The Lions are one of the most exciting things happening in LA Reggae right now. They burst onto the scene with a vinyl 45 “Jungle Struttin’” backed by “Ethio-Steppers” that lead to their 2008 full length album Jungle Struttin’. That album was an amazing collection of JA roots style reggae and dub with a modern twist. Wicked beats, haunting rhythms and slick sounds created a collection everyone should have. It has been one of my favorite albums of the last decade in fact. They’ve been slow to follow that up though issuing only 2 singles last year but are finally gearing up a new release for later this year on Stones Throw Records.
Those 2 independently released singles on their own Lions Bread label last year included “This Generation” backed by “New Girl”, which has given name to the new album. The second single “Roll it ‘Round” backed with “Pieces of A Man” features MC Black Shakespeare and crooner Malik Moore shining on “Roll It ‘Round,” while Hepcat’s Alex Desert rides the rocksteady rhythm on “Pieces of a Man.” Both are must have’s and should be sought out items.
The band is an absolute all-star affair from top to bottom. Currently the band features Alex Desert and Deston Berry (Hepcat), Malik Moore (Ocean 11) on Vocals and Black Shakespeare (I&I Sound) as MC, Dan “Connie Price” Ubick (The Keystones, Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, Breakestra) on guitar, Devin Morrison (The Expanders, Leonard Dillon) on guitar, Dave Wilder (Macy Gray, Norah Jones, Brett Dennen, Everlast, Liz Phair) on Bass, Blake Colie (Salvador Santana, Derrick Morgan, Leonard Dillon, The Maytones) on drums (Salvador Santana, Derrick Morgan, Leonard Dillon, The Maytones), Davey Chegwidden (Rhythm Roots All Stars, De La Soul, Black Eyed Peas, David Holmes) on percussion, James King (Fitz & the Tantrums, Breakestra, Ray Barretto) on saxophone, flute, melodica and Dave Goodwin (Fitz & the Tantrums, Raphael Saadiq, Poncho Sanchez) on Trombone along with other special guests. It’s more a collective feel and it works perfectly.
Here they are performing the title track of the upcoming release live at the Roxy. Gives you just a little insight into what to expect.
They played the Upsetter documentary screening earlier this year as well as stops at festivals including Joshua Tree Music Festival, Topanga Daze Festival and the Rhino Resurrected pop-up store event featuring Reggae historian Roger Steffens. They also have a string of local dates coming up this weekend and into August with more to come I’m sure. Always a great show so don’t miss out on catching em live. Connect with them on Facebook to keep updated on news.
Jul 15 – Alex’s Bar – 2913 East Anaheim Street, Long Beach
Jul 16 – Descarga @ The New Gabah – 4916 Holywood Blvd.. Los Angeles
Jul 17 – The Commonwealth – 112 east Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton
Jul 31 – Bacchanal @ Townhouse Basement – 52 Winward Ave., Venice
Aug 06 – Levitt Pavillion @ MacArthur Park – 2230 West 6th Street, Los Angeles
Aug 12 – Soul Sessions @ Grand Star Jazz Club – 943 Sun Mun Way, Los Angeles
Click any image in the gallery below for larger images and to see in detail the upcoming show flyers.
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