Deep in the jungle of Tobago Sol Tribe is hard at work laying the foundation for their debut album “Rising Sun” (Dub South Records 2011). Led by producer/songwrinter/Anthony Berdecio, this ragtag group of musicians and freedom fighters have come together in this far off place to begin a journey not yet fore told. Made up of dedicated Reggae musicians some, like Trinidad native Ras I Jinga, have been around since the beginning of the Reggae movement in the 70’s and other assimilated by early exposure to West Indian music and culture. Together they form a recording and touring project that will land on American soil right on time for the emerging Fifth Wave Reggae movement, which is finding its place in festivals, sold out shows, and industry charts both nationally and around the globe.
In order to explain how they got here its necessary to tell the story of a young Texas musician discovered by a veteran Reggae artist who found in him a worthy prodigy to carry on the theory and discipline that he had dedicated his life to. For the 5 years leading up to the creation of Sol Tribe I Jinga schooled Anthony in the foundation of true roots Reggae drums, bass, guitar and even songwriting. Together Berdecio and Ras I Jinga started a recording project and later Ras I Jinga encouraged Anthony to take on the lead role. Having come off two US tours as a bassist for Buffalo Soldier (Ras Records, I&I Foundation Records) Anthony was an eager disciple of Reggae music and absorbed everything imparted to him. In between tours with Peter Rohan (legendary Grateful Dead guitarist), alongside Reggae legends Tony Chin & Fully Fullwood, Ras I Jinga partened with Berdecio to form the roots of a project that would take a group of musicians from San Antonio Texas to the southernmost Caribbean Island nation of Trinidad and Tobago.
After sending I Jinga to Trinidad to make preparations Anthony got to work assembling a group of musicians ready to take on the challenge. Keyboardist and virtuoso Matt Wolff (who still performs with Sol Tribe) would join dynamic drum and bass duo Ras G and Rabba Roots from local roots reggae band Dub Gideon. Together they would team up with backing vocalists Cate Grimes and Danny Thomas to rendezvous with Berdecio and I Jinga in Tobago with over eight bags of recording gear and instruments in tow. The nearly 12 hour journey from San Antonio to Charlottesville would be an arduous one through international borders, checkpoints and 70 mph roads past work trucks on the narrow cliffs through the bush of Tobago. Berdecio would later recall that “while the journey was difficult and at times seemed impossible to find ourselves among the warm embrace of the local people, swimming in the Caribbean at dawn, eating true Ital (Rastafarian vegan cuisine) prepared in town, and playing music all day it was worth it. You know…the harder the battle the sweeter the victory.”
Once back in the states Anthony took his project to Austin based recording studio Public Hi-Fi, owned and operated by Spoon drummer Jim Eno known for its use by artists such as Arcade Fire, Justin Timberlake and Gary Clark Jr. to name a few. The completion of this long journey produced the masterfully finished sound that speaks on how we love and how we live. “There’s a unified quality among human beings,” Berdecio states, “There’s really a small difference in the way we live our lives. We have dreams and hopes, we suffer and celebrate. It’s very much the same everywhere around the world. It’s a matter of findings those things between us.”
Now in its first year of performance Sol Tribe is gearing up to make a statement in the Global Reggae movement picking up steam in recent months. Wherever Anthony travels he is sure to gather around him music lovers, musicians, fans and friends that share his vision for a better world today and a brighter tomorrow making up Sol Tribe. Not a traditional band, but a collective of likeminded people made up not only of the musicians themselves, but everybody who has listened and shared its music, followed online, been to a show, passed out a flyer or even read about this movement.
You are now part of the tribe of the Sun, Sol Tribe.
To quote the late great Bob Marley “We are all one, under the Sun!”.