In April of 2005 a fresh voice announced his arrival on the international stage with a stunningly inventive document titled Live at Stubb's. Six years later, Matisyahu returns to the renowned Austin venue that helped to launch his career with Live at Stubb's, Vol. II, a new CD-DVD package that demonstrates the continued originality and increasing depth of this longtime New Yorker's craft.

Inspired by the runaway success of the original record, which spawned the hit single "King Without a Crown" and has to date sold over 700,000 copies in the United States, Matisyahu says he always knew he wanted to make another live album. "Performing is such a big part of what I do," he says, "and there's a lot about that live energy that you just can't catch in the studio. So for me it was simply a matter of figuring out the right time to do it."

He chose well: Last year Matisyahu released Light, a David Kahne-produced studio disc on which he jumped boldly from hard-edged dancehall and ska-inflected New Wave to laidback pop-rock and acoustic folk-soul. The album took Matisyahu well beyond his stylistic comfort zone and charted the growth of his vocals from traditional reggae toasting to a more dynamic, emotional place. But it didn't necessarily show off his onstage evolution.

"I've played so many shows and gone through so many metamorphoses as a performer," he says. Especially valuable was the opportunity to showcase that evolution at the very club where his career really took off. "It was kind of a return-to-roots occasion," he says—albeit one where we see how far he's come, as well.

Part of that transformation has been fueled by Matisyahu's new band: Brooklyn's acclaimed Dub Trio, which includes guitarist D.P. Holmes, bassist Stu Brooks and drummer Joe Tomino. The singer first came across the group—as fate would have it—while in Austin recording the first Stubb's record. "I remember seeing their name at a record signing and being intrigued," he says. "So I got one of their records while I was on tour, and there was this one song I couldn't stop playing."

Shortly thereafter, Matisyahu spent an entire day walking around Boston writing lyrics to the tune. "I love the way they bounce back and forth between really beautiful music and heavier, harder-edged stuff," he says. "I knew right then that I wanted to work with them." Last year he booked a show with Dub Trio at a small club in Brooklyn. "We just did an improv set after maybe one rehearsal," he recalls. "It felt so right."

That improvisational spirit looms large throughout Live at Stubb's, Vol. II, which pulls primarily from Light and Youth, Matisyahu's 2006 full-length. "Dub Trio understand the concept of space," he says, "which for a vocalist is great, because that leaves a lot of room for me to really get into my lyrics in new ways." Here Matisyahu uses that room to dig deeper into his sound than ever before, shedding new light on its hip-hop, rock and reggae dimensions to the vocal delight of the enthusiastic (and demographically varied) Stubb's crowd.

That audience was central to what Matisyahu set out to accomplish with Live at Stubb's, Vol. II. After all, the fans were the ones who enabled his return to the venue in the first place, affording Matisyahu the opportunity to extend the legacy Stubb's represents. In fact, one crowd member made a lasting contribution.

"The night before the show I took a picture of my tour bus in the hotel parking lot and posted it on Twitter," Matisyahu remembers. "Someone sent back a tweet saying they'd figured out which hotel it was and asked if they could come say hi. I said sure and a couple of kids showed up; we hung out for a few minutes on the bus. Then the next night at the show I'm pulling people up onstage during 'King Without a Crown' and one of them is the kid from Twitter!" The singer laughs. "So the last clip on the DVD is actually me giving him a high-five."

The appreciation, no doubt, was mutual.

The Dirty Heads

Emerging onto the Southern California music scene with a sound as original as the band members themselves, the Dirty Heads’ blend of hip-hop and classic reggae rips through the sonic surf with bold beats, fun rhythms and the relaxed vibe of feel-good lyrics.

Rooted in the Orange County community of Huntington Beach, founding band members Jared Watson and guitarist / vocalist Dustin Bushnell met in 1996 while in high school, embarking on a friendship based on music, as well as their shared passion for surfing, skating and the endless party of the laid-back SoCal lifestyle.

Early on, they spent many late nights jamming in Bushnell’s soundproof garage with a four-track recorder, writing unique acoustic hip-hop songs that featured reggae inflections. Inspired by the rock and reggae sounds of Bob Marley, Sublime, 311 and The Beastie Boys, the band’s music evolved into their distinct Dirty Heads style.

To complete the Dirty Heads’ sound, the duo added percussionist Jon Olazabal and drummer Matt Ochoa, both talented, experienced musicians. With a set of solid material, the Dirty Heads were further motivated to take their craft to the next level, and they began building a loyal fan base throughout the west coast, while performing acoustically at local bars and small music venues. As they started playing in neighboring Los Angeles, the band found it necessary to charter party buses so their fans could make the 30-mile trek to their shows.

Connecting with sought-after producers Steve Fox and Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray / Ashlee Simpson) the band worked long hours to polish their material and further develop their style. The Dirty Heads also recruited mixing engineer Mario Caldato Jr., best known for his work with the Beastie Boys, to add the finishing touches and create just the right blend.

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Pacific Dub

Once called Pacific City, Huntington Beach, California, is easily recognized throughout the world as, Surf City U.S.A. But the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean and the thriving Southern California surf culture aren't the only things putting HB on the map. Huntington Beach is also home to a rich history, and thriving present of rising musicians. Bands such as- Avenged Sevenfold, The Offspring, Korn, Matt Costa, Dirty Heads, as-well-as Pacific Dub all have band members that call this surfers paradise home.

Meet Pacific Dub --Comprised of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Colton Place, lead guitarist Bryce Klemer, bassist Ryan Naglich, drummer David Delaney, keyboardist Sean Rawlings, and live sound/dub controls Casey Eubanks. Pacific Dub is one of the youngest and newest bands to solidify themselves as professionals within the California reggae rock scene.

With over 100 performances in California and two albums released on iTunes within their first year of live shows, Pacific Dub shows no signs of losing momentum. Now 13 months after their informal introduction into the music industry, Pacific Dub yet again has surprised their fans/peers with another unexpected four-song album… To The Sky EP. Combining catchy alternative lyrics, heavy rock n' roll melodies, and smooth hip-hop and reggae rhythms… To The Sky EP is an up-to-date representation of who and what Pacific Dub is all about, Reggae- Dub-Rock!

To pursue the option of starting their new album, Pacific Dub found themselves recording at a new location for this record, Castaway 7 Studios in Ventura, California. Head Engineer, JP Hesser, took immediate interest and showed strong support in working on Pacific Dub's 3rd release. Ten days after the band's first steps into the studio, To The Sky EP was fully mixed and sent from the California's west coast to Mike Caplan in Washington D.C. for mastering at the prestigious, Lion Fox Studios. To The Sky EP will release for worldwide digital distribution Tuesday- April 20th, 2010.

Following the release of To The Sky EP, Pacific Dub will hit the road on their first tour, supporting their friends and their mentors from Hawaii, Iration. The 2010 Time Bomb Tour w/ IRATION and Through The Roots starts off Friday- April 23rd at House of Blues- Anaheim where Pacific Dub will perform in front of a home Orange County crowd, and provide direct support the night of the show. From there, the band will travel throughout April and May, sharing their music with 10 new western cities, venues, and states including Fox Theatre-Boulder, CO & Hard Rock Hotel & Casino- Las Vegas, NV.

Once returned from tour, Pacific Dub will continue to write new music, and pursue other opportunities to share their music live throughout the 2010 year.

From the entire Pacific Dub family, we thank you for your support and ask that you sit back, relax, and enjoy To The Sky EP!


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