An interview with Ishmael I

Ishmael Turner, known as Ishmael I, is an independent reggae artist, writer and producer, currently spreading his Jamaican roots vibes to the American public and beyond. A humanitarian at heart, Ishmael I transcends borders with socially-conscious music in an effort to make the world a better place. I recently had the opportunity to chat with […]

The Movement’s Josh Swain talks new album, ‘Ways Of The World’

For those of you reading, completely unaware of who or maybe even what The Movement is, back in the day, some Columbia, South Carolina teenagers started up a band. They traveled and acquired more members, adding and changing up some bandmates, but ultimately settled on the current four-piece band we see today. The Movement was […]

WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: Among Criminals “60,000 Messages”

The punky, dubby Philly-based band Among Criminals is back with new music! Blending turn-of-millennia alternative with Jamaican rhythms, Among Criminals gained a fast following with their debut self-titled album in 2012, which spurred anticipation for their sophomore album to drop the following year entitled The Break, leading to their latest Kill The Precedent in 2017 […]

Cali Roots 2019: Day Three

Mixed weather didn’t deter Cali Roots X attendees from enjoying the third and final day in Monterey to the fullest. With two days down, Day Three at the fairgrounds brought with it one of the most stacked lineups to date when it comes to reggae rock. The morning started off with The Elovaters’ high-energy set […]

Kyle Smith at Huntington Beach’s Sealegs

As the sun shone bright and the ocean glistened like diamonds, with the familiar summer scent of sunscreen filling the air, Ventura locals Kyle Smith and his fantastic band set out to headline Reggae Sunday’s at the gorgeous beachside venue of Sealegs in Huntington Beach, CA on Sunday, June 9th, 2019. Fans and pups of […]

Slightly Stoopid in Key West

There are two types of fans in this world: fans of Slightly Stoopid and everyone else. The amount of constant, consistent love and respect Stoopid fans show in particular is absolutely remarkable. ‘Stoopidheads’, as they are otherwise known, follow Stoopid as they tour around the country, much like Grateful Dead fans. My father followed The […]

Prince Fatty drops new single & Top Reggae Influencer playlist

After releasing his new single with Big Youth and George Dekker “Get Ready”, a cover of Smokey Robinson’s classic hit, we asked production maestro Prince Fatty to put together a playlist of his Top Reggae Influencers. On creating the playlist, he also added, “In one way or another, these tracks have been with me along […]

Bayfest San Diego 2019

June 1st in San Diego brings with it the expectation of summer. With most reggae rock fans coming off a cool Cali Roots weekend in Monterey, the San Diego temperate weather was welcomed with open arms (and lots of sunscreen). Up first on the stage was locals Band of Gringos, with artist Jimmy Ovadia live-painting […]

WORLD TRACK PREMIERE: Marcus Upbeat “She’s So Sweet”

Marcus Upbeat, aka Downbeat, has had himself quite the impressive career. Gaining fandom in the UK from his former band, No.1 Station, Upbeat not only worked closely with Lee Scratch Perry, but further toured with Roxy Music in the height of their prime! Now a solo artist, Upbeat is ready to release new music — […]

The Aggrolites at Saint Rocke

On the heels of the release of their highly anticipated, long-awaited album, Reggae Now, the Los Angeles-based Aggrolites lit the stage on fire at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, CA on May 25th, 2019. This being the first live taste of their new album, excited fans came out in full force to hear the latest […]

Kyle Smith & Brendan Clemente chat at Cali Roots X

Top Shelf Music journalist Kristy Rose sits down with two great independent artists at California Roots 10, Kyle Smith and Brendan Clemente! Performing together for the first time, the two chat about their individual efforts in the scene, what’s to come next and how Cali Roots brought the two of them together in the first […]

Tropidelic ‘Here In The Heights’ album review

Tropidelic is in a category all its own. Their latest album, Here In The Heights, is a product of successfully combining funk, reggae, rock and hip hop with excellent and creative songwriting. With passion, soul, funky guitar and brass instrumentals, the six-piece band from Cleveland, Ohio gives Here In The Heights the band’s trademark sound. […]

Cali Roots 2019: Day Two

Back for more, California Roots 2019 attendees filed once again into the Monterey Fairgrounds early Saturday morning for yoga, coffee and, naturally, the rocking reggae sounds of Roots of a Rebellion kicking off the Cali Roots Stage on Day Two. Jo Mersa Marley followed shortly after on the Bowl, while Casey Sullivan (of Burritos the […]

A talk with Taj Weekes at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl

I had the opportunity not only to attend Taj Weekes & Adowa, but also had to chance to speak briefly to Weekes himself! Blessing the Brooklyn Bowl with root reggae vibrations, Taj Weekes illuminated the stage alongside his opening acts, Allinor and Te’La.  Allinor blessed the stage with melodic sounds of traditional roots reggae music. […]

Project 432 ‘Passenger’ album review

Denver-based band Project 432 is a unique one, to say the least. After bursting onto the recording scene in 2017 with their debut album The Science of Numbers, the band quickly gained recognition for their approach as much as their music. The inaugural album — combining reggae with dub with hip hop all wrapped into […]