The Rock and Blues Concert Cruise season opens with the award winning reggae band, John Brown's Body on June 6, 2014 with special guests The Nth Power and Van Gordon Martin. Sailing on the Provincetown II operated by Bay State Cruise Company at the World Trade Center Pier, the Rock and Blues Concert Cruise provides an opportunity for fans to see their favorite bands in a one of a kind concert setting on the Boston Harbor.
John Brown's Body is a Boston based band who came together in the mid 1990's, a time when reggae was not as popular in Boston or in the United States. Since then the reggae scene has grown with two reggae bands debut records winding up on the Billboard Top 20 Chart in 2012.
John Brown Body's last full length record, Amplify, was #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart in 2008 and was considered forward thinking with it's electronic effects and the JBB IN DUB EP was #1 on the iTunes Reggae Chart. The bands latest release, Kings and Queens utilizes both aspects of these two recordings as well as evoking sounds from from the music's origins in 1960's Jamaica.
The band is: Elliot Martin on lead vocals, Nate Edgar on bass, Jay Spaker on guitar, Alex Asher on trombone, Jon "JP" Petronzio on keyboards, Tom Benedetti on drums, Drew Sayers on sax and Sam Dechenne on trumpet.
Examiner spoke with drummer Tommy Benedetti to find out more about the band and their show on the Rock and Blues Cruise.
Examiner: How did you come up with the name John Brown's Body?
Benedetti: "The band was named by Kevin Kinsella, who was one of the founders of JBB. We're named after John Brown, a Civil War-era abolitionist and very important figure in US History. What we liked about it was that its not your average reggae band name. We could build a unique sound behind a unique name...and it makes for a memorable acronym."
Examiner: How long has the band been together and how did you get together to form this band?
Benedetti: "We've been together since 1996, although we didn't start touring nationally until 1998. The initial lineup met in Boston mostly through connections at Berklee College of Music. A bunch of us had played together in a band called the Tribulations, out of Ithaca,NY. When that band dissolved, we regrouped, fine-tuned some things, and came out as JBB. We've always been a New York and Boston based band."
Examiner: How has the audience response differed over the years now that reggae is so much more in the forefront of today's music?
Benedetti: "Yeah, reggae is way more a part of the music scene these days than when we were coming up. We were one of the first American reggae bands to sign to a label and tour nationally. There was no scene, just regional bands. We were also doing it before social media so we had to get out there and put the miles on..and we did..and in the process, we made some tremendous fans who have stuck with us through all sorts of stuff..and we appreciate every one of them."
Examiner: Tell me something that you've never told anyone else?
Benedetti: "I'm wanted in eight countries."
Examiner: Have you had a memorable moment touring across the United States that you want to share?
Benedetti: "Every tour is filled with its share of memorable moments honestly..if they weren't,we probably wouldn't still be doing it."
Examiner: Upcoming shows in Boston? Website? Contact info for the band?
Benedetti: "We'll be playing a Rock and Blues Concert Cruise on Boston Harbor on Friday June 6, 2014. We hope to return for a full headline show in the Fall or Winter."
For more info visit the band website at: www.johnbrownsbody.com