One could make the argument that reggae music transcends other genres due to its powerful and incontestable ability to brighten up a dark day. In fact, this is an argument I have made innumerable times in the past, and if validation is needed to back up this claim, South Florida’s reggae/rock trio Bushwood has just provided it with their self-titled debut album.
I promise you, it’s damn near impossible to listen to this band and not have a smile on your face, a beer in one hand, and a doobie in the other…especially as the summer comes rolling in. This solid 10-track record is the perfect soundtrack for you lazy beach bums to pop in and just simply let ride from start to finish. Even if you’re regrettably confined somewhere in the concrete jungle, these feel-good tunes will convince you that you’re far from the city with your feet in the sand.
The album opens up with one of my favorite tracks, “Red & White,” which is filled with head-nodding drums, a face-melting solo, and an addicting bass line that brings it all together. This leads right into the laid-back “By The Water,” which will not only ease your mind, but also make you severely regret not waking up on the beach every morning. Next up is the seasonally appropriate, tempo changing, catchy tune “Summertime,” which is yet another song that complements the album extremely well.
As if the first 3 tracks weren’t solid enough, the next track is “Paradise,” and aside from being a great song, it truly is a display of talent, showcasing the band’s musical and lyrical prowess. Since I finally got a copy of the album in my hands, I’ve been restarting this song every time it finishes, and without exception, this type of auditory entertainment continues on until the end of the record.
Throughout the album, Bushwood remains consistent in providing their fans their unique fusion of old-school funk, reggae rhythms, and classic and Southern rock. You can hear their Southern rock influences in “Drop The Anchor”, and the old-school funk is quite evident in the instrumental track “Flomanja”.
The foundation of each song is a pleasant abundance of reggae, and it’s hard to miss the vintage and classic rock-inspired electrifying guitar solos. As for the captivating songwriting, it’s pretty clear that Bushwood is a product of their environment, and South Florida’s sunny beaches continue to be the main focal points and source of their creativity.
Though Bushwood draws their inspiration from the Atlantic, we certainly can appreciate and relate to the band’s island style over here on the Pacific coast. Their smooth sounds and beach narratives set the tone perfectly for the genesis of 2011’s summer, and it’s the perfect match for the relaxing Southern California lifestyle.
While their fanbase is mainly concentrated in the South Florida area, it’s inevitable that their passionate and easygoing music reaches across the country to the west coast beaches. So as a Bushwood fan and a Los Angeles resident, I encourage the group to spread their love and music from coast to coast and give the people of SoCal the opportunity to party with one of SoFlo’s best bands.
Bushwood Track List
1- Red & White
2- By The Water
5- Drop The Anchor
6- In Control
7- Open Up Your Eyes
8- Ramblin’ Soul
9- All Day
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