Keeping it POSITIVE in '10!
"Carlos Jones is a
great band, one of the best in America." Sirius
DJ Dermot Hussy from "The
"Once I calmed
down the soothing reggae sounds of Carlos Jones started to flow through
me. I lost myself in the groove. People dig this guy.
There is something about him that is so real. It was so
unexpected to see this kind of island soul coming out of Cleveland
Ohio. I bought into it 100%. This was real reggae and
Carlos Jones is the real deal. I have seen others make a mockery
of it, I have seen others hold their own but I have never seen
something this authentic and real up close like this....The crowd was a
mix of all creeds and colors dancing to the sound of this deep funky
island music. If you weren’t at least bobbing your heads to this
beat you had no soul. They say music can bring unity and
peace. I am hear to say Jones and his band write the soundtrack
for that concept." Jason Burchaski - 52 Weeks of Cleveland
"Carlos Jones is to Cleveland
reggae what Jim Brown
is to Cleveland running backs: the undisputed champ. With Jones at the
forefront of the scene for more than 25 years - first in I-Tal, then in
First Light - this city's reggae following was practically built upon
his back. Devoutly spiritual, Jones is a Bob Marley devotee who eschews
dancehall for galvanizing roots-reggae. Jones and his PLUS Band were
voted Best Live Act in Cleveland at the 2004 Scene Music Awards and
since then have won the award for Best Reggae/World Act every year,
culminating in being given permanent "All Star" status in 2007. They
maintain a hectic pace of gigging at clubs, private events and
festivals, playing out every single weekend. As a result, the band's
soulful rhythms and heartfelt vocals have made it one of Cleveland's
top draws for close to a decade." Cleveland Scene Magazine
This is the
official announcement and press release from Gary Hoopengardner, whom I
collaborated with on the song, Earth DayEveryday,
Room Studios. It definitely was a labor of love, and
aligned for me to be able to record it with my brothers in First
invited to New York City to perform it on April 24th, but unfortunately
be able to make it, since I'll be in Jamaica! (too bad, huh?)
here is the first mix of the song - video soon to follow.
talented locals premiere “Earth Day Everyday” song to the world at
Central Stage NYC
When: April 24th
11:00 and Noon
What: Performance of “The Earth
Who: Little 7 year old Stella
and Hoop the Last Folk Singer
Why: For everyone to listen
from a song that Earth Day is every day!
Where: Grand Central NYC
Cleveland: Little 7 yr. old Stella
with the help of songwriter performer, “Hoop the Last Folk Singer”
sending an important message to everyone this Earth Day 2010. Earth day
every day! The message is passed along through the new song “Earth Day
written in part by Laura Hoopengardner and her father. The song was
produced/engineered by John Walsh at Lava Room Recording, featuring
Connelly and reggae recording artist Carlos
with First Light
and published by HOOPSONGS PUBLISHING BMI. Stella and Hoop will be the
premiere the song to the world in New York City for the 40th
anniversary of Earth Day.
words for the song are adapted from a poem his daughter Laura wrote
Day in ’97 when she was only 11 years old. She asked her father why is
hard for people to stop polluting. Strong words from a child to her
answer was “It takes a long time for people to change habits and they
constant reminders and even laws to change”. This answer inspired his
to write an Earth Day poem that moved her father so much that he wrote
and took her and other sibling Janet into the recording studio where
recorded Earth Day.
taught the girls the melody and with just a simple guitar accompaniment
cassette tape that he and Laura delivered to the Cleveland Earth day
The staff listened and thanked Laura and her dad and invited Laura to
the song at the Earth day festivities held at the Cleveland Zoo. Laura
received a poster and Earth Day T-shirt. The song was forgotten until
when Gary (Hoop) was listening to the Reggae sounds of Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band at an
concert. Carlos at one point in his show asked the children in the
come up in front of the stage. Carlos sang to the children and the
swayed to the Reggae rhythms with such a great feeling of well being
happiness especially when performed by Carlos Jones. “I was at this
and I watched Carlos sing to the children and I had an A-Ha!
needs to sing the Earth day song with a child”.
stated: “I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. It just seemed so
contacted his songwriting partner Liz LaGuardia and told her about his
Experience and asked if he could borrow her 6 yr. old daughter to sing
with him and then send it to Carlos”.. Liz asked Stella and Stella and
practiced the song and then recorded it at Lava Room Recording Studios
. He emailed Carlos the song. Although Carlos was very busy he did
he had time he would listen to it in the following week. Hoop emailed
“I think this song is something you want to hear right now! It will
only take 3
minutes”. About 20 minutes later Hoop’s cell phone rang and it was
calling stating he was very surprised and excited. Carlos stated he
what he heard and thanked him for thinking of him to perform the song.
then stated he would work something up right away.
contacted producer/engineer John Walsh and rented the studio. One thing
another and after a few days working out other details. Carlos went to
Room Studios and John contacted musicians he wanted to record the
track. Liz brought Stella to the studio and what you are hearing on
this mp3 is
a mix of Earth Day Everyday.
why is he doing all this after 12 years of the song sitting on the
it all goes back to daughter Laura now 23, asking why haven’t things
and why do companies spend thousands of dollars during the Earth Day
with large balloons and giant signs. And again he stated to her that
need to be reminded. But now he has taken action with the song to bring
everybody’s attention. And you what? A song doesn’t pollute and I know
learned many messages from songs. “Happy Birthday”, “You Are My
“Amazing Grace”, “Let It Be”, “Born in the USA ”, and probably the best
“Imagine”. So everyone, listen to another song that sends a message.
Everyday” it will help you remember to save the Earth, save the land,
world. Reduce, reuse, and recycle everyday!
Carlos Jones' latest has old favorites,
By Malcolm X Abram
Beacon Journal music writer
Published on Sunday, Jun 07,
Carlos Jones has been the reigning Reggae King of
Cleveland for nigh on 20 years, and in that time he has built a loyal
following throughout Northeast Ohio.
Jones first gained prominence in the 1980s Cleveland
reggae-based bands I-Tal and First Light. More recently he has been a
familiar face in the bars and clubs with his band, the Peace Love Unity
Syndicate (or simply P.L.U.S.), getting hips swaying and feet moving
with a style based in roots reggae that also incorporates pop and rock
for a slick yet authentic sound.
Jones' latest album, Leave a Trail, collects a
dozen songs, several of which have been staples of his show for a few
and will be familiar to fans.
The album was produced by Jacob Fader of Cleveland
Afrobeat band Mifune, and features the Mifune horn section and backing
vocal help from that band's lead singer, Christine Dorbish Fader. The
combination works splendidly, as Fader gives the album a
professional-grade sound with traditional reggae and dub touches, and
the horn arrangements by Jones and Mifune trombonist Kris ''Skinny''
Morron are a nice addition.
The American-born Jones' raison d'etre is purveying
''positive vibes'' and the power of music to heal and bring folks
together. But he isn't just a reggae singer; he is also a student of
the genre and he and his band can play in a variety of styles under the
On Where Reggae Comes From, Jones gives a lesson
on the history of the music that includes a section of traditional
Rastafarian Nyabhingi drumming and chanting that almost sounds like a
field recording of (harmonically sound) Rasta elders.
The staccato phrasing and background harmonies in Music
recall British band Steel Pulse, while the
rock-flavored Who Say? features some nice lead guitar from Dan
Shramo. More Iditations rides a smooth dub groove and nice
harmonies from Jones and Fader.
The band stretches its boundaries on the disc's latter
half, including Nursery Rhyme which sports a soca groove and
Jones amiably intoning actual nursery rhymes. On the call-to-action
anthem Use Your Voice, Jones and the P.L.U.S. Band ride an
Afrobeat/funk groove with funky guitar and chugging, intertwining horns.
Jones has honed his sound mostly on the stages of Ohio,
and after years of playing for fans and folks who just happen to be in
the bar/club, he has managed to forge a user-friendly style that
appeals to the hard-core roots reggae lovers as well as casual fans who
only know the name ''Bob Marley.''
Click PLAY to Watch
PLUS Band Video
Live at Tri C Crooked River Groove
Carlos Jones and P.L.U.S. keep playing reggae
Akron Beacon Journal - December 21, 2006
Love/Akron Beacon Journal
at Tangier Saturday Nov, 25, 2006,
in Akron, Ohio. Carlos Jones reggae band opened up for the Numbers Band
Saturday night. On guitar (front) is Dan Sharamo.
cabaret at Tangier in Akron is skanking.
Saturday after Thanksgiving and although the venue isn't packed, the
dance floor is, as a group of women and a few unself-conscious guys
sway, spin and undulate to the steady, syncopated grooves emanating
from the stage.
stage is Carlos Jones and the Peace Love Unity Syndicate, better known
as the P.L.U.S. Band, doing what they do best and what Jones has made
his life's work: bringing the peaceful vibe of reggae music to the
after Christmas, Jones will headline his third annual Holiday Revival
at the House of Blues Cleveland. Opening will be hip-hop/R&B band
Ghetto Wisdom, featuring Mike Calhoun, guitarist for the Dazz Band.
many, Jones is the undisputed king of Ohio reggae, with nearly 30 years
of music making under his dreadlocks.
the late '70s, Jones has dedicated his life to spreading reggae's
message of peace, love and unity and the healing power of music to the
Virginia native and Army brat, who is 48, moved to Cleveland in the
'60s, listening to classic Motown and R&B and gospel music in his
grandfather's church before discovering the Beatles.
his older brother introduced him to Bob Marley's Natty Dread album
to see the rising star at Cleveland's
Music Hall in 1978 and he had an epiphany.
really set me on fire. The place was packed, everybody on their feet.
The smoke was in the air like a haze and you look on stage and there's
this bright colorful, pulsating living organism.
living and breathing like a dragon and the vibe in the air was
electrically charged and there's this little guy (Marley) in the middle
of it all holding everything in the palm of his hand,'' said Jones,
still awed 28 years later.
vibration. We were all one and how often do
you fell that in a crowd of people?''
transformed into the
foundation of the sandy blond dreadlocks he wears today, and the
budding percussionist hooked up with I-Tal, one of the earliest
American reggae bands in the area not consisting of transplanted
toured the Midwest and released one self-titled album.
Jones, a blossoming songwriter, and some of his fellow I-Tal members
started the band First Light, which incorporated strains of rock and
R&B into its grooves.
I-Tal, First Light built up a strong local following and released two
albums, Meltdown in 1987 and Groove Telepathy in 1994.
despite the group's success, Jones desired to get back to a traditional
roots/reggae sound and put together a small combo called Strictly Roots
before expanding the group and dubbing it the Peace Love Unity
Syndicate and ending First Light in 1998.
and the P.L.U.S. band released one album, Roots With Culture, in
and get enough steady work (their
tour schedule has gigs booked through next March) so that music can be
Jones' full-time job, allowing him to provide for his wife, Dori, and
two daughters, Rachel, 19, and Soraya, 17.
Jones says he'd like to expand the group's touring circle, which
reaches a little into Indiana, Pennsylvania and Michigan, he holds no
illusions about ``making it.'' He is happy being the big fish in the
relatively small Cleveland reggae pond.
never was an objective of mine to be a star,'' he said. ``It's all
about succeeding and translating that spirit and being able to bring it
to other people. Not only to feel it yourself, but to share it.''
group of people Jones would especially like to share with is the
younger generation, who he says is growing up in a more insulated
society in which iPods, DJs and MP3 blogs have replaced the live music
the 1960s and '70s, he said, the bulk of pop music does not reflect
what's actually going on in the world around them.
people ``use music as an escape from reality rather than a mirror,'' he
said. ``Music has a way of penetrating the consciousness in a way a lot
of other artistic mediums don't.
people find themselves thinking about things that are truthful, it also
brings with it a responsibility. Once you know something, you can't
unknow it. With knowledge comes responsibility, and a lot of people
don't want that responsibility. They'd rather have ignorance, because
and his band provide smooth rhythms that get the body moving, but
nestled between those grooves and calls for ``one love'' and unity are
such lyrics as ``I see the marching soldiers over there/You tell them
that they're fighting for their honor/Defending our freedom, and that
they are all heroes, but you don't tell them that they are all
disposable'' (from Marching Soldiers).
spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down so you give them something
that's healthy,'' he said. ``They come and dance and they feel good and
maybe they don't even know they're getting a message. But it has a way
of penetrating, people pick up on it.''
and the P.L.U.S. band are planning to record an album for release
sometime in 2007, and with the advent of the Internet, Jones has been
gaining new fans young and old in far-flung places, such as Australia,
Turkey and Portugal.
levels the playing field,'' Jones said of sites such as myspace and
CDBaby. ``No longer do you have to be a slave and try and cater to the
people at some record company. You eliminate the middleman and get
right to the people.
when we talk about reggae music, it's the music of the people. It's the
common people's music.''
We borrowed this
idea from the great reggae band Jah Works. Here are 2 ways to
help PLUS Band out....
1. Request a song on XM Satellite Radio: "The Joint"
hosted by Dermot Hussey on XM 86 is the reggae channel. They've got
the "Roots With Culture" CD and have played "Torchbearer". Click on the
logo to your left and follow the directions for "request a song". It'll
take you 30 seconds! Do it as often as you can.
2. Help PLUS get on Music Choice cable radio:
MUSIC CHOICE is a
series of music channels on some people's digital/cable television
where you can listen to various music styles. It's like satellite radio
except for television. Click on the logo to your left. It'll ask you
what channel? (put Reggae), what subject? (put Music Programming) and
for a comment (write in your own words how they need C.J. and PLUS in
rotation). If the band gets accepted, they'll be played in homes all