With a booming three-piece horn section and positive vibes, Santa Cruz-based roots reggae outfit Pure Roots strives to bring audiences to higher levels of positive consciousness and to the dance floor. Though the band formed in 2007, 23-year-old founder Jeff Allgrove admits that 2012 was a breakthrough year for Pure Roots. Over the course of the year, the band completed a seven-city tour with Daniel “Bambaata” Marley—the grandson of Bob Marley—and shared the stage with artists such as Black Uhuru and Don Carlos, in addition to performing at the annual Monterey Bay Reggaefest.
Allgrove partially attributes the band’s rebirth to its adoption of a powerful and perfectly synchronized horn section, which, he says, has provided a critical energy boost to its sound.
“There’s nothing like a brass section that’s just smashing the end right on time with a really solid rhythm behind it that gets you dancing and gets you moving and leaves you walking away with a melody in your head,” he says. While the eight-member band often performs instrumental jams, guest singers like Andrew “Blood” Reid—son of Jamaican reggae artist Junior Reid, and the vocal force behind Pure Roots’ new album, Youth Rising, due for release this Spring—add extra flavor. On Thursday, the band will take the stage at the Crow’s Nest with its regular guest singer, the soulful Briana Kai, who can be heard on Junior Reid’s song “Day By Day.” But regardless of the person behind the mic, Allgrove is determined to keep the band’s positive message consistent. “No music is as powerful as reggae music,” he says. “We’re trying to do our part in the world to make things better through words and through music; It’s the new youth generation rising up to the occasion.”
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24. Crow’s Nest, 2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. $5. 476-4560. PHOTO CREDIT: Stacie Lynn