Yellow Dubmarine brings reggae twist to Beatles songs
In the music world, there are folks who love the music of the Beatles and there are folks who love to dance to the Jamaican music known as reggae.
The band Yellow Dubmarine, based out of Rockville, Md., has found success by mashing the two genres together, putting a danceable reggae groove to the sounds of the Fab Four.
Yellow Dubmarine will perform at the V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington, Friday, Nov. 16. Tickets are $8. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 10 p.m. Opening the concert will be 600lbs of Sin.
Yellow Dubmarine is a seven-piece group that includes Jonathan Sloane on guitar, Robbie Cooper on drums and vocals, Jonathan Drye on percussion, Aaron Glaser on bass and vocals and Luke Schuster on keyboards and vocals. Adding pop to the sonic mix are the group's two horn players Mario D'Ambrosio on sax and Matt Hotez on trombone.
"The band was a really organic idea," said Glaser. "It just kind of happened because we love The Beatles and we love reggae. We definitely like roots reggae and roots dub (a more spacey form of reggae). We like musicians like Lee 'Scratch' Perry. We're really into some rock steady (pre-reggae Jamaican roots music), too. The Trojan record label's box set series has given us a lot of rootsy music to listen to. And, of course, we love Bob Marley and Toots and the Maytals. I would say that we are less influenced by the 1980s era of reggae music and more by the 70s and 60s period. We also bring a more modern sound to our music as well. We like to produce a groove with a modern edge to it. We do reggae, primarily, but we also bring in a bunch of other world music styles. We play some Latin arrangements and some calypso as well as all different types of reggae from ska to dub."
Somewhere in the midst of these young musicians meeting, hanging out and playing with each other, the idea was hatched to bring the music of The Beatles to life in a reggae style.
"We put our own twist on it," said Glaser. "What we are really doing is playing The Beatles' songs with grooves that are fun to play and fun to dance to. We bring a dancing and rocking energy to songs that people already know and love. It's a fun mix. We have something for everyone. We have Beatles fans who are singing along, and even people who don't like the Beatles will come up to us and say that they don't like the Beatles but they love our show. We pay tributes to The Beatles, but we also have other elements to our show like musicianship and energy."
Of course, when you mess around with music made by such a popular and legendary group like The Beatles, people are going to notice if it doesn't come out right. But the members of Yellow Dubmarine have worked hard to keep their Fab Four grooves in the pocket.
"Some of the songs are hard to arrange, but most of it is not too bad because we grew up with The Beatles and played their songs, so we know them really well, "said Glaser. "And, their songs translate well to other styles because they are so well-written. The melody transfers, the essence of the song transfers and the chords. We just change the rhythm and the groove."
If You Go:
WHAT: Beatles reggae band Yellow Dubmarine with openers 600 Lbs of Sin
WHEN: Show at 10 p.m., doors at 8 p.m.
WHERE: V Club, 741 6th Ave., Huntington
HOW MUCH: $8 (show is 18 and up)
ON THE WEB: Go online at www.vclublive.com
ON DECK @ THE V: Saturday, Nov. 17, The Jeff Ellis Band / Tim Browning & The Widowmakers / Brandon Adams; Grown Ass Folks, Nov. 24; Fifth On The Floor / Matt Woods / Van Lear Black on Nov. 30; Fletcher's Grove, Dec. 1; The Sights / AC30 on Dec. 6; Oreo Jones W/ DMA (ex Jookabox) / DJ Action Jackson / Dinosaur Burps on Dec. 7; Bobaflex / Devil by Design / Liecus / Underthro / In the Company of Wolves on Dec. 15; The Tom McGees / Mad Anthony / Sweatband on Dec. 21; Sasha Colette & The Magnolias / The Good Ol' Boys and a Girl / Tyler Childers on Dec. 22;