San Diego, California has always been a hot spot for roots reggae and reggae rock music. From Slightly Stoopid to Big Mountain to Tribal Seeds, the city continues to proffer acts who have changed the course the reggae genre’s collective history. Yet, there are countless artists and bands that reside within the middle of the spectrum — many falling over the years! One man has witnessed not only the San Diego music scene morph over the past few decades, he himself has pivoted to stay afloat again and again in roots reggae bands.
His name is Joe B. Hurst and he is far from giving up on his roots reggae passions.
From house party bands to his most recent Rude Creation solo moniker, Hurst is now breaking out on his own… at least, for the time being. He remains invested in San Diego music, despite lockdowns and other hardships. With such an impressive reggae resume, we figure it’s about time the world outside of San Diego gets to know him a little more. We hunted him down for a chat on his boat and here is what Hurst has to say about life and his love of music.
Let’s talk about your roots in roots music. How has the music genre affected your life? Your upbringing?
- JBH: I find my roots in reggae music are associated with part of my local upbringing in San Diego. There was a lot of local chill backyard house parties back then… when local bands like Roots Covenant and Stranger, along with Tribal Seeds were just starting. I was playing in a band called Dub Shack — we were just doing a lot of house parties around town. Then I started my own band called Mystic Tree with some good friends. We started doing some small gigs that were actually low pay, but we were happy at the time and it was really an awesome experience. From then to now, I definitely see a big change in the scene, but, all in all, music has uplifted my life and I feel blessed for every experience good and bad.
You were the mastermind behind San Diego band, Rude Creation. How was your experience playing in the SoCal reggae scene?
- When I started Rude Creation in 2016, it was basically a branch of a tree from another band I was playing in called Lion Path. There have been so many musicians in the group along the way that have helped in the performances! It’s been an honor to play with every single one of them.
What was the driving force to make you embark making Rude Creation a solo project?
- Recently, the driving force and energy behind [being a solo artist] is going back to my roots. Basically, I’m finding a lot of time due to the COVID epidemic to write new music and focus on releasing my album that I have been creating for over two years now.
What do you foresee for yourself in a post-COVID era?
- I don’t really know what’s next for me, honestly! It’s nice to focus and have some time for my family. I’ve been sailing my 30-foot sailboat around the San Diego Harbor a lot and fishing a lot; it’s giving me some time to restart and refresh my brain.
- All in all, I really hope the music scene comes back to normal soon. It’s really affected some of us artists and a lot of artists really did rely on the money from performing and such. If COVID ever ends, which I’m sure it will, I just hope this [time] has taught people to love each other a little bit more and be more supportive all around.
- We have lost some really good friends this past year and I wanna give a shoutout to my good brother Purple Man, who just passed away a couple months ago. And, also Carlos Culture. Rude Creation did a big show in Ocean Beach at Winston’s, another venue that I heard recently shut down due to this epidemic. I just pray Winston’s can open again soon, along with a lot of the venues and businesses that have been shutting down recently. We need to keep them in our prayers and support our local venues and businesses!