-Voted TOP MUSICIAN (Brent Hoskins) for 2008 - CITY MAGAZINE