MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Tony Greene (vocals); Mark Cummings (bass); Brent Lobo (drums); Mike Presser (guitar); Mano Mirande (guitar); Tom Cook (organ).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
The Revivers EP (Jump Up!, 2010).
Early reggae from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, including the sounds of The Dynamites, Dave Barker, The Upsetters, GG All Stars, Winston Wright, Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, The Bleechers, and Alton Ellis.
For those who feel the Inland Empire’s music scene is a mess of garage bands rehashing the musical scraps left behind years ago from L.A. and Orange County acts, we’ll let a terrific reggae group like The Revivers help set the record straight.
As guitarist Mano Mirande notes, the IE actually has a unique musical perspective in the form of ska and reggae music. Granted, we’re a haul from England or Jamaica, but Mirande says that our locale has spawned such greats as the Voodoo Glow Skulls (now over 20 years strong), groundbreaking legends The Skeletones, plus notables like The Debonaires, La Banda Skalavera (a previous Band of the Week) and Knock Out.
And we’ve gotta add The Revivers to this list, a celebrated collective of local ska scene musicians—hailing from the aforementioned Debonaires and Skeletones, plus The Empire All Stars and See Spot—that formed in 2006.
Mirande says his band revives early reggae, playing many of the era’s covers, including hits and obscure cuts. “It gives fans of the music a chance to hear the songs they love being played authentically, having not had the chance to hear those groups live,” he adds.
And authenticity’s key here, as Mirande’s proud of employing vintage organs instead of modern keyboards, “and [we] try to make every instrument—and even the vocals—sound like an old record from Jamaica. We like to keep it gritty, rather than sounding overly produced and polished.”
The sextet wrapped their first tour last month and plan to hit Europe in 2011. But before that, they’ll play this Friday at Knock Out’s annual “Home for the Holidays” event and are recording for a 7” single.
“Another reason why we enjoy ‘reviving’ early reggae is not only to play for the fans of the music, but to introduce it to new audiences,” Mirande says. “Many different amazing and influential bands and musicians have been mentioned in this interview, and I encourage the readers to look up these artists, who for the most part go unrecognized. Early reggae is a unique and vital style of music and in order for it to carry on, we need people to continue loving and supporting it.”
The Revivers with Knock Out, B Foundation and Hit The Switch, at The Vibe, 1805 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 788-0310; www.myspace.com/thevibebarandgrill. Fri, 8PM.