B-Side Players & Mike Dillon Band w/ Big Medicine Gang

B-Side Players

The B-Side Players make music without borders or boundaries. On Fire In The Youth, their seventh album and first for Concord/Picante, they continue exploring the multifaceted grooves of Latin America and the Caribbean, incorporating the sounds of Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and Brazil with the funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop rhythms of their homeland. With Latin music currently dominating the charts in most of the world, The B-Side Players are uniquely positioned to bring their uplifting message of unity, brotherhood and dance floor revolution to the people of planet Earth.

The B-Side Players are part of a new movement in popular music, a band that honors the international cross-pollination that has always made music the universal language. They use any beat that catches their ear, regardless of geography or genre, to create a compelling, horndriven, polyrhythmic groove. “The root of all pop music is African,” says Karlos Paez, the band’s lead vocalist, trumpet player and founder. “Our sound acknowledges that fact. That’s why the music is so soulful. We’re playing the ancient beats that came from Africa to create reggae, son, Afro-beat and funk and mixing ‘em all together.”

The band has been laying down their own inimitable global funk since they came together in 1994. Their incendiary live shows made them local legends, while their albums showcased a band with a restless musical intelligence, effortlessly blending genres to fashion their own forward looking, Latin flavored, future-funk.

Fire In The Youth was produced by the band with the help of Quetzal Flores, leader of the Los Angeles band Quetzal, another group with a wide-ranging style based in the Latin American continuum. “Quetzal performed all the guitar tracks on the record,” Paez explains. “His eclectic arrangements helped polish our Latin, Mexican, Cuban, Funk and Rock vibe. He also brought a folkloric feel to some of the tracks with his knowledge of Jarocho (a syncopated Afro/Spanish style from Vera Cruz, Mexico) and bajo sexto ( a 12 string instrument with a sound somewhere between 12-string guitar and acoustic bass.) We recorded the whole record in 10 days, live in the studio, then added the vocals, percussion and horns.”

Like their past recordings, Fire In The Youth captures the band’s scorching musicianship and fierce political energy. The album kicks off with “Alegria”, an earth shaking reggatron groove marked by a strong salsa flava. “(Unplug) This Armageddon” rides a high stepping disco funk backbeat while Paez delivers a sizzling Bob Marley-influenced vocal full of soul and sufferation. The song explores the lives of the people that drift from San Diego, to Tijuana, to Los Angeles in search of a better life. The band suggests a return to the Earth and community as an antidote for the technology that seems to be sucking the soul out of modern life. “Fire In The Youth” combines a subtle trip hop pulse, a hint of reggae, a lush string section and a children’s choir to offer a prayer for the salvation of the next generation. It’s one of the most moving songs the band’s ever recorded.

“In a world where people are afraid to say hello or smile and the media presents fiction as reality, it’s getting harder and harder to tell what’s real from what’s not,” Paez says. “But the young people are always real and demand the truth. Youth all around the world are marching and protesting. The New World Rebellion is a young, fearless movement coming after the oppressors. This song is an anthem to those young people.” A Latin reggae riddim is the foundation of “Crossroads,” an inspiring hymn of rebirth that showcases Andy Krier’s work on piano and organ, Michael Cannon’s inventive drumming and the band’s ability to lay down complex percussion tracks to create a cohesive groove. “Warrior Culture” is a salute to the Native Peoples of the Americas, with a jazzy Latin cadence driven by Damian DeRobbio’s propulsive electric bass. It features cascading horn lines, delicate keyboard work and a vocal from Paez that blends hip-hop phrasing with his innate gift for melody. The tune closes with an extended conversation between the keyboards, percussion and brass. The band also drops a bit of cumbia (“Mascara,”) gritty street samba (“Azucar Natural”) son montuno (“Micaela”) and jarocho (“El Comal”) into the mix.

“We want our sound to continue to grow until we represent the entire range of Latin music,” Paez says forcefully. “This time we added a bit of the Vera Cruz, Mexican jarocho flavor, the Afro-Cuban rhumba flavor, the Brazilian samba flavor and the Southwestern border funk flavor. Our sound was passed on to us by our ancestors along with their great teaching – Unity Is Love. We combine different styles and cultures in our music because that’s the secret behind the harmony of all races, religions and cultures. The dance floor is testimony to our common ground, our common groove.”

Karlos Paez, the man behind the B-Side Players, grew up in a musical family. His father Ezequiel Paez is a world-renowned trombone player and musical arranger who spent 17 years in Los Moonlights from Tijuana and 10 years in La Banda Del Recodo. Paez, Sr. still writes and arranges music for bandas in Mexico. While he was still in grammar school, Karlos heard the music of Bob Marley and started playing guitar and writing songs. He met the musicians that would become the first incarnation of The B-Side Players in an African Drum class at Southwestern Community College in San Diego in 1994. “We were all playing with bands in the local funk and acid jazz scene in the early 90s,” Paez recalls. “When we started playing together, our sound was different because we brought an Afro-Latin edge to the music.”

The B-Side Players are a force to be reckoned with. “We’re proud to be on the frontline of a new musical movement that no longer represents the minority,” Paez says happily. “We now represent the Brown Majority. The surfer, suburban stereotype of California is changing fast; it’s not all bleach blondes any more. It’s nappy, Afro, rice bowled, dirty, dusty, wet, happy struggling people and we’re right there in the struggle with our music.”

Mike Dillon Band

Mike Dillon (b. 1965, American) is one of the most dynamic and multifaceted percussionists in the country, best known for his unforgettable live performances, unorthodox percussion rig and distinct original sound. After emerging in late 1980’s as the first to lead a rock/funk band as a vocalist and vibraphone player, contributing to its evolution by his use of effects, Dillon has become well-known for producing genre-bending music that transcends categorization. Over the last 27 years, his creative song-writing and the repertoire of artists he has worked with - - on tour, stage or in the studio - - reveal his eclectic musical inspiration and skillful versatility. Artists such as: Les Claypool, Ani DiFranco, Polyphonic Spree, Brave Combo, Sex Mob, Galactic, Secret Chief’s 3, Karl Denson, Steven Bernstein, Charlie Hunter, James Singleton, George Porter Jr., Johnny Vidocavich and Bob Schneider. His individual projects include: Critter’s Buggin’, Garage A Trois, Billy Goat, Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle, Hairy Apes BMX, Malachy Papers, the Dead Kenny G’s, who regularly open for Primus, and his latest, The Mike Dillon Band.

As a touring musician and prolific song-writer, Mike Dillon has continuously pushed his distinct sound in new and inventive directions. On stage, Dillon is a powerful force, with boundless energy that hails a punk rock/hardcore edge and the seamless ability to play multiple percussive instruments at once. For nearly three decades, fans have been draw to Dillon’s organic style, creative musicianship and the way his music never fails to stir the crowd into a big dance party from start to finish. After taking a brief hiatus from solo projects, Dillon is back at the helm with his latest quartet, The Mike Dillon Band, which delivers a cache of his new songs, infuses fresh life into his classics, and features Mike Dillon (vibraphone, percussion, lead vocals), Adam Gertner (drums), Cliff Hines (guitar, bass and keyboards) and Carly Meyers (trombone, vocals), whose raw talent, enthusiasm and infectious dance moves have created quite a stir among music goers in the past year.

Big Medicine Gang

Big Medicine Gang’s high energy original sound is a stiff-cocktail of Blues, Funk & Reggae. They conjure an ol' school sound reminiscent of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Sam & Dave, and Led Zeppelin. As well as a healthy dose of reggae fueled by Sublime, the Wailers, and the Skatalites. While not a “Jam Band”, followers of the genre will find BMG has a great vibe and sound, especially when joined by their HORN SECTION!!! Jamming may ensue, but these jams are Rock-Steady, Blues, & Funk.

Formed in Breckenridge, Colorado, the Gang’s members include guitar/vocals Seth Strickland (Indica Gypsys, Subdudes family & side projects) ,Grammy winning engineer and keyboard player/vocals Gragg Lunsford (Pat Metheny Group, Steve Jordan, Sausalito Record Plant, Snoop Dog & more) and drummer/vocals Matt Coddel (Skullfunk, Swampkoolers, the Funguys)
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$12 Day Of Show

Tickets Available at the Door

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Cervantes' Other Side

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B-Side Players & Mike Dillon Band w/ Big Medicine Gang

Friday, December 20 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Cervantes' Other Side

Tickets Available at the Door