The seeds of Rebelution germinated in Santa Barbara’s college town of Isla Vista in 2004. A student named Marley D. Williams had recently switched from baseball to bass guitar when, walking to choir practice one night, he heard strains of roots-reggae coming through a door. The fellow reggae enthusiast turned out to be Eric Rachmany. a devotee of roots-reggae and dancehall, and especially the music of Don Carlos and Black Uhuru.
The nucleus of a new and innovative “California Reggae” band got rock-solid when Marley heard percussionist and drummer Wesley Finley’s impressive solos on a big African drum in a World Music class. At the same time, the bassist had befriended a local band featuring keyboardist Rory Carey, who soon became another cornerstone of the budding Rebelution.
The songs on Count Me In show that as they combine ever-youthful energy with a mature perspective. For every hopeful “Count Me In,” there’s a worldly-wise “Counterfeit Love.” The acknowledgement of injustice that deepens some of Rebelution’s stories draws on the roots-reggae tradition that inspired the band in the first place. Indeed, their love for the inspirational roots of modern Jamaican music have culminated in a collaboration with Don Carlos himself, on the jam-anthem “Roots Reggae Music.”
Still, at heart, the story of Rebelution is a pretty easy one to understand. As the band embarks on its second decade, Eric explains, “Rebelution is a great example of four friends who got together to play music for the fun of it, and still do that today. We just play music that we really enjoy.”
Count Me In, released on June 10th, 2014, debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at #14 and marked the band’s third consecutive #1 Reggae album.