The 2016-2017 "RAS ALAN- 25 Years of Appalachian Reggae" shows feature singer-songwriter performances of reggabilly hits from his 5 previous full length albums, as well as new songs from the Love the Way You Love recording sessions. Ras Alan will also be debuting his new line of hand-built Childres Guitars during these anniversary shows.
Ras Alan will perform original songs from his albums Native, Stone Inna Hurricane, Letter From Appalachia, Folklife-Live at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Organic. In addition to the title track "Love The Way You Love", the new material includes love songs "River", "Ital Skillet" and "Time is Right", the Appalachian dancehall one-drop-two-step shuffler "Swingaround" and cultural dreadneck mashup "Mountain Top One Drop".
Here's what people have to say about Ras Alan's music:
"Ras Alan has created a style of his own. This disc is a classic... I can not stop playing it. His fusion of driving Reggae basslines and Appalachian guitar riffs transcend both genres. Besides the catchy melodies you'll find yourself humming, his lyrics are straight from the heart, deep and thoughtful. In a nutshell, a masterful artist and a must have CD. Hey, if you think the CD is great, you should see him live."
"An absolute perfect blend of country and reggae, there is not a bad song on this CD. Worth every penny!!!"
"Gentle, strong, ringing with sincerity and with broad appeal. Gentle as an island breeze and strong as the roots of ancient mountains, with a voice that rings out with the sincerity of country church bells on quiet evening air. Wonderful instrumental work, too. Altogether a splendid effort in a beautiful fusion of styles that should appeal to a great many people."
"Addicting. Great CD. The first few days I had it, I couldn't stop playing it."
"This cd is great to listen to when you're in a chill mood, or want to get into one. Some of the songs sound a little country; his voice definitely keeps it reggae. My fave is "Rastafari Ridge."
"True to the Roots reggae with the folk flavor added to it. I ordered a second copy to give to my niece"
"Great music...socially conscious...entertaining... I've seen Ras Alan perform many times and have finally bought a CD! This collection is outstanding..."
The Beat magazine in Los Angeles says "Energetic and kinetic...this music sounds as natural coming from the mountains of North Carolina as the music from the hills of Jamaica's Blue Mountain Range." Bob Marley biographer and Reggae Grammy@ chair Roger Steffensexclaims "Reggabilly at its best!" “Good work giving us positive vibes..." reports DJ Rankin of Radio Contrabanda in Barcelona, Spain. Asheville, NC’s Mountain Express says “Joyful and reflective, trimmed with punchy guitar and Ras Alan's eminently likable voice...it's hard to imagine more pleasant listening…[than the] Neil Young-by-way-of-Kingston melodies," and Citizen-Times reviewers Jedd Ferris and Heather Rayburn add, "Ras Alan's been able to blend vintage country and Appalachian folk with the steady grooves of Jamaican ska and roots reggae. Despite seemingly obvious culture clashes, the songwriter's personal ability to correlate the two genres makes the music breathe with authenticity. With his homemade acoustic guitar and steady percussive footbox, he revives the dusty mountain ancestry of the Carter Family while bringing a modern context to the soulful social outcry of the Marley message." "All original, homegrown, mountain roots reggae... weaving the traditional reggae sound with the front porch flat-pickin' generally associated with Carolina bluegrass musicians." The Independent, of Durham, NC, sums it up this way, "Ras Alan is able to weave blues, bluegrass and country elements into his rootsy Reggae fabric. It works!"