As the July crimson and amber summer sun dipped down behind the lush green hills of the Laguna Canyon skyline, the smooth, mellow sounds of Jah Mex and The Translators wafted ever so sweetly through the historic, eclectic and unique Sawdust Festival grounds in Laguna Beach, CA.
Nestled back into the hills, amongst the whimsical and folksy artist booths, close friends and fans — old and new — gathered. Elated to partake in the musical and spiritual experience that lead singer and lyrical master Adam Arredondo leads you on, the journey began.
Playing songs from his 2009 debut album, Firm Foundation, produced by the great Fully Fullwood, to his latest 2018 release also produced by Fullwood, Soul Garden — Roots Version, Jah Mex and The Translators lifted the spirits of those around with their west coast roots sound mixed with the time relevant, socially-conscious stories behind the music.
… Jah Mex and The Translators lifted the spirits of those around with their west coast roots sound…
The journey of good vibes continued with songs like “Conscious Revolution”, encouraging one to open up the mind, eyes, ears and heart in order to never compromise oneself. When Arredondo announced he was going to play “Babylon Victim”, a fan asked what the song was about. Arredondo replied that someone close to him was handed too hard a sentence for a crime committed. The song is about that and our need to be conscious and aware of the legal system. He reminded fans, “Do good and good will follow you. All you can do is try your best.”
The band, (comprised of funky bass player Eaux Bain, incredibly talented singer and guitar player Albert Hurtado and banging away on the drums is former Iya Terra member, Blake Bartz), keeps the crowd dancing all night long, both young and old.
The delighted crowd was hooting and hollering…
The delighted crowd was hooting and hollering as Jah Mex encouraged the congregation of fans to give it up for surprise guest, Fully Fullwood, who arrived to play bass along with the band on the song “Dub You”.
With his talented twinkle of the keys, Jah Mex also toured and played with the likes of Eek-A-Mouse, Marcia Griffiths and the great Stevie Wonder. He is also a founding member of Los Angeles-based Lesterfari & Kings Music, while playing keyboard and song arranging for the amazing north San Diego reggae band, New Leaf.
Be sure to catch Adam performing with the great Jah Mex and The Translators, Lesterfari & Kings Music or New Leaf this summer!
Photography by Jenni Lynne