If for any reason after the Night of Lights Show you decide that maybe Jack Johnson with a mustache isn’t for you, then you’re in luck.
In what is their 7th appearance in Mammoth Lakes, the San Diego-based root/dub foursome Raiz Muzik, are bringing reggae back to the Auld Dubliner. The cover is just $5. Since I love all things reggae, I caught up with lead singer and drummer Sunny Romero last Tuesday via phone.
Sheet: You’re actually pretty easy to understand. I could never understand Bob Marley or Eek-A-Mouse.
Romero: Yeah well thanks. I don’t speak Patois. You know, that Jamaican dialect. I’m actually from the San Diego area.
Sheet: Your band was once called Shocks of Mighty, what’s with the name change?
Romero: Actually I was a drummer for them for a little while. But they broke up and my brother and I had all this music we still wanted to do, so we formed Raiz Muzik. Raiz means roots in Spanish. So that’s the style of music we play.
Sheet: I was listening to some songs on your MySpace page, you guys have sort of have that 80’s UB40 sound.
Romero: Yeah that’s probably true. I still listen to the old reggae, the ‘70s style stuff like Bob and Israel Vibration.
Sheet: Do you listen to anything other than reggae?
Romero: Yeah I like Jazz, my brother likes a lot of hip hop. I like a lot of the old ‘70s Motown genre like Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, War …
Sheet: Are any of you guys practicing Rastafarians?
Romero: No. Actually I think our percussionist is … I think. But our music doesn’t really have anything to do with that. Our lyrics don’t really touch on that. I write all of our lyrics so I try to speak more about spirituality, world politics …
Sheet: It seems like reggae music as of late has shifted from political and religious satire to dancehall bangers like Sean Paul. Is reggae going the way of hip hop? In other words, is it being reduced to the lowest common denominator?
Romero: Well I think it was steering that way when Sean Paul and Shaggy were blowing up a few years back. But have you heard anything from those guys lately? I haven’t. I don’t mean that to be disrespectful but I think [the music] is going back to its roots.
Sheet: So we have two marijuana dispensaries in Mammoth now. Would you say reggae is better on weed?
Romero: Well … I think reggae is good all the time. No matter what you’re on.
Sheet: Okay before we go I’m going to test you on your reggae knowledge. Try to finish these sentences as best you can. Here we go, Bob Marley was…
Romero: The king of reggae.
Sheet: Oooh, sorry the answer was black. Bob Marley was black. Here’s an easier one, Red Red…
Romero: Wine … Stay close to me or something like that.
Sheet: Okay good. Here’s the last one…INI Kamoze was famous for what song?
Romero: World Music. Oh wait no probably Hotstepper. That was probably the big one.
Sheet: Sorry Sonny, the correct answer is he was never famous.
The 21 and over show at the Auld Dubliner starts at 9 p.m. on Dec. 18 and is only $5. For more info on Raiz Muzik and to hear their music check out myspace.com/raizmuzik/music