When your music is so diverse that suitable comparisons include No Doubt, Sublime, Black Eyed Peas, and even Rihanna (via singer Katherine Ramirez) you know you have a lot of eyes and ears wondering what you’re going to do next. For Mystic Roots Band, a group who came together by throwing college backyard parties in Chico, CA to touring the world as Pato Banton’s backing band, the answer lies in their latest album, CHANGE. CHANGE delivers what has made Mystic Roots Band a favorite in the world of reggae, world and dancehall music; and added stylistic diversity to create a modern alchemy of positive vibes. Mystic Roots Band is comprised of cootdog, Marko Photinos, Katherine Ramirez, Korey Ross, and Keith “Rabbit” Townsend Jr. CHANGE is set to be released on May 5th, 2017 on Stay Positive Productions/Roots Musician Music.
After touring in support of Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti, Matisyahu, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, and many more, the band was ready to record new music. Always open to pushing the envelope on both sound and lyrics, Mystic Roots Band started recording the new album and experimenting with new styles and sounds. Katherine , cootdog and Marko (vocalists and songwriters), have complimenting, but not competing, styles of writing and singing, and each of them add something unique to the process. “When we started recording CHANGE, we didn’t really have a specific concept in mind. We had some rootsy tunes, but were also experimenting with new styles and sounds. We realized that this evolution in our songwriting was a perfect analog to what was happening in the band and in our own lives. That’s when the title CHANGE hit us as the purest and simplest way to sum it all up. We are happy to present this album to the world; it brings many styles to the table but remains firmly rooted in reggae. That’s the Mystic and the Roots.”
In every track on the new album you can hear the band’s diverse influences and growth, ranging from love songs to trap. Katherine Ramirez, of American Idol, added her own unique mix of pop and urban sound and writing style that gives Mystic Roots Band pop sensibility. Katherine ’s vocals shine through in the hit single, a ska number with pop leanings and a tribute to music festivals, “Ready for It” which charted on iTunes top 100 for all genres. There is a Trap remix on the album of the tune called “Ready for It (Refix)” that is sure to move the masses this festival season. “Lullaby” a simple and sincere love song carries a vibe reminiscent to “Running” from the 2013 album Camp Fire Vol. 1, Marko brings his rub-a-dub style and hip-hip flow and creates vocal chemistry with Katherine in a solid duet. “I’m Good” is a female empowerment anthem, where Katherine’s Beyonce influence meets a dubby backbeat. Cootdog’s west coast hip-hop stylings drives home the Mystic Roots Band sound in the standout track, “Sticky Situation,” which uses 2Pac’s “Ambitionz az a Ridah” beat with a touch of dancehall and an epic guitar rift. And not so subtle reggae jam in tribute to marijuana in the form of a girl named “Marie,” which happens to be the instant-grat track when you buy download CHANGE before May 5th.
Recording CHANGE also inspired the band to work with some great music talent including Dan Grossman and the Loud City Records family on production, engineering and remixing, producer and engineer Dale Price who has worked on every Mystic Roots release, hip-hop producer N8 Beats (Lil Wayne, Fat Joe) and producer E.N. Young, who himself is a celebrated reggae artist. “The earliest recordings of this album began in late 2013. We recorded most of the tracks at Stay Positive Studios in Chico, located at Mystic Roots HQ, which obviously gives us a lot of freedom to experiment. We did tracking and recorded the drums at Electric Canyon Studios outside of Chico. We also incorporated the making of the album into our tour schedule. During a day off in 2016, we spent the day at Loud City Studios in Seattle, WA, where we recorded various vocals. In fact, we wrote and recorded “Trouble” in its entirety during that session.”
Over the past few years, Mystic Roots Band has performed in support of high profile tours with Katchafire, headlined the OG stage at the California Roots Music and Arts Festival, went around the world on their “Roots For The Troops” tour; performing for the U.S. Military stationed abroad, starred in a T.L.C. reality TV show, and had the monstrous YouTube viral hit “Pass The Marijuana” receive more than five million views and counting. The band plans to continue doing what they do best - besides making albums -which is entertaining audiences with their high energy live performances. Mystic Roots Band fans have come to expect an eclectic show showcasing each of the singers that usually ends up with the band members swapping instruments, some old-skool DJ’ing, beat boxing and more.
CHANGE – Track listing: