Check this page for updates and announcements from Easy Star.
November 19, 2014NEW KINGSTON SIGNS TO EASY STAR RECORDS
"New Kingston, a fast-rising, New York City-based reggae band, is preparing to release its third full-length album, KINGSTON CITY, on Easy Star Records. The record, which will come out January 27, 2015, includes 12 songs and guest appearances by members of Tribal Seeds, Hawaiian singer-songwriter Kimie Miner, Sister Carol, The Wailing Souls, and the late, great reggae legend Sugar Minott.
For New Kingston, having the new record come out on the buzziest reggae label in the world is a big step forward, following two self-released albums, and years of extensive touring, playing with acts like Collie Buddz, The Green, Easy Star All-Stars, Beres Hammond, and many more. The band is a true family affair, featuring three brothers (Stephen, Courtney Jr., and Tahir), who all sing and play instruments, joined by their father, Courtney Sr., who plays bass. With their Jamaican roots, reggae is in the band’s blood, but having grown up in the musical melting pot of New York City, the three brothers bring in plenty of other influences as well. The band also saw firsthand as the U.S. reggae scene boomed and embraced many of the techniques – from relentless touring to social networking – that helped shape the careers of the biggest bands in the evolving genre.
For Easy Star Records, having New Kingston on the roster is a return to its roots for the nearly 18-year old label. This is the first New York City-based act on the label since early signees Ticklah and Easy Star All-Stars. Label co-founder Michael Goldwasser used to gig with Courtney Sr. back when the rest of New Kingston was still learning to play their instruments. Sister Carol and Sugar Minott both were on several of Easy Star’s initial releases, including their very first one.
“New Kingston definitely stands out in the current scene,” says Easy Star CEO Eric Smith. “Their show is dynamic and exciting, they are one of the hardest working bands we have ever met, and every other artist we talk to has nothing but positive things to say about them. Musically, we feel they bring something different to the label, something that feels current, and at the same, brings us back to our earliest days of releasing reggae in New York.”
A pre-order for the record will go live in December, along with some sneak listens of tracks from the record. In the meantime, New Kingston is touring out west until Thanksgiving. " More info »
October 22, 2014CAS HALEY ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM CAMPAIGN
"Easy Star artist Cas Haley has recently announced that he is running a campaign through PledgeMusic to record his upcoming album. He sent an e-mail earlier updating fans with his current status and future plans for his music and family, which you can read here:
As many of you may know, I recently went through a scare with my voice, and the result was that I had to go on vocal rest, cancel two tours, and spend a few months retraining myself to sing in a new way. It was a pretty scary period for me, but it gave me a lot of time home with family, time to reflect on my career, and time to work on new music. I came out of this period with a new mantra: More Music, More Family and am now preparing to record a new album! I'm partnering with PledgeMusic in order to bring you into the album making experience. When you pledge, not only will you be receiving a download of the album and have access to great exclusive items/experiences, but you'll also be receiving special updates from me throughout the process. I'm also putting some of the money towards the charity run by my friends in Wookiefoot, Be The Change Charities, as well. I'm so excited for this experience and hope that you will help me make this possible!
► Learn more and donate here: http://smarturl.it/CasHaley-PledgeMusic " More info »
October 21, 2014GIANT PANDA #1 ON REGGAE CHARTS
"Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad's new album Steady debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart, #1 on iTunes' Reggae Chart, and #1 on Amazon's Reggae Chart! This is the first time the Rochester, NY-based quintet has reached the #1 spot. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (GPGDS) celebrated the release of their new album with a sold-out hometown show at Zeppa Auditorium on October 4. The album's title track "Steady" is currently in heavy rotation on SiriusXM's Jam ON.
Here are a few press quotes about the album:
"Steady is a simply amazing album full of the band's deep-dish reggae, ska, and rock steady with an added burst of curiosity. It's the best thing the band has ever done." - City Newspaper
"Steady cements GPGDS as one of the most innovative and boundary-pushing reggae bands out there." - Live For Live Music
"This is one of the best reggae albums ever made." - Cider Mag "Steady is the equivalent of a painter putting his most inspired vision on canvas with impeccable execution." - Top Shelf Reggae " More info »
August 27, 2014NEW ALBUM FROM BACKBEAT SOUNDSYSTEM
"8-piece funky reggae outfit Backbeat Soundsystem will have their first full-length album, TOGETHER NOT APART, coming out on Easy Star Records on October 13 in the UK and October 14 in the US (check your local territory for other release dates). The band and the label are pleased to offer the track 'Come Undone' as a free download to give a taste of what's to come.
Incorporating a mélange of soulful reggae-style vocals and rap-inspired bursts of energy alongside a sun-soaked beat, the track builds up to a 2-tone refrain of the elated chorus, perfectly showcasing their modern twist on the classic genre.
Backbeat Soundsystem build upon the conscious social commentary championed by the reggae tradition. 'Come Undone' addresses the mistake of inaction in the face of malevolent forces and emphasizes our shared responsibility in building a better future. This philosophy of reflection and union is apparent throughout Together Not Apart, which casts a critical eye on social inadequacy and presents the inclusive idea of community as a solution.
'Come Undone' will join fellow album cuts 'Fighting Bull' and 'Losing Faith,' which have already created considerable hype, amassing over 50,000 YouTube plays collectively.
A band laden with groove, their up-tempo songcraft draws from numerous influences including funk, ska, pop and dub, transcending genre limitations to create an original, affecting sound. Over their two debut EPs, the band have honed an infectious, bass-led party style – while their studio sessions are driven by a highly dynamic approach to recording, spacious multi-tracking and arrangements, they are a different beast live. The 'serious pop' songs' inherent strengths come to the fore and explode in a haze of onstage energy and pumping rhythm, demonstrating an uplifting vibe seemingly designed for festival fields. " More info »
August 12, 2014GIANT PANDA'S ALBUM "STEADY" COMING
"Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, the boundary-pushing reggae band from Rochester, NY, will release its latest studio album, Steady, on September 30, in its first collaboration with independent reggae label Easy Star Records.
The bulk of the songs on Steady were recorded in 2013 with Craig Welsch of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant co-producing. Two other tracks were recorded after those sessions and added to the sequence – the title track was co-produced by Danny Kalb (The Green, Ben Harper), while live show favorite “Mr. Cop” was recorded with Matt Saccuccimorano (John Brown’s Body).
“This is without a doubt the best sounding record we’ve ever made,” says singer-bassist James Searl. “But it’s also the most consistently solid set of songwriting we’ve done to date.”
As for ending up as part of the growing Easy Star family, Giant Panda couldn’t be happier to be on the label with a roster that includes The Green, Rebelution, John Brown’s Body, Cas Haley, The Black Seeds, and Easy Star All-Stars. The band and the label had been friends since 2008, but the timing was never right to join up forces until now. “Sometimes it takes a while for the stars to align right,” Easy Star CEO Eric Smith says. “We always bounced around the idea of working with each other, but after hearing the growth on these latest sessions and seeing how good the band’s live set had become, we knew now was the time to finally make it happen.”
Steady will be followed in early 2015 by a sequel to Country called Bright Days, which will take the band’s Americana acoustic persona even further than before. This is also due to come out on Easy Star, along with a vinyl version of Steady. In the meantime, fans both old and new can revel in the startlingly good Steady.
" More info »
June 25, 2015 officialTHE EXPANDERS DEBUT
#1 ON BILLBOARD REGGAE
The Expanders' Hustling Culture has impressively debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae chart… More »
June 18, 2015 officialTHE EXPANDERS' NEW
RECORD OUT NOW
For more than a decade, U.S. reggae artists have been building a foundation from the Hawaiian islan… More »
April 28, 2015GIANT PANDA GUERILLA …
RELEASES NEW ALBUM "BRIGHT…
With the 2012 release of Country, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (GPGDS) proved their musica… More »
March 31, 2015NEW KINGSTON RELEASE
February 25, 2015JBB RETURNS WITH
February 05, 2015KINGSTON CITY #1 ON
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