anyone has been following along for the last 7 years, I started this journey doing an Internet radio show out of Stroudsburg, PA. I was blogging mostly local NJ artists slowly, and my format was “alternative” which gave me the freedom to take it wherever it went…and went, it did. One Sunday I decided to go full ska and had two of my dearest friends in the studio with me. My FM DJ girlfriend Lindsay and my friend in music and giant cans of pudding, Rob. I would be doing on-air interviews with Steve Jackson from the Pietasters and Travis from Hub City Stompers. There was beer. There was laughing. More than anything, there was a realization that this has always been the music that got deepest into my soul and why in the hell was this not my focus?
After a roof collapse and two station location shifts, our home base disbanded and a few of us, like myself, decided to hop into podcasting and continue with blogging reviews. I somehow garnered myself a lot of support in the ska and reggae community here on the East Coast and found myself this incredible home base in a scene that has been a love of mine for over 20 years now. In the last couple of years, thanks to my jam scene bassist husband, I have found myself pulled and expanded into other musical realms. I have found love in funk and jam bands and their respective festival atmospheres and friendly crowds. I have found kinship among a scene I honestly knew very little about and feel a bit silly now to have been so firmly biased to because really…it’s so very much the same in a lot of ways.
In my travels between these two worlds, I have discovered there is this amazing middle place that defies a description. These bands that yes, fall into a genre of course but represent these gold threads in between these segmented scenes and their firmly planted participants. In the ska and reggae community, there is much talk about the concept of unity in the scene. I have found a similar focal point in discussions of the jam scene as well. The bands all play together, they hop on stage with one another, they blend. The fan base is full of love and acceptance (there are always exceptions), friends to be made and lifelong connections to create. These two fan bases and scenes are separate, but that middle place connects them. This is where I found bands like Spiritual Rez and Kung Fu. This is where I just found The Elovaters.
This incredible Boston reggae/rock/jam fusion is so much what I have been seeking out that walks the line between the scenes. They have this incredible smooth reggae feel, injected with flavors of rock, funk, and tastes of R&B. They have a strong percussion groove while lead by vocals that have very honestly knocked my socks off to the point that I find no need to ever wear socks again. I am blown out of the water by this band. They have that club reggae sound while pulling along this jam flow groove that goes on for days. I am floored.
Their album The Cornerstone is a mellow love trip somewhere there is sunshine all day and beer in the cooler. From start to finish, this is a record you will not skip tracks on. If you want to jump around, pull up Rude Girl. Body moving bass groove that comes in smooth, goes down low, and builds back in with tasty guitar piece that has a sweet 70’s feel. Pull up Help Me Through next and you will be treated to more sweet vocals and light, clean horns throughout. The horns on this record are understated and perfectly mixed in with the groove. It gives the whole record this slight jazz taste underneath that strong reggae and it’s wonderful.
The vocals are incredible. I have said it in damn near every review I have ever done that I am a straight up vocal whore. I only recently branched into instrumental music because I need that narration. It just makes me happy. The Elovaters have vocals down to a science. This record gives you sweet and tasty reggae straight through from beginning to end but man – the vocals are versatile as hell and it’s so much fun. It’s easy for a band to get into a rut on an album because they are good at what works and they take that straight through. This is NOT that record. The biggest thing I want to stress though is how clean the sound is. It’s mellow and clean but when it kicks in, you feel it straight into your soul. This is honestly my new favorite album.
Don’t Wanna Love You – I can’t get enough of the vocals on this album, and this song has them, but the guitar is tasty and flowing, the drums are perfectly on point, and the bass line in this song is so much groove. You will be singing along by the end of the song. And then you should put it on again. And again.
Home – This is a dance in my kitchen while I mix myself a cocktail song. As soon as it starts, you WILL feel it, but it changes. It rises and falls and your body will move with it. I am really kind of curious and excited to see this song live. The energy must be infectious. This song is sexy as hell.
Thailand – This song appeals to everything I love about music. The vocals and the lyrics are beautiful. I mean kick you in the feels beautiful. It’s soft and silky while still holding a groove. This is hold the one you love close and maybe get a little touchy kind of song. It’s just so beautiful. If this song was written about you, you must be platinum.
The Elovaters are a new obsession of mine. As the spring starts to bloom here in New Jersey, I am looking forward to warm days in the back yard with the grill fired up hot, beer in the koozie cold, and this album on high volume. If you are in the New York/New Jersey area, these guys will be at The Stanhope House on May 3rd. For more info on their dates, check out the listing Here. Get out and see The Elovaters. I will surely see you out there.
For more information on The Elovaters, check their website here or their Facebook here.