Carlos Jones & the P.L.U.S. Band - This is Los's current
Citing a drought of inspiration, singer-guitarist Carlos Jones, a Cleveland
native, walked away from one of the region's most successful bands, First
Light, to strike out on his own. He had a place to go -- the P.L.U.S. Band,
a side project he formed with keyboardist Peter Platten. While First Light
had scooped liberally from the rock and funk trough, the P.L.U.S. (Peace,
Love, and Unity Syndicate) Band felt native pangs, relying more on percussion
and less on electric instruments. At a show, you might see everyone in the
seven-piece band but the keyboard player banging on a percussive instrument.
Last year, the group released Full Circle, a retrospective of its work that
includes songs recorded both live and in the studio.
Carlos Jones has been entertaining audiences for over 20 years throughout
the eastern half of the United States, first as a member of the roots reggae
group "I-Tal", and then with then with the legendary "First Light". As frontman
for First Light, the reggae influence was evident in much of the group's
music, but over time, they developed a sound unique to themselves. As one
of the primary songwriters, Carlos has written and performed over 100 songs
with the group, and released 1 vinyl album, 2 cassettes and 2 CD's that sold
in excess of 50,000 units on the groups label-- "Thin Ice Records".
Feeling the need to get back to his musical roots, Carlos has recently
embarked on a solo career and has formed a new group called Peace-Love-Unity-Syndicate
(aka the PLUS Band).
About the Band…..
The Peace, Love, Unity Syndicate, otherwise known as "The PLUS Band", came
about in 1994, when it's founder, Carlos Jones, frontman for the popular group,
FIRST LIGHT, and former member of I-TAL (one of the first Cleveland-based
reggae bands) felt the need to get back to the roots reggae music that caught
fire in his soul over twenty years ago, and formed the "P.L.U.S." as a side
project. Now, with the help of close friend, local reggae DJ and archivist,
"Bush Doctor" on guitar, vocals and percussion, Peter Platten (formerly of
the group Mister Sensible) on keyboards and vocals, Bob Caruso (also a former
member of FIRST LIGHT) on percussions, Roy Isaacs, percussion and missionary
work, Ras Fiya (formerly of Dub-Flex) on bass guitar, and Will Douglas (formerly
of Oroboros) on drums, P.L.U.S. delivers a dose of soulful roots reggae with
lyrics that concentrate heavily on a message of peace and harmony within
the human race and the environment around us. The group creates a festival
like atmosphere anywhere they play, drawing crowds of all ages and races.
The infectious rhythms woven by the group's use of a variety of percussion
instruments, create an irresistable and uplifting vibration, hooking the
crowd into their performance. Their repertoire includes many original songs,
plus a generous helping of Bob Marley, Culture, and other recognizable covers
mixed in with traditional Rastafarian Nyabinghi drum chants. The band's focus
is more on an "old school" type of approach, rather than the contemporary.
In the short time the band has been together, they have opened for several
international acts, such as; Burning Spear, The Skatalites, Black Uhuru,
Culture, and Big Mountain, also making guest appearances drumming onstage
with these groups and others, including The Wailers, and Ziggy Marley.
Recently voted "the Best Reggae/Ska Band" in Northeast Ohio by the
Scene Magazine readers poll, the group is quickly gaining a reputation as
a solid, unique, entertaining act-picking up new fans everwhere they play,
and retaining many of the former fans of FIRST LIGHT. The Peace, Love, Unity
Syndicate continues to spread the positive vibrations playing benefits, festivals,
private parties, concerts, and clubs throughout the Midwest region.