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First Listen: Simpkin Project – Hustling

In October 2007, I flew from Washington, DC to California to join Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad on their first ever West Coast tour. Two of the shows were with a band I had never heard of before named The Simpkin Project, from Huntington Beach, CA.

I became instant friends with The Simpkin Project, and they made my left coast experience that much more special. They were easygoing, hospitable, talented musicians who seemed like kindred spirits to my northeast Panda family. To top it off, two of the band members were Eagle Scouts, just like me. And we were all recipients of the marijuana merit badge!

Over the past 10 years I’ve had the privilege of cruising with the Simpkins and running into them at various festivals and shows. In January 2014, I was honored to be a part of In Roots We Trust Tour, featuring GPGDS, The Simpkin Project, and The Expanders. Needless to say, that run was epic.

Today, I’m proud to be able to share their brand new single “Hustling,” off their forthcoming album Beam Of Light (release date TBA). Be sure to listen to the song on quality headphones or speakers, multiple times. With each listen you’ll discover new layers of goodness and eclectic vibes.

The Simpkin Project is comprised of Phil Simpkin (guitar, vocals), Shawn Taylor (organ, keys, vocals), Jules Luna (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sandoval (percussion), Sean Kennedy (drums), and Nick Zermino (bass). Courtney Panton, Jr. and Courtney Panton, Sr. of New Kingston played drums and bass on “Hustling.”

The beginning of the song makes me think of a small country western town where Sheriff Simpkin’s on the daily grind underneath the sun. But when the chorus hits, the tone changes from a personal vantage point of hustling, to an uplifting message of positivity:

Live with feeling, live with purpose
Hear the calling from deep within your soul
Find the meaning, let’s keep searching
Find the way with me

One thing I’ve always loved about this band, is their ability to turn simple lyrics into mantras that you can’t get out of your head. Songs like “If You Really Want It” and “Walk On Tall” are perfect examples of this.

The members of The Simpkin Project, their music, and their message will always be a bright beam of light in my life.

Catch them February 10 at One Love Cali Reggae Fest in Long Beach.

Single: “Hustling”
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Record Label: Dub Rockers


SimpkinHustling_red text

IMG_5902May 28, 2015 – Hermosa Beach, CA

IMG_0991In Roots We Trust
January 25, 2014 – Nectar Lounge – Seattle, WA

IMG_1038October 23, 2007 – Winston’s – San Diego, CA


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@HERBIVOREPR vegetarian, only child, drums, verbalassaults. Aloha world!

I grew up in suburban Maryland just outside Washington, DC. My career in the music business began with Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. One weekend in the early 2000s I was visiting a friend at Ithaca College. He introduced me to James Searl (PANDA! bassist) and we instantly became close friends. I became a big fan of GPGDS, and as time went on my relationship with the band transitioned from fan/friend to online helper/volunteer. The band’s touring schedule got increasingly busy, and I helped organize and build their online presence, and mailing list.

I had a weekly radio show in college named Mixed Vegetables. I did more than 100 shows in my 2+ years as a DJ on WVUD 91.3 FM Newark, the voice of the University of Delaware. I played all kinds of music including underground and lesser known artists. My passion for spreading musical truth grew, and I eventually booked and promoted some concerts under the moniker Arugula Promotions. Proud to say I put on Giant Panda's debut concert in the state of Delaware!

In May 2007 I moved to Brooklyn, NY; shortly thereafter I founded Herbivore Publicity. The vegetable theme is a continual dream...

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