Raver Reviews: John Brown's Body's 'Fireflies' (2016) | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Raver Reviews: John Brown’s Body’s ‘Fireflies’ (2016)

John Brown’s Body will release their 11th studio album on September 9, 2016. The album, titled Fireflies, finds the Ithaca, NY-based dub rockers in fine style as they come with rootsy, melodic soundscapes and hook-heavy reggae rockers tunes that exemplify the Easy Star brand of reggae. The first single from the album, titled “New Fashion,” finds the band looking back at what they’ve accomplished over their twenty year career while at the same time pondering a promising future.

“It’s a song about nostalgia and looking forward at the same time. There’s a ton of references to old songs and dances; Lots of words and phrases from 80’s dance hall songs. It’s hoping for peaceful fun in the dance, and a wish to bring some of the old-style good vibes to the modern listener,” explains lead vocalist Elliot Martin.

On Fireflies, Martin is backed by a rock-solid group of musicians including Tommy Benedetti (drums), Jay Spaker (guitar / vocals), Jon Petronzio (keys), Dan Africano (bass).  On the album, JBB collaborates yet again with Craig “Dubfader” Welsch (10 Ft. Ganja Plant), laying tracks at his Rear Window Studio in Boston, MA.

Martin’s songwriting on the album is strong.  It is complemented well by input from Jay Spaker, who lends his writing skills on several tunes (“High Grade,” “Like A Queen,” “Pure Fire”).  “Badman” is a tune which exemplifies the brilliant songwriting collaboration between Martin and Spaker (“Badman and selecta play another scorcher, Rude boy you are in danger when music cross the border, Yes we put bad mind and informer back in its a corner, With the sound we a murda, Badman protect I and lead us to the water”).

Photo: Tobin Voggesser

Photo: Tobin Voggesser

However, as with previous JBB albums, it is the horns section that brings the fire in this set.  JBB sports one of the strongest horns sections in reggae with Sam Dechenne (trumpet), TJ Shaper (trombone), and Mike Vitale (tenor saxophone).  These talented musicians bring a sterling sound that truly distinguishes JBB from many of the other contemporary reggae acts of today.

Fireflies is a fine album from one of the hardest working bands in the business.  While it is JBB’s commitment to the fundamental sound of roots and culture that makes them one of the most respected acts around, they continue to experiment and evolve their sound, redefining modern roots with each successive release.

News 0716 Johnbrownsnody Fireflies




  1. Rob says:

    Glad you pointed out their brass section…I wish other bands took a cue from them

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