Humble Soul, a Hawaiian reggae group, stopped at the Ashland Daily Tidings for an in-house Tidings Café performance on Wednesday during their latest mainland tour.
They performed two of their newest songs, "Island Woman" and "Misty Mountain," after they provided the backup for Ashlander Marko.
Lead vocals for the group are sung by Doug Bautista. Ken Lykes is on the keyboard, Reid "Rhydem" Taira on drums, Kapena Engbino adds some depth on bass and Emerick Ishikawa plays guitar.
This reggae group isn't just a reggae group. Each of the members, who grew up in the same neighborhood, bring something of a different flavor. "Rhydem" has a history of rock drumming, Ishikawa a jazz background, and Bautista has clear folk and roots influences.
Bautista brings a unique voice to the band. This reggae grouping sings more lyrics than others that prefer the reggae rap. His voice is pleasantly raw and smooth and he cites Bob Marley as a major influence to his style.
Humble Soul hales from Oahu and notices the different reggae styles performed on the West Coast. In Hawaii, there's a lot of "Jawaiian" reggae. "We don't play that," Engbino said. Jawaiian reggae is the term used to describe some of the island sounds of instruments, such as ukuleles, natives have added to the genre.
Things are more diverse on the mainland for the islanders who heard it all, including some dancehall and more contemporary sounds at Reggae Rising in Humbolt, Calif., where the group last performed.
It was the biggest crowd the group has played for, a huge stage and hearts were warmed when they saw Hawaiian flags in the crowd, band members said as they described their experience.
The group spent just a couple days in Ashland, where they jammed with some locals, including Marko, Monk and Oscar the drummer for Outpost, a not-so local from Portland.
"We're being choked out at home. Only rich people can live in Hawaii," Bautista said, adding, "People can come here and have a nicer life."
Humble Soul will return home after their Seattle Hemp Fest performance. Within a year the group expects to release its next album. In the meantime, tracks can be heard and album availability information is at www.myspace.com/humblesoul1.
The videos of Humble Soul backing Marko and their original songs are available on the Tidings Café group page of connectashland.com. and at dailytidings.com. Denizen TV is now collaborating with the Tidings Café team and the Ashland Daily Tidings to bring the best coverage of local and touring bands.