Carlos Jones - P.L.U.S. Band Photos & More!

P.L.U.S. Band Photos and More..


Greetings from Carlos Jones & The PLUS Band!
Keeping it POSITIVE in '10!

"Carlos Jones is a great band, one of the best in America."
Sirius XM Satellite Reggae DJ Dermot Hussy from "The Joint!"

 "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

Hey everyone! 

This is the official announcement and press release from Gary Hoopengardner, whom I collaborated with on the song, Earth Day Everyday,  recently recorded at Lava Room Studios. It definitely was a labor of love, and the stars aligned for me to be able to record it with my brothers in First Light!

I was invited to New York City to perform it on April 24th, but unfortunately I won't be able to make it, since I'll be in Jamaica! (too bad, huh?)


Attached here is the first mix of the song - video soon to follow.


Let's make Earth Day every day!




Carlos Jones

Click to Help The Earthday Coailition
Download the Song for Free Here and Make a Donation At Their Site Today!

Click on Carlos to Download "Earth Day Everyday"


Artist Contact:

Little Fish Records

Larry Koval -

PO Box 19164

Cleveland, OH 44119


 Fish Records



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Earth Day song, recorded by Carlos Jones & First Light!



Adam Hoopengardner, Owner


315 7th Ave. #2

Brooklyn, New York 11215

Phone: 646-283-4651




Earth Day Everyday!

Three talented locals premiere “Earth Day Everyday” song to the world at Grand Central Stage NYC


When: April 24th 2010 Between 11:00 and Noon

What: Performance of “The Earth Day Everyday” song

Who: Little 7 year old Stella Connelly and Hoop the Last Folk Singer

Why: For everyone to listen and learn from a song that Earth Day is every day!

Where: Grand Central NYC


Cleveland: Little 7 yr. old Stella Connelly with the help of songwriter performer, “Hoop the Last Folk Singer” is sending an important message to everyone this Earth Day 2010. Earth day is every day! The message is passed along through the new song “Earth Day Everyday” written in part by Laura Hoopengardner and her father. The song was produced/engineered by John Walsh at Lava Room Recording, featuring Stella Connelly and reggae recording artist Carlos Jones with First Light and published by HOOPSONGS PUBLISHING BMI. Stella and Hoop will be the first to premiere the song to the world in New York City for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.


Back story:

The words for the song are adapted from a poem his daughter Laura wrote about Earth Day in ’97 when she was only 11 years old. She asked her father why is it so hard for people to stop polluting. Strong words from a child to her father. His answer was “It takes a long time for people to change habits and they need constant reminders and even laws to change”. This answer inspired his daughter to write an Earth Day poem that moved her father so much that he wrote music and took her and other sibling Janet into the recording studio where they recorded Earth Day.


Dad taught the girls the melody and with just a simple guitar accompaniment made a cassette tape that he and Laura delivered to the Cleveland Earth day Coalition. The staff listened and thanked Laura and her dad and invited Laura to perform the song at the Earth day festivities held at the Cleveland Zoo. Laura also received a poster and Earth Day T-shirt. The song was forgotten until last Aug. when Gary (Hoop) was listening to the Reggae sounds of Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band at an outdoor concert. Carlos at one point in his show asked the children in the audience to come up in front of the stage. Carlos sang to the children and the children swayed to the Reggae rhythms with such a great feeling of well being and happiness especially when performed by Carlos Jones. “I was at this performance and I watched Carlos sing to the children and I had an A-Ha! Experience, Carlos needs to sing the Earth day song with a child”.


Hoop stated: “I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. It just seemed so right”. He contacted his songwriting partner Liz LaGuardia and told her about his A-Ha! Experience and asked if he could borrow her 6 yr. old daughter to sing the song with him and then send it to Carlos”.. Liz asked Stella and Stella and Hoop practiced the song and then recorded it at Lava Room Recording Studios in Cleveland . He emailed Carlos the song. Although Carlos was very busy he did state when he had time he would listen to it in the following week. Hoop emailed him back: “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 Carlos calling stating he was very surprised and excited. Carlos stated he enjoyed what he heard and thanked him for thinking of him to perform the song. Carlos then stated he would work something up right away.


Hoop contacted producer/engineer John Walsh and rented the studio. One thing led to another and after a few days working out other details. Carlos went to the Lava Room Studios and John contacted musicians he wanted to record the backing track. Liz brought Stella to the studio and what you are hearing on this mp3 is a mix of Earth Day Everyday.


So why is he doing all this after 12 years of the song sitting on the shelf? Well it all goes back to daughter Laura now 23, asking why haven’t things changed and why do companies spend thousands of dollars during the Earth Day Season with large balloons and giant signs. And again he stated to her that people need to be reminded. But now he has taken action with the song to bring it to everybody’s attention. And you what? A song doesn’t pollute and I know I’ve learned many messages from songs. “Happy Birthday”, “You Are My Sunshine”, “Amazing Grace”, “Let It Be”, “Born in the USA ”, and probably the best message “Imagine”. So everyone, listen to another song that sends a message. “Earth Day Everyday” it will help you remember to save the Earth, save the land, save the world. Reduce, reuse, and recycle everyday!

Laura, Stella, and Hoop


Contact information: email:

Not the same old grind...

Available at:

Slide Show

Click Here to See a Slide Show of
PLUS in at the Lafayette Brewing Company

Lafayette, IN

Click Here to See More from Positive Cleveland!


ncv review

Cleveland's Reggae King delivers on new album

Carlos Jones' latest has old favorites, some surprises

By Malcolm X Abram
Beacon Journal music writer

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 years
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 reggae umbrella.

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 to the Rescue 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.''

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at or 330-996-3758.

Find this article at:

PLUS on TV and Radio!!

Carlos was featured on Pete Schneller's Reggae Radio Show on June 20th from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on
WRMU 91.1 FM Mount Union's radio station.

Click Here to Check it Out

Carlos and the band were taped at the Beachland Tavern for an appearance on WKYC TV-3.

See the link below for photos and video from the taping:

Metromix Cleveland
Click Here to Check it Out

Carlos appeared on WCPN 90.3 FM Friday May 29th on Dee Perry's "Around Noon" show.

90.3 WCPN Home Page (logo)
Click Here to Check it Out

New Album May 2009:

See Carlos / PLUS On Spunkybean

View Carlos Jones & The PLUS Band's EPK
View Carlos Jones & The PLUS Band's EPK

Click Here to Vote for PLUS Band on Fox 8's Hot List!!!
Click here to find out more!

Hear Carlos Jones:
Carlos, Peter, and Dan appeared on the "Around Noon" program for a short interview and 2 tracks live in the studio on WCPN 90.3 FM in Cleveland on Tuesday, February 27th.  Also interviewed was Toots Hibbert from Toots and the Maytals in conjunction with the Rock Hall's program during Black History Month.


Carlos and PLUS appeared on Fox 8 in the Morning on Friday May 4th, 2007.  Click on the My Fox logo  to go to the Fox 8 Site to find out more.  Hit Play on the player to watch for yourself.



Check Out These Shots from The Rally in the Ally July 4, 2008

Photos from 7/4/07 Gratefulfest at Nelson's Ledges Courtesy of Ric Findlay:





Click Here to See More PLUS Videos on You Tube!

Check out PLUS Band at

Go to the Store and Buy the Crooked River Groove Video and CD...

Click PLAY to Watch PLUS Band Video Live at Tri C Crooked River Groove

ABJ Cover

Carlos Jones and P.L.U.S. keep playing reggae

Akron Beacon Journal - December 21, 2006

Carlos Jones (rear) performs with his band 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.
Ken Love/Akron Beacon Journal
Carlos Jones (rear) performs with his band 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.

The cabaret at Tangier in Akron is skanking.

It's the 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.

On that 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 people.

The day 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.

For many, Jones is the undisputed king of Ohio reggae, with nearly 30 years of music making under his dreadlocks.

Since 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 people.

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.

After his older brother introduced him to Bob Marley's Natty Dread album in the early '70s, Jones went to see the rising star at Cleveland's Music Hall in 1978 and he had an epiphany.

``That 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.

``He was 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.

``Everyone was caught up in that one vibration. We were all one and how often do you fell that in a crowd of people?''

Shortly after that show, Jones' fashionable Afro 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 Jamaicans.

I-Tal toured the Midwest and released one self-titled album.

In 1984, 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.

Like I-Tal, First Light built up a strong local following and released two albums, Meltdown in 1987 and Groove Telepathy in 1994.

But 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.

Jones and the P.L.U.S. band released one album, Roots With Culture, in 2004, perform regularly all over Ohio 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.

Though 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.

` `It 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.''

One 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 experience.

Unlike the 1960s and '70s, he said, the bulk of pop music does not reflect what's actually going on in the world around them.

Young 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.

``Once 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 it's easier.''

Jones 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).

``A 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.''

Jones 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.

``It 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.

``And when we talk about reggae music, it's the music of the people. It's the common people's music.''

Malcolm X Abram can be reached at 330-996-3758 or

Pic 2
Lend a Helping Hand to P.L.U.S. Band....

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"

"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
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 their rotation). If the band gets accepted, they'll be played in homes all across America.

· 2004 Scene Magazine Awards!

· Click Here to See Twilight at The Zoo 2003 Slide Show.

· Click Here
to See Twilight at The Zoo 2002 Slide Show.

· Click Here to see photos from Case Western's web site of PLUS's show at Thursday's in the Park June 2003

· Click Here to see photos from Case Western's web site of PLUS's show at Thursday's in the Park June 2002.

· Click Here to See A Current Line-up PLUS Band Slide Show .

· Click Here to See An Old School PLUS Band Slide Show.

· Click Here to See A Logos and Graphics Slide Show.

· Click Here to see an article from PM Magazine August 1995 about PLUS Band.

· Click Here to see an article from December 2001 Tonight Magazine about Carlos and PLUS Band.

· Click Here to see the current PLUS band line-up Bio.

· Click Here to see a PLUS Band bio lifted from various web sites.