Greetings and Blessings to each and I-very one of you! May this New Year of 2017 be a tremendously prosperous one for thee and thine! The holiday season treated I&I well and we are looking Far-ward to going into the studio during the last week of January to begin work on our debut disk, "Children Go", which is short for the title track, "Children Go Where I Send Thee". We are hoping to include as many songs as possible, (I have written 8 so far) and Dpontoes has written 1 and is working on another. I would also like for Brother Morris Brown to contribute a song or two in whatever genre' or style might tickle his fancy as his tremendous talent and overall contributions to our sound are key! Brother Brian Adams, of WCSB and NORML did a track with me a couple of years ago entitled "Marijuana Racist", which, I have re-done the music to with the incomparable Jake Fader, whom will be the studio engineer/mixer/masterer for this upcoming project. I am hoping that Brother Brian will be able to come in and re-do his rap portion to this exciting new music! We have a new Drummer, Brother Dylan Brown whose enthusiasm for wanting to learn the Reggae riddims is oft times infectious and we look Far-ward to his being an integral part to the success of this endeavor. I&I has also structured a riddim for Sista T, but won't know until later this year what the song will be about as the lyrics will be left up to her! I&I will also be tapping the "Empress I-Two's" Sistas Seco Selinas and Barbara Boyd, for whatever background vocals they feel fit into whatever songs they want to contribute to. After seeing fellow musician and friend Kristine Jackson's show a few days ago, it occurred to me that I have gotten away from the music of my youth, Rock n' Roll, Blues and Funk, in favor of Reggae music and, while that is cool, I am having urges lately to go full-circle and revisit those genre's that so inspired I&I as a youth! Be forewarned, therefore, that during our upcoming live performances, you can expect to hear covers of Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad, Fela Kuti, Sly & The Family Stone and many many others! We look Far-ward to seeing and partying with you all very soon! One Love from Gato's Gullah Gumbo.....!
Charter Member Michael Gilmore, who parted ways with us briefly, returns as the "Heartbeat" of our humble collective and is sounding better than ever! We missed the pulsating downbeat that Brother Mike brought and are looking Far-ward to feeling it once again! Big ups and many thanks to Drummer Michael Gilmore for continuing to be a huge part of Gato's Gullah Gumbo! Jah Watches!
We say farewell to charter member and drummer Michael Gilmore who moves on to pursue other options after holding down the rhythm during the first two-years of our existence! We are extremely thankful to Brother Mike for making his home available for our practice sessions and often sacraficing quality time with his children for the sake of our endeavors! We wish you much success Brother Mike and want you to know that we could not have come this far without you! Our humble collective has gone through some changes over the past few months but this I-man is determined to share the messages of positivity, I-nity, love, peace and overstanding associated with Jah Jah's music! Seen? And Jah Jah seems just as determined to bless I&I Far-ward with the mission of the music as Jah has constantly seen to it that members continue to come at 'just the right time'! As Brother Mike moves on, locally renowned master-percussionist, Awo Adetobi Ajibilu returns and brings along with him a 'HUGE' part of the overall sound that this band has been searching for in the form of fellow percussionist, Charles 'Chano' Gibson, whose surdos provide a seriously rootsy Samba-reggae feel to everything! Add to this, new member James Lendvay's wailing guitar solos, the thumpity bass guitar stylings of Dpontoes and the occasional contrast of my pluckity style of lead guitar solo and I'm feeling that we may have something special brewing here! We will be having a kit-drummer sitting in with us this coming Sunday and, if things gel well and he wants to associate with us, then another solid foundation will be in existence and we can look Far-ward to getting into the studio very soon! I'd still like to have a woman's femine energy to balance out the band's overall karma, though! In due time, so Jah say! We had some great reviews and plenty of praise from those in attendance of our latest show at Mahalls and I am extremely encouraged! Especially when seasoned musicians such as Carlos Jones' drummer, Will Douglas and a few others who were there, have so many positive things to say! I am, indeed, humbled by the level of support and thankful for the enthusiasm displayed by Little Wing, in getting so many Cleveland Reggae Family Tree members to come out in support of! It is because of her initial encouragement, and a gentle nudge by her friend and indeed everybody's friend, the incomparable Carlos Jones, that this I-man stands before you chanting the Lake Irie Vybe! Far-ward Evah, Backwards Nevah! Jah Watches!
I bid you all greetings in the name of The Most High Jah Rastafar-I! Our recent appearance at Cleveland State University's College Of Education And Human Services' Springfest Celebration was a tremendous success and came together very well! Jah Jah blessed us all with above-average weather and plenty of sunshine on what was predicted to be a rainy and dreary day! I would like to thank Dr. Clifford Bennett for inviting us, Jennifer Higgins for all of her co-ordinative efforts, and Eileen Logan, whose initial is the reason for our being considered to play! Also, many thanks to Brother Abu Nassara for his video expertise and input! Your contribution was immense! Big-up also to Brother Eric Bonzar, owner of Imperial Imagery! Thank you for the FB photos Bred-I! This I-Man would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest member, Sista Rashimba Bloom, a talented songstress and performer whose creative energies and interpretations can only enhance the positive vibrations being radiated by this band! Band Mentor, Orisha Preist and Master Percussionist "Adetobi Ajibilu" was also able to join us and the unique sounds that he brings as a percussionist gave us that ethereal quality that I love so much! While we still have much work to do as a band I was encouraged by the poise exhibited as the continuity was sporadic because of award-announcements and raffle give-aways! We only got cold on one song! Mike Ali was also solid and his heartbeat is always encouraging! As things are opening up and the band continues to gather momentum, it has become increasingly difficult for me to fulfill my membership requirements and obligations for W.C.S.B. My time has just become too valuable and I am feeling a need to focus in even MORE, on band-related issues! That being said, it is with a heavy heart that I will be resigning from W.C.S.B. as a DJ/Selector, effective immediately. Now seems to be a good time to bow out gracefully so that I might be more able to devote my full energies toward my #1 calling, Jah Music! Seen? Without W.C.S.B. there would be no "Ras Gato", and this I-Man will always be a supporter of all of Ohio's College Radio Stations! Big-Ups and many many thanks to W.C.S.B..And in the words of the Prophet Marley, "when one door is closed, man more is opened!" Jah Watches!
I would like to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of all of us, our sincere thanks and gratitude to Empress Gata for all of her hard work and dedication to our efforts as a band. Unfortunately, her teaching and familial obligations no longer allow her the time required to commit fully to practicing and gigs and all the other band related events. We will miss you Empress! We also welcome into the fold our newest junior member, Chris, who, although an admirer of Nirvana, has a deep sense of wonder about reggae music and the Rastafarian movement! His enthusiasm is encouraging and we all look Farward to playing many gigs together! We had a great time at Club Chameleon and want to thank everybody who made it out in support of, and we look Far-ward with humble anticipation, to our upcoming Cleveland State University Gig in support of their Annual SpringFest celebration! Line-up changes are a part of life in a band as this I-Man well knows but the purpose and message of Gato's Gullah Gumbo are blessed by Jah to continue onward! Jah Watches!! Ras Gato..
I bid you blessings Brothers and Sisters! Yes! It looks as though the Military might be an option for our youngest and now ex-member "Makana Roots", who turned in a very sorrowful resignation to Ras Gato about 3 weeks ago! What with the economy the way that it is and wanting to start a family soon, a struggling band just learning it's basic music simply didn't seem to be in the cards any longer. None-the-less, we all wish Brother Makana nothing but the best and pray that Jah will continue to be a light that shines through his eyes! We all appreciated his creativity and youthful enthusiasm! With that said, we are now in search of a guitarist And a keyboardist, but are indeed encouraged at how well we are sounding as a four-person ensemble! Ras Gato was a recent participant in Brent Kirby's 10 x 3 event, which occurs on Wednesday nights from 8pm until 11pm at The Brothers Lounge Wine Bar and will be looking to do more solo efforts in the future! The thumb is continuing to heal and we continue to embrace more music and songs. I have a new song entitled 'Christapantherfarian", which is my humble attempt at explaining to people where my philosophy lies and Dpontoe is also working on a song or two! Needless to say, it is a slow process and members sometimes move on in other directions. Our core members will not, however, be discouraged and intend to get the message of Jah music out there as long as Jah continues to allow us to do so!! We look Farward to performing at a venue near you in the very near future! Until then, May Jah continue to Guide and Bless and Protect you and yours! Jah Watches!
Blessings Brothers and Sisters! It was a wasted effort this past weekend trying to get into the studio as sickness, last-minute plans, and just plain 'ol forgetfulness all conspired to confound this I-Mans best laid studio visitation extravaganza plan! I am hoping to re-schedule studio-time for 2 or 3 weeks from now, but until then, the focus is music and new music and lyrics and all the other things associated with being a part of a band. I-Man is back at work today after spending a tremendously relaxing Earthday weekend with Little Wing and we are looking Far-Ward to experiencing Femi Kuti's show this coming Thursday Night at the Beachland Ballroom! I'll be having a couple of days off afterwards and am looking Far-Ward to spending that time writing songs and structuring some music. Our first single, brought far-Ward by Junior Member "Tusli", is still in the works structurally as well as lyrically but the basic Idea is down and we are all inspired by it's old-school style! I have 4 songs in the works, 1, an original riddim, 1 a 'Brazilian' carimbo riddim, and 2 Reggae Riddims. I am hoping for contributions of 2 or 3 songs from Empress Gata and Walkpontoes, to round out what will become our first disk. I am also hoping to get one of my current mentors, 'Awo Ajibilu' to join us with his percussive expertise, every now and again. I am currently gearing up for my radio show, "Ras Gato's Gullah Gumbo", a positive mix of World/Reggae Vibrations with a constant 'Big-Up' to those who supply the 'Heartbeat', the drummers out there! You can join me online at WCSB.org Jah Watches! Ras Gato..
Well it's back to the work-a-day madness! Most musicians have so called day-jobs and this I-Man is no different! It is so difficult to spend so much time during the week either at work or on the way to work or on the way home from work, and then trying to flip the switch creatively! It's almost like being super-hero, or double-agent! Jah continues to provide I&I with the strength necessary to carry on but I have to be sure to do my part too! Looking Far-Ward to this weekend's studio time and finishing up our demo and laying down the music for our first single! Feeling like a kid again!! Jah Watches! Gato..