What does a band from Portland, OR know about rocksteady?
“The band mixes in hallmarks of blues with a distorted harmonic making the album title Blues Like Sandpaper | Rocksteady Like Dirt seem overwhelmingly appropriate.” --Adam Morgan - Surviving the Golden Age
It turns out quite a lot. The ultra-full sound on Irie Idea’s new album Blues Like Sandpaper | Rocksteady Like Dirt (May 13) comes from just two members who meld traditional blues and rocksteady values added to the best of ska, punk and funk. This would be a feat for a traditional four-piece band, but somehow, Curtis Irie and Morgan Smith bring a bright brass section, bouncing bass and vocal harmonization without sacrificing intricacy or intensity.
Irie Idea breaks down the barriers of genre. Irie and Smith both grew up playing punk because it was fast, loud and against the grain of mainstream music. Along their journey they have matured and learned about music. These days, the boys subscribe to educating themselves on roots music while making contributions to it’s ever-growing evolution and progression.
The first song on the album, “Soul Vending,” is a full energy blast off party anthem that just can’t be played loud enough! Irie Idea’s well-rounded sound and songwriting shows through in tracks like “Good on Paper” which convey well thought out metaphors about the current state of our society. “Hours” features an uber-groovy bassline in company with jazz organ; a true testament to the ‘best of roots music’ theme Irie Idea so wonderfully captures.
The broad Irie sound caught the ears of production dream team Sammy Kay and Joseph Quinones at The Steady Rock Easy-Groove Factory in LA. It was there they recorded their newest full length Blues Like Sandpaper | Rocksteady Like Dirt featuring members of The Delirians, Matamoska, and Sammy Kay.