Rootstone bring their unique brand of international conscious roots reggae and dub to the main stage at this year’s Wilkswood Roots Reggae Festival.
Rootstone are a Bournemouth-based reggae band, comprising a mixture of multi-lingual musicians and singers hailing from Eastern Europe and East and Western Africa. They are committed to delivering positive, soulful, uplifting, conscious lyrics, with a roots reggae vibe, in turn providing a platform to prove that music is international and should have no barriers.
Formed in 2016 as mainly a riddim band, their main focus was on roots reggae/dub, utilising the talents of different musicians and singers such as Richard Williams and MC English. Weekly rehearsals and jam sessions led to the recording of various, as yet, unreleased tracks.
A chance meeting in the street between the drummer Arek and enigmatic African Postman Brother Makuta led to the latter being asked if he would be interested in singing for a reggae band. Makuta jumped at the chance to attend the weekly jam sessions and, having never sung live before, his natural exuberance and heart-wrenching lyrics and stories about his upbringing in war torn Angola had the guys hooked.
A year later, Roger, the second singer, answered a Facebook ad from the band who said they were looking to jam with like-minded musicians and singers. Roger had sung in a couple of Bournemouth based bands for over 15 years (All Direxions & Breeze) and had stepped up on a few occasions with local band Dubheart. Having not sung for about nine years, Roger came to a jam session and began writing new songs with the band almost straight away.
Some months down the line Raffa 2 (‘Jazzman’) walked in as he heard through the grapevine that he could possibly fit in with what the band were doing musically. The band were left with huge smiles on their faces as his playing just lifted the music and their spirits; he was given five days to learn their set before their first ever gig at the Cellar Bar in Boscombe.
Rootstone have only performed a handful of gigs with the current line-up, but gigging is not a new experience to the majority of its members. The current line-up comprises Raffa 1 (lead guitar), Marek (bass), Matteo (rhythm guitar), Arek (drums), Raffa 2 `Jazzman`(keyboards), Brother Makuta (vocals) and Roger (vocals).
As for influences, well there are too many bands to name. All the members have different influences in genres, such as punk, jazz and blues but they have come together and found common ground thru their unwavering love of reggae.
They hope to start recording some of their new material at the end of March 2019 in Blueline studios. Also they are looking forward to playing more gigs in the near future including Vee Dub at the Pub and the Bournemouth Reggae Festival later on this year.