Mystic Roots Band
As much as I used to get into reggae music, being inundated with it at every turn as it became increasingly mainstream has made me shy away from it. I mean, you can only trance out for so long. Or maybe that’s just me. But today, after an energetic, chilly-morning bike ride, I came to work and welcomed the sounds of Chico-turned-San Diego, reggae-based Mystic Roots Band. I sat near the window of my office, the winter sun shining through, and got down to business with Cali-Hi as my soundtrack. The title track—featuring guitarist/vocalist Zion Thompson of Honolulu reggae group The Green—sets a laid-back tone for the 18-song album, which, even when it gets hip-hoppity-freestyle (as in the case of “Lifestyle”), still cruises along in the deep groove. You’ve got your “Blessings” (featuring the illustrious Pato Banton), you’ve got your “$100 Bag,” you’ve got your “Sweet Sinsemilla,” and a female lead vocalist in the form of the talented Katherine Ramirez. It’s all decidedly chill and fun. Even the sobering, praise-saying “Thank You Lord” doesn’t lose the beat (though it actually gets a little over-the-top fervent at one point). Also includes MRB’s documentary DVD, What’s It Like?