In 1935, an American radio station, XERA, was established just over the border of Mexico. With signal strength of one million combined watts, local ranchers quickly realized that the signal could be picked up through their barbed-wire fencing. June Carter Cash of the legendary Carter Family once told how she could hang a tin can from the barbed fence and hear her families’ music. Back then, regularly hearing recorded music was both a luxury and a privilege. For those without radios or phonographs, one had to walk out into the pasture next to a barbed wire fence and hold a tin cup up to your head until you were able to hear the faint sound of sweet chords, melodies, and lyrics.
Fast forward to today where we live in a world delivering an endless barrage of music that is easily accessible for almost everyone. Sometimes it seems that there is so much music that we simply don’t know what to do with it all. This leads me to question what it takes for an artist, band, or album to completely captivate your body and soul. It’s not only something you’ll listen to all month but also something you’ll listen to ten years down the road. It’s something for which you immediately hop online, hoping to discover every minute detail about the artist and the life they live (or lived). It’s something you must go tell all of your friends about. Every now and then you hear something that literally forces you to abandon any action, thought, or emotion you were currently having in exchange for a musical experience you simply cannot miss.
I was half asleep in the backseat of our van when Adam, bass player for Roots of a Rebellion, played the first song, “Freedom,” from Cat Platoon through the speakers. I remember awaking in a dreamlike state surrounded by lush vocals of Iseo and pounding Dodosound riddims. I was instantly hooked. It was the same type of reaction I had when Marco, our guitarist, showed us The Expanders for the first time a few years back. Or when I heard Submersible by Passafire in high school or Roots Radicals by Rancid in middle school. It is a feeling of aural excitement that cannot be contained.
With Cat Platoon it’s a combination of the simplest musical and production elements that create such an exciting listening experience. The roots, the melodies, the production, the straightforwardness, the space! More specifically, the drum grooves, timely fader cuts, rhythmic lyrics, electronic ambiance, and choice dubs. With so much music entering and exiting my head every day, it’s funny to think how the simplest music can seem the most profound.
Fortunately, we don’t live in the 1930’s anymore and no longer need to listen to music through a tin can. Music is everywhere and should be spread everywhere. Next time you hear a band or album that blows you away, tell your friends, tell your family members, tell a stranger. As working musicians, word of mouth promotion is our lifeblood. Let’s share the love; let’s share Iseo & Dodosound. – Troy Wiggins
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Article by: Troy Wiggins of Roots of a Rebellion.
Roots of a Rebellion is currently touring nationwide in support of their recent album A Brother’s Instinct. If you would like tickets to see the band hit us up (rootfire @ rootfire.net) and let us know the show date. Tour Dates here.
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