Locals: Reggae Rock Blowout

By Matthew Lovett
From the June 20, 2013 edition

The reggae scene in Columbus is miniscule, but one local family and reggae-rock act, the Andy Shaw Band, took on a mission to help this music flourish in our city. The Shaw band is hosting its third annual Reggae Rock Blowout at Ace of Cups, showcasing six reggae and reggae-influenced artists from around the state.

“We just wanted to make an annual event and really showcase the reggae-inspired bands around Ohio,” said Chris Shaw, drummer in the Andy Shaw Band. “We felt like there was kind of a void in Columbus in the reggae scene.”

Performing alongside the Andy Shaw Band are Bob Ras, Devil’s Lettuce, Jonny Dreads and the Mystiks, All Star Jammerz and The Ark Band. All of the artists range from traditional reggae bands to artists who have uniquely infused reggae into their sound.

“It will be the best one because it's the most focused lineup that we've had,” Andy Shaw said. “In the past we've had some really great groups but a little less reggae than I'd like to have.”

The overarching goal of Reggae Rock Blowouts is to expand the reggae scene in Columbus and to eventually host the event in a different city in Ohio, including Dayton, Cincinnati or Cleveland.

“[We're] hoping to build that sense of community with the bands and the people in the cities that appreciate that kind of music,” Andy said.

The Shaws' reggae roots can be pinpointed to when the brothers of the band, Chris and Andy, were listening to rock-infused reggae in their youth.

“We started listening to bands that were more rock-inspired reggae,” Chris said. “We just really like those bands and wanted to create our own sort of sound through that.”

With such an eclectic lineup of reggae performers, Chris said he expects a solid turnout and sensational evening.

“Every band’s going to be a little different, but that’s what’s exciting about it,” Chris said.

Photo by Meghan Ralston