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Sol Roots / Blog

Booker T Jones and Sol Roots perform in DC

Soul music legend Booker T Jones performs Friday February 21 at The Hamilton! Funky guitarist and soulful singer, Sol Roots opens the show!

It can be argued that it was Booker T. Jones who set the cast for modern soul music and is largely responsible for its rise and enduring popularity. On classic Stax hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight,” and “Melting Pot” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee and GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient pushed the music’s boundaries, refined it to its essence and then injected it into the nation’s bloodstream. Sound the Alarm, the new album from Booker T, finds the Hammond B3 organ master looking ahead yet again, laying down his distinctive bedrock grooves amid a succession of sparkling collaborations with some of contemporary R&B’s most gifted young voices. Sound the Alarm also marks Booker T’s historic return to Stax Records, the Memphis soul label the instrumentalist, bandleader, producer, and songwriter helped put on the map during the 1960s, along with his brilliant band, the MGs. Creatively, it’s another bold new step in a career that has witnessed a striking resurgence in recent years. Booker T took home Best Pop Instrumental Album GRAMMY Awards for both 2010’s Potato Hole, his head-turning collaboration with The Drive-By Truckers and 2012’s The Road From Memphis, his critically acclaimed album with The Roots. He is not resting on those laurels. For Sound the Alarm, Booker T shares production chores with brothers Bobby Ross Avila and Issiah “IZ” Avila, who co-wrote eight songs and serve as the rhythm section on most of the album’s 12 tracks. The highly sought after siblings have worked with such top acts as Usher, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot, Chaka Khan and Earth, Wind & Fire. Flush with new ideas and young talent, Sound the Alarm is also an exciting reconnection to the Stax Records tradition, which began for Booker T as a teen, when the Bluff City label was founded out of McLemore Avenue’s Satellite Record Shop. “I found the music that I loved for the rest of my life at Satellite Records, while I was on my bike soliciting customers on my paper route,” he recalled. “I walked into the lobby of the Capitol Theater, and it had been transformed into a record store, and there was Steve Cropper playing records for me there when I was in ninth grade. That legacy is my heart and my life. That’s where I come from.” And, Booker adds, “I have music inside me, and I’m looking forward to the future. I’m very excited about making some things happen.” BookerT.com

Sol Roots is a fierce guitarist and soulful singer who has toured the world with many roots, funk, and blues legends. Sol Roots has toured across the east coast U.S. at many premier festivals and venues and have been on bills with Dumpstaphunk, Soulive, Jon Cleary, The Wood Brothers, Robert Randolph, Jackie Greene, Eric Lindell, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and more.

Sol has performed on stage and in the studio with musical heavyweights Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Shepard, and with the international guitar hero Cool John Ferguson, who he performed with steadily for years. Sol has soaked in much from funk, blues, and soul heroes such as Roy Lee Johnson, Albert White, and Robert Lee Coleman, while touring and gigging with these artists. Sol also created a buzz with his underground blues hiphop album entitled “Volume: Blue,” that carried him overseas to perform these sets live.

With a love of Universal Music as the guiding light, Sol steps out on a path with a unique and talented band of musicians. SolRootsMusic.com

Sol Roots interview with Appalachian Jamwich Magazine

taken from Oct 2012 article "Pink Moon Festival Review and Sol Roots Interview" written by Erica Price

The band Sol Roots draws their music deep from traditions of Funk, Soul, Blues, Rock, and Reggae. “Many of our strongest influences are some of the musical pioneers we’ve worked with directly: Cool John Ferguson, Albert White, and Guitar Gabriel,” stated Sol, who plays guitar and sings for Sol Roots. “The bands best music has been created in live settings, with energetic crowd reactions, and plenty of improvisation.” Sol also mentioned that the band “loves playing tributes to the masters that have come before” them and finding ways to “take the styles to the next level.”

.... Once we met at Pink Moon IV and began talking we realized we shared a common understanding for different languages. We also agreed that the meanings of certain words are like gestures or expressions, that carry the same general, symbolic definition, regardless of how the pronunciation or spelling may vary from culture to culture. Therefore, if you don’t understand the meaning of a word, it is still not impossible to understand what the speaker is attempting to imply. It is the same concept as reading a person’s body language.... When speaking “in different languages, you use different words to get across a meaning or a message. It’s the same in music. It’s not the scales or patterns,” commented Sol, “it’s the message and the feeling that you’re trying to get across,” that is most important. This is exactly what makes music so simple and unique: it is something you feel, you are not required to think in order to understand the context. “Music can connect with people even if the words are in different languages; you still get an instant, emotional reaction from the types of rhythms, chords, and progressions of the song.”

Other than feeding off of the vibes of the members in the band and the energy of the crowd, Sol believes that listening also goes hand in hand with communicating and understanding. You can hear something, but not listen. “Listening is crucial. The best music happens when each band member is really paying attention and listening to what else is going on.” Listening is something that is also done with the heart. Some believe that learning new languages are impossible, but if you truly listen, clear communication can be made, without having to understand the words a person is actually verbalizing, rather what they are indicating or feeling. The same can be done when listening to music without lyrics. Sol expressed when playing with the band, “It feels like music is communicating through us, if we can just tap into that channel!” Sol elaborated, “All the musicians have a great mastery of their instruments and this makes it easy to communicate back and forth on stage.” This very technique of communicating nonverbally, but through listening and feeling, generates unison between the band members and their audience using the unspoken language of music and love.

Sol talked about the bands most recent CD release, titled Freedom. “We had some great experiences tracking songs live in one or two takes and some songs being built as a sonic sculpture,” Sol recapped. “We’re the kind of band that provides each member plenty of room for experimentation, while still having a deep respect for the groove.” The band is excited about their next upcoming album release. He mentioned that they had an incredible time at Pink Moon IV and were happy to be part of the overall experience. “We loved having a cool roster of special guests sit in with us from a few other bands that were performing!” He also included how enjoyable it was to have arrived early for the wedding of the festival organizers. “It set the mood for a loving, positive, welcoming atmosphere,” which is exactly what Sol Roots music is all about: bringing people together to shed light, positivity, and love.

Sol Roots is Home Grown Music Network's Featured Artist of the Month!

My first introduction to Sol's music was listening to the album "Volume: Blue". It was something fresh and new to me and I just couldn't get enough of it. I always appreciated the blues but I was never really much of a big fan. It's just a genre that I didn't know too much about."Volume: Blue" takes old school blues and hip-hop samples with added grooves from the likes of such underground legends as Cootie Stark, Guitar Gabriel, Cool John Ferguson, Neal Pattman, Essie Mae Brooks, Frank Edwards and others. It really helped open my eyes (and ears) to some of the great early pioneers of blues and roots music.

Since then Sol has toured and collaborated with many world class musicians such as Taj Mahal, BB King, Cootie Starks, Cool John Ferguson, John Dee Holeman, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Derek Trucks. He has performed in venues all across North America, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. In addition to touring with his band "Funk Root", Sol has also been heavily involved with the Music Maker Relief foundation, an organization that takes pride in keeping the spirit and tradition of the blues alive. ..... HGMN: Growing up around all these great old school musicians, who would you say had the most impact on you?

Sol: Cool John Ferguson. He’s a guitar player that plays left handed, upside down, regular strung guitar. He’s real funky and jazzy. We’ve done so many shows together. He’s one of the most incredible guitar players that I’ve ever worked with. Taj Mahal calls him one of the five best guitar players he has ever seen. Then there are others that I’ve worked with, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins from Atlanta, Robert Lee Coleman, who was one of James Brown’s old guitar players and Albert White. Taj Mahal, not only being able to see his trio and his different formations but also backing him up on bass and also working with him with Cool John in the studio. Me and Cool John were on guitar and Taj was on stand up bass. Those memories, especially with Taj, his groove is so right there. So he’s been a deep inspiration. ..... HGMN: How would you compare your new upcoming album with “Freedom”?

Sol: "Freedom", I really enjoyed making it. One thing that’s interesting about “Freedom” is that it jumps around in a couple different genres. This new one is going to be a little more focused, mostly along the lines of funk, soul and just a little bit of the blues. I’ve really got some powerful musicians on it. One special guest that we’re going to have on it is Phil Wiggins from Cephas and Wiggins. He’s an awesome harmonica player and song writer. Also in the process of getting some other buddies that I’ve met while on tour, some of the guys from the Eric Lindell band and Amos Lee band. So there will be a lot of special guests on it. I’m excited. There are some really cool songs and some really good musicians. ..... HGMN: How would you describe your typical Sol & Funk Root show?

Sol: They lay heavy on the funk, soul, rock and some blues. And if I’ve got my top musicians there I would dabble deep into the reggae. And I like coming back to the roots of each style, giving a nod to the pioneers of each genre. I love the roots of all different genres.

HGMN: So with the new album, will you be writing all the material?

Sol: Most all of it is all my originals. There’s one song that Phil Wiggins wrote. He wrote an incredible song called “Forgiveness” that I’ve really been inspired by. That’s going to be on the new album. Phil’s original version is real laid back, bluesy, folksy. I guess I did something similar as I did with “Vol: Blue”, take the song and twist it around and put some real stank on it, some other chord changes and funky rhythms. I’ve been real happy with that one. So the rest of the songs are all original… and there’s also a Bob Dylan song that we twisted around. ..... reverbnation review is heavily edited for space limitations Full Review at: http://homegrownmusic.net/news-and-views/featured-artist-sol-roots

New Orleans party at The Hamilton! Brother Joscephus Love Revival with Sol Roots

It's a New Orleans party at The Hamilton on Saturday March 17! Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra is a 12-piece explosion of righteousness that blends New Orleans party music, soul music, a good helping of jam-bandy Roots Rock and a righteous splash of good, upbeat Gospel. Guitarist and vocalist Sol Roots opens the show with energetic rock, raw blues, reggae, and funk, all delivered with deep soul. The Hamilton is Washington DC's newest coolest music venue.

Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra blends New Orleans party music, Soul in the style of Ray Charles and Al Green, a good helping of jam-bandy Roots Rock and a righteous splash of good, upbeat Gospel without the religious overtones (They like to call it secular gospel).

In the group's short history they have already made a big splash in the NYC music scene, sharing the stage with New Orleans stalwarts such as the Rebirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bonerama, Big Sam's Funky Nation, the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars and Eric Lindell. They've sold out legendary venues such as the Highline Ballroom and BB King's.

A Love Revival with Brother Joscephus is more than just excellent original live music. BroJo is also all about the spectacle and pageantry—it's a life changing EXPERIENCE! The orchestra is decked out in their finest whites (accented with the appropriate gold, purple and green of Mardi Gras). They break out parasols, start each set with a parade through the audience and throw out hundreds of Mardi Gras beads over the course of a show. When the parade starts grooving the crowd can't help but have a good time. It's undeniable!!

Opening the show will be Sol Roots. Sol is a fierce guitarist and soulful singer who has toured the world with many roots, funk, and blues legends. Sol and his band create a unique blend of rock, blues, reggae, and raw funk, all delivered with deep soul, performing tasty original tunes and bluesy, greasy jams. Sol Roots has toured across the east coast U.S. at many premier festivals and venues and have been on bills with Jon Cleary, Soulive, The Wood Brothers, Robert Randolph, Jackie Greene, Eric Lindell, and more.

Sol has performed on stage and in the studio with musical heavyweights Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne Shepard, and with the international guitar hero Cool John Ferguson, who he performed with steadily for years. Sol has soaked in much from funk, blues, and soul heroes such as Roy Lee Johnson, Albert White, and Robert Lee Coleman, while touring and gigging with these artists. Sol also created a buzz with his underground blues hiphop album entitled “Volume: Blue," that carried him overseas to perform these sets live.

With a love of Universal Music as the guiding light, Sol steps out on a path with a unique and talented band of musicians.

Ticket Info: $15-$25

The Hamilton is Washington DC's newest upscale music venue located at 600 14th St. NW. Designed to capture DC's creative renaissance and a food-savvy audience that draws influence from every corner of the planet, the Hamilton delivers a contemporary dining experience that's as eclectic as the talent in our music hall. Live music has a new home in the Nation's Capital. This uniquely designed, state-of-the-art Hamilton is where the musician and audience come together for an all-hours experience of entertainment and dining.

Bobby Blue Bland, Linwood Taylor, Sol Roots at the Hamilton

On Saturday February 18th Blues legend Bobby Blue Bland will be performing from 8pm until 10pm at The Hamilton in Washington, DC. Ticket price includes a special afterparty with the Linwood Taylor Band with special guest Sol Roots. The Afterparty begins at 10:30pm. The Hamilton is Washington DC's newest upscale music venue located at 600 14th St. NW.

Below is some information about the performing artists: Bobby Blue Bland, Linwood Taylor, and Sol Roots.

Bobby "Blue" Bland was born in the small town of Rosemark, Tennessee. Later moving to Memphis with his mother, Bland started singing with local gospel groups there, including amongst others the Miniatures. In 1956 Bland began touring with Little Junior Parker. Initially he doubled as valet and driver, a role he reportedly fulfilled for B. B. King. Simultaneously, Bland began asserting his characteristic vocal style. Melodic big-band blues singles, reached the US R&B Top 10, series of early 1960s releases including the sparkling "Turn On Your Love Light", which became a much-covered standard. In 1985, Bland was signed by Malaco Records, specialists in traditional Southern black music, and the singer has turned out a series of well-crafted albums in the ensuing years while continuing to tour and occasionally appear at concerts with B. B. King. Van Morrison was an early adherent of Bland.

Known as one of the hottest blues guitarists based in the DC area, Linwood Taylor has worked with a wide range of artists including Albert Collins, Big Joe Louis, members of Bad Brains, as well as fronting his own powerful band. Linwood Taylor has led his own band for more than a decade. His Blues guitar style blends Texas swing with a Hendrix flair that energizes audiences.

"Whenever musicians need a strong, reliable guitar, they frequently turn to the D.C. area’s Linwood Taylor. The VA based guitarist has guest-starred on albums by Bad Brains leader and MD harmonica player Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark. He has shared the stage with Johnny Winter and opened for Johnny Copeland, Albert Collins, Lonnie Mack and Rory Gallagher, as well as touring with Joe Louis Walker. Linwood is a bluesman who unabashedly leans toward the rock side. As an up-and-coming professional musician, he caught the ears of members of bands led by the D.C. area’s musical royalty: Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton and the Nighthawks, among others....." - Beldons Blues Point

Sol Roots is a fierce guitarist, bassist, and soulful singer who has toured around the world with many roots, funk, and blues legends. Sol and his band create a unique blend of energetic rock, raw blues, reggae, and funk, all delivered with deep soul. Sol Roots has performed at many premier festivals and venues across the east coast US, and the band includes musicians that have worked with Tommy Castro, Hobex, Corey Harris, Deanna Bogart, Jah Works, Mike Zito, Squirrel Nut Zippers and more. Paying homage to the greats, Sol seeks to push musical boundaries and bring Roots Music to a new generation of listeners.

“Sol Roots' playing has been described as “musical glue," holding together many grooves and personalities. He has backed up legendary artists like Taj Mahal and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, opened for Robert Randolph, Wood Brothers, and has played with more obscure artists who have had unique perspectives and sounds. Though it all, he has learned many valuable lessons and is still able to hold on to the one thing that ties us all spiritually to one another — music.”- Jeff Reid - The Beat Magazine

“Sol's song “Rough Catfish” plants the listener firmly back in the barrens of the Mississippi Delta, as Sol howls like a man possessed. Think of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” fused with Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun,” and you get some indication of what this song “feels” like. Tall comparison, I know, but this song, with its wonderful use of mood, proves worthy of the distinction.”- Evan Wade, Home Grown Music Network

Particle, DonnaJeanGodchaux, Sol & FunkRoot, DJ Williams, JoshPhillips and

This Mid Atlantic music festival features some of the best in funk, world, blues, rock, reggae, jam, & roots music. Pink Moon Festival III begins on Thurs Sept 15 and runs through Sun Sept 18. Performers include the jam electronica group Particle, Grateful Dead and Muscle Shoals alumni Donna Jean Godchaux (along w Jeff Mattson of Dark Star Orchestra), NC roots jam band Josh Phillips Folk Festival, the deeply soulful and energetic Sol & Funk Root, the jazzy Virginia group DJ Williams Projekt, and many many more!!

The festival is located in beautiful, rural Rock Camp, WV and is a celebration of life, love, family, and fun.

Friday there will be a fantastic, funky, down-home, Grateful Dead family party! This special night will be star-studded with regional heroes The Kind, Josh Phillips Folk Festival and headliner Donna Jean Godchaux. Saturday really explodes with a day packed with top quality regional talent and an evening full of magic, with the soulful singing and fierce guitar of Sol & Funk Root, jams from DJ Williams Projekt, and the wild stylings of DJ Rahbee. A special treat comes with our Saturday night headliner, the spectacular LA touring jam band Particle! Also featured will be local favorites The Materia Project, Triscale, Discordian Society and more!

This annual festival takes place in the beautiful West Virginia mountains in a very intimate space with ancient oak trees. It’s is a tribute to Pinky Testerman, who passed away in 2006. In addition to music, there will be body painting for charity (all proceeds go to music and arts programs in WV’s public schools), massage therapy, exotic crafts vendors and a black light mini-golf course. $1 from every ticket purchased will go to the Rex Foundation.

Here are a few quotes about some of this years performers:

PARTICLE "Not your typical jam band (they have just as many disco and electronica influences as anything else), PARTICLE started in 2000 in Los Angeles"- Yahoo Music

DONNA JEAN GODCHAUX "As the only woman officially billed with the Grateful Dead, DONNA JEAN GODCHAUX held her own on-stage with the rest of the boys. While not a founding member, nor was she with the band for too long, a female voice belting out "Dancin' in the Streets," or any Dead tune for that matter, was an oddity in itself after almost a decade of all-male singing. However, her history as a singer isn't relegated to jam band history. Her backing vocals can be found on all kinds of records before and after her stint with the Dead. "- All Music

JOSH PHILLIPS "With a message that is positive, sincere, and honest, JOSH PHILLIPS FOLK FESTIVAL has been gaining a veritable army of fans that range from the youngest musical listeners, to seasoned long time traditional music fans. Josh Phillips brings the listener back to the very source of roots, folk, soul, r & b, rock and reggae." - Josh Phillips Myspace

SOL & FUNK ROOT “SOL's playing has been described as “musical glue," holding together many grooves and personalities. He has backed up legendary artists like Taj Mahal and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, opened for Robert Randolph, Wood Brothers, and has played with more obscure artists who have had unique perspectives and sounds. Though it all, he has learned many valuable lessons and is still able to hold on to the one thing that ties us all spiritually to one another — music.” - Jeff Reid - The Beat Magazine

DJ WILLIAMS PROJECKT "For the uninitiated, the Virginia-based Williams is not a turntablist of any form but rather a guitarist comfortable in the funk, jazz and blues idioms. Their CD 'Eleven' showcases the group’s many colors over, fittingly enough, eleven tracks. There is no question that 'Eleven' is a calling card for the band’s live show but it’s still a solid, pleasing effort in its own right." -Jambands.com

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Michael Burks, Sol & Funk Root, and more

The Congressional Blues Festival will take place on July 27 at the National Building Museum in DC. The festival is an effort to honor and showcase American Roots music and help those who helped create this great art form.

Previous performers include Taj Mahal, Derek Trucks, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Robert Cray, Bobby Parker, Sol & Funk Root, Music Maker Revue, Memphis Gold and more!

Here are a few details about some of this year's performers.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, still barely in his 30s, is a Louisiana born axeman and songsmith who has been selling millions of albums, throwing singles into the Top 10, shining a light on the rich blues of the past and forging ahead with his own modern twist on a classic sound he has embodied since his teens. He met Stevie Ray Vaughn at 7, shared the stage with New Orleans legend Bryan Lee at 13. As an adult, he continues to create genre-defining blues-infused rock n' roll.

Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Michael Burks stands tall as a major contemporary blues figure. With a nickname earned by his hours-long, intensely physical performances, fearsome guitar attack, tough, smoky vocals and the thousands of miles logged behind the wheel of his touring van, Burks is a modern blues hero. Nobody in today's blues world successfully bridges searing electric guitar blues with unbridled rock and roll energy like Burks. The Chicago Sun-Times recently said Burks is “poised on the brink of major stardom."

Sol is a fierce guitarist, bassist, and soulful singer who has toured around the world with many roots, funk, and blues legends. Sol and his band Funk Root create a unique blend of energetic rock, raw blues, reggae, and funk, all delivered with deep soul. Sol is also honored to have harmonica legend Phil Wiggins performing with him for this festival.

Mudcat is an internationally known gospel and bluesman. Mudcat continues the traditions of the early blues pioneers while adding his own Mudcat edge, resulting in one of Atlanta's greatest treasures.

Christylez Bacon is a GRAMMY Nominated artist and multi-instrumentalist from Southeast, Washington, DC. Christylez multi-tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.

In keeping with tradition, all CBF tickets include all you can eat and drink all night, and rocking performances by our artists. This year's menu features flavorful southern-influenced fare with vegetarian options accompanied by unlimited beer and wine.

This event continues to support American roots music and will again support this year's CBF charitable partner, The Blues Foundation.

The National Building Museum is America's premier cultural institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating the rich living history of performing arts. National Building Museum is located at 401 F Street Northwest Washington D.C.

www.kennywayneshepherd.net www.michaelburks.com www.sol-roots.com www.mudcatblues.com www.christylez.com

Sol Roots Celebrating Life Through Music

Sol and Tim Smith perform in Wilmington NC on Wed March 9. Sol has toured around the world with roots, blues, funk, and soul legends and brings his unique style home to the Carolina coast. Sol and Tim Smith are both recognized as top east coast US musicians.

Many musicians learn songs by listening to old records or CDs of artists, but Sol Roots has been lucky enough to learn many tunes directly from the source. Even though his vocal and guitar talent stretches from fiery rock to laid back jazz, from funky innovative grooves to soulful ballads, Sol draws on a deep background in raw down-home blues. His father performed with Piedmont blues legend Guitar Gabriel and Tim Duffy (founder of Music Maker Foundation) as part of the Brothers in the Kitchen.

Sol has been working with Music Maker all his life and is dedicated to spreading the gospel of blues and roots music. "Working with them has been a great experience," he says. “I've been able to travel around the world, and to work with many deep, spiritually rewarding artists. Music Maker is a great organization that I'm proud to work with. I've learned how the root of most American music styles stem from the blues and this is something that I respect."

Now Sol, who lives in the Washington, DC area, makes his living playing music. As a full-time musician he has learned to be flexible in his performance's and loves branching out into jazz, rock, reggae, Latin, soul, and all styles in between.

Jambase, the web's largest live music database, has described Sol as “a fierce guitarist and soulful singer." He admits that having a strong foundation in the blues and being open to all styles has helped him live up to that.

“As one of my mentors Guitar Gabriel taught me—I try to view music as a spirit and focus on the emotion and delivery of the songs, and the connection with the audience is of primary importance."

And to many, it this connection with the audience that is as inspiring as his playing ability.

“Making a living at music, I have to cater to each venue and each audience differently. Some shows I perform all jazz, some all acoustic, some all rock, etc. I do try to put my heart and soul into every show and make it the highest quality possible, and to work with musicians who understand and respect the groove."

When he performed in Wilmington last year at 128 South, Sol had audience members dancing. Local promoter and musician Susan Savia explains his shows this way, “If you attend a Sol Roots concert, prepare to be transported to a groovy place. You will grin, sway and toe-tap through the whole journey."

To Sol, this is what music is all about —it is supposed to connect people.

“I'm very excited about the upcoming Wilmington event," he says. “Tim Smith and I have worked on several albums together and have a electric musical connection."

Smith has been hailed as one of the best saxophonist and vocalist in the country. He has toured nationally with Squirrel Nut Zippers, Countdown Quartet, and the Jumpstarts.

Sol Roots playing has been described as “musical glue," holding together many grooves and personalities. He has backed up legendary artists like Taj Mahal and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, opened for Robert Randolph, the Wood Brothers, Jackie Greene, and has played with more obscure artists who have had unique perspectives and sounds. Though it all, he has learned many valuable lessons, dealt with a broad range of personalities and egos, and is still able to hold on to the one thing that ties us all spiritually to one another—music.

Humble, appreciative and talented, Sol lives by a simple rule these days.

“I believe in celebrating life through music," he explains. “Each show is unique and individual." And on March 9th, we all have the opportunity to celebrate along with him.

Jeff Reid- The Beat Magazine

Funk Rock for the Nation's Capital, Sol Gets DC Up and Dancing

He’s toured the world with some of the biggest names in blues, roots, and funk, and recorded several well-reviewed albums. He’s the fiery guitarist known as Sol, and his influences span the country, and the globe.

Sol was born in North Carolina and grew up there, as well as in Virginia, Ohio and Arizona. He went to college in Virginia and Tennessee, and he has family scattered across the US, as well as in Brazil and Costa Rica. The music and cultures of all these places make Sol the musician that he is. He also happens to have a musician dad who has played with some of the greats in blues, folk and rock.

“I grew up surrounded by music,” Sol said, “hearing rock, blues, soul, folk and jazz. I appreciate music from all over: samba, bossa nova, jazz etc.”

Some of Sol’s most formative experiences came from his involvement with the Music Maker Relief Foundation. The MMRF is a North Carolina-based non-profit organization that helps pioneers of blues and roots music make ends meet and put out their music on CD. Sol tells the story of his involvement:

“Before Music Maker had officially been established, my father was touring with his friend Tim Duffy (President of Music Maker) and Piedmont blues legend Guitar Gabriel. During my summer breaks from school I would travel around the deep south helping to do field recordings with Tim Duffy. I started working with Music Maker first as a recording engineer, then a mastering engineer, and also as a session musician. After they began to hear my musicianship, they pulled me in for quite a lot of shows. Working with them has been a great experience; I’ve been able to travel around the world, and to work with many deep, spiritually-rewarding artists. Music Maker is a great organization that I’m proud to work with.”

Through Music Maker, Sol had the chance to travel around the world, backing up musicians like Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Taj Mahal. He also put out one of his albums, “Volume: Blue,” on the Music Maker label.

“’Volume: Blue’ has been described as an underground blues/hip-hop mash-up,” Sol said, “and is a tribute to some of my musical mentors. It is my attempt to share the philosophy, life lessons and soul of artists like Guitar Gabriel and Cootie Starks with the youth of today. I have a deep respect for all of the artists that are a part the album. All of them have had a great impact on me, not just musically, but also personally.”

These days, Sol calls DC home, and he’s recording and touring around the east coast with his band Funk Root. They’ve put out one CD, “Freedom,” with another on the way sometime this year. Sol & Funk Root includes musicians who have worked with many musical legends, including Jah Works, Corey Harris, Hobex, Mary Ann Redmond, Deanna Bogart, and Tommy Castro.

Deciding he wanted to settle down just a bit after all the relentless touring, Sol has made the L.A. Bar in Arlington a kind of home base. Besides the open jam/ music showcase he hosts himself on many Thursdays—Sol also plays gigs at the bar a few times a year and helps the manager (and avid live music supporter) find bands for the bar’s Friday Night Music Series.

“LA Bar and I work together on a vision of bringing in quality music while keeping a laid-back atmosphere,” Sol said. “Every Friday, this relaxed venue is transformed into a lively party spot for music lovers of all kinds.”

Sol does not plan on stopping the music anytime soon. He is dedicated to spreading the gospel of blues, rock, and roots music, and making people get up and dance while he’s at it. He’s grateful for the chance.

“I try to be thankful,” he said, “for every day, every show, every musician I work with, and every venue and promoter I work with that is focused on quality and integrity.”

Check www.sol-roots.com and www.musicmaker.org for more info.

By Jon Kaplan

Home Grown Music Network welcomes Sol & Funk Root

Roots Rock and Funky Blues delivered with deep Soul

Home Grown Music Network welcomes Sol & Funk Root

November 2nd, 2010 | Posted by: Robie

Sol is a fierce guitarist and soulful singer who has toured the world with many roots, funk, and blues legends. Sol and his band Funk Root create a unique blend of Southern fried rock, blues, reggae, and way back yonder funk, all delivered with deep soul, performing tasty original tunes and bluesy, greasy jams. Sol & Funk Root have toured across the east coast U.S. at many premier festivals and venues and have been on bills with Jon Cleary, Soulive, The Wood Brothers, Robert Randolph, Jackie Greene, and more.

Sol & Funk Root’s latest CD release “Freedom” includes Sol on guitar and vocals with band members drummer King George (Corey Harris, Jah Works), bassist Jake D, and saxophonist Tim Smith (Hobex, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Countdown Quartet), and special appearances by members of reggae jam groups the Seed, and the Alliens.

"Freedom displays the social consciousness that is at the heart of much roots music”- HGMN

"Sol puts soul into his guitar...everytime! With a screaming blues-funk sound and a tight rhythm section- you can't help but to move your feet!"- Floydfest founder/organizer

"Sol is an exceptional guitarist & a wonderful spirit...with an extraordinary ability to fit the perfect approach and composition."- Fred Cannon - a Senior VP at BMI

Tour Dates

November 13, 2010 - Lexington Market - Baltimore, MD

November 20, 2010 - Oyster Riot - Washington, DC

December 10, 2010 - L.A. Bar - Arlington, VA

December 12, 2010 - Delaplane Winery - Delaplane, VA

December 31, 2010 - New Years Eve Party - Kernersville, NC

Booking: 9th Floor Music booking@sol-roots.com

Band photo credit: Sean Cuddy www.cuddyphoto.com WEBSITE: http://www.sol-roots.com

Home Grown Music Network is a network of fans, bands, venues, and businesses working together to make the independent music scene stronger.

www.homegrownmusic.net

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