Rebelution’s “Courage to Grow” allowed the reggae band to do just that.
The Santa Barbara reggae band’s 2007 EP debut was a major success, as was the 2009 follow-up “Bright Side of Life.” In 2012 it released three versions of “Peace of Mind” on its own label. One version has traditional instrumentation, one is stripped down and acoustic and one is dub, produced by Easy Star’s Michael Goldwasser, best known for “Dub Side of The Moon.”
“It came about in the later phases of releasing the album,” said guitarist and singer Eric Rachmany. “We decided last minute that it would be cool to release multiple versions at once. Depending on what mood you are in you can put on any CD you like. … We control what we put out and we enjoy putting out music we enjoy.”
Rebelution shares the headline position with stage jumper Matisyahu on the Good Vibes Summer Tour 2013, which comes to the MontBleu Outdoor Event Center at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Collie Buddz and Zion I also are on the tour.
“We’ve been coming to Tahoe at least five years but it’s been a little bit, so we’re excited to come back,” Rachmany said last week before a show in Eugene, Ore.
The tour was on a West Coast swing down to one day off home in Santa Barbara before heading back to Oregon to begin a trip to the Rocky Mountains and beyond. The bands and their gear are touring in two large buses.
“The best part is you are surrounded by music and people who enjoy playing music,” Rachmany said. “Just getting to perform and be surrounded by the arts every day puts me in a great mood so I feel very fortunate to do what I do.”
The popularity of reggae, of course, has helped Rachmay and band mates Rory Carey, Wesley Finley, Marley D, Williams (yes, he was named after Bob) and Khris Royal. Rebelution formed while they were attending college in Santa Barbara.
“I remember going around of a Friday night and I saw (Iration) play a house party, and I couldn’t believe there was roots-reggae music in Isle Vista,” Rachmany said. “I thought I would be the only one in Santa Barbara into reggae.”
Socially conscious lyrics to a reggae beat resonated and the group grew from house parties to arenas.
“We started using (the term) California reggae because our style is an accumulation of many different genres of music,” he said.” California is a melting pot there is so much diversity and you can find so much culture here such a mix of people, especially where I come from, San Francisco.”
Rachmany said the band is in a seminal state and is writing and working out material in a practice room on the bus. Studio work is planned for October and December.
He revealed a couple of things to look for Wednesday. Matisyahu, of course, has cut his hair and beard.
“It’s interesting how you change the look and all of a sudden people see him as a totally different artist, but to me all he did was shave off his beard,” Rachmany said. “I wish Rebelution could get that kind of attention if I’d just shave my head.”
Also, expect Zumbi from Zion I to join Rebelution for the song “So High,” from “Peace of Mind.”
“He’s one of our favorite MCs in the world,” Rachmany said. “Of all the hip-hops acts that we’ve seen perform live, I don’t think anybody is as talented and electrifying as Zumbi and AmpLive together.”
The Good Vibes Summer Tour 2013
Bands: Rebelution, Matisyahu, Collie Buddz and Zion I
When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Door open at 5. General admission, no re-entry
Where: MontBleu Outdoor Event Center
Tickets: $30 in advance or $35 on the day of the show. MontBleu Box Office or call 1-888-829-7630