Silverback Professional Artist Management’s Jon Phillips said he was impressed the first time he saw Rebelution live five years ago and that feeling has continued no matter what type of crowd the grassroots reggae band plays to.
“When I saw them play the Bonnaroo main stage right before Blues Traveler a couple of years ago, there was a huge crowd of Rebelution fans there and the band delivered,” Phillips told Pollstar. “Seeing the reaction of festival crowds and integrating a little bit of the improvisational, jam-band audience has also had a lot of influence on the music.”
The lineup of vocalist/guitarist Eric Rachmany, bassist Marley D. Williams, drummer Wes Finley and keyboardist Rory Carey has been grabbing attention since forming in 2004 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The addition of Khris Royal on saxophone has further defined the band’s sound and appeal.
Phillips and co-managers Matt Phillips and Dean Raissen, and Paradigm’s Aaron Pinkus set to work putting Rebelution on the road with acts such as The Expendables, SOJA and Slightly Stoopid.
Performances at festivals including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Wakarusa and All Good soon followed.
“Obviously, in this day and age, when something’s good people can spread the word,” Phillips said. “Their songs really resonate with people. They have positive lyrics and really, really catchy melodies.”
Meanwhile, record sales helped to boost the band’s fanbase, with Rebelution’s 2007 debut, Courage To Grow, picked as an iTunes Editor’s Choice, followed by 2009’s Bright Side of Life. The band’s most recent release, Peace of Mind, debuted at No. 13 on Nielsen SoundScan’s Top 200 chart.
But playing live is where Rebelution really shines.
“They’ve been out there working hard, and to me, there’s no substitute for that,” Phillips explained. “[Rebelution] can play with a lot of different groups and improvise a lot of different ways, which makes [it] unique.”
Rebelution is on the road through March 31. Phillips said plans for a summer outdoor tour of all major markets are in the works.