HUFFPOST PREMIERES BEAM OF LIGHT MIXTAPE!
"The Simpkin Project will drop their new album on September 29, called Beam of Light. In the interim, the band offers up Beam of Light Mixtape highlighting excerpts of their new songs. The mixtape is excellent! And Huff Post is premiering it right here, right now!
Stylistically, the Simpkin Project is best described as West Coast reggae rockers. But there’s more to their sound than just reggae. They incorporate elements of Latin jazz, R&B, Americana, country and gospel into their sound. The various elements are layered upon a foundation of unprocessed reggae rhythms, giving their sound a distinctive inimitable flavor that makes it sui generis and attractive. The reggae bottom acts as an incubator in which the other influences nurture, mature and flourish. In addition, the Simpkin Project abstains from singing in Jamaican Patois or Jamaican English. This abstinence gives their music remarkable color." ~Randy Radic
To see the full Huffington Post article, CLICK HERE!
ROOTFIRE.COM FIRST LISTEN: HUSTLING BY CURTIS BERGESEN.
In October 2007, I flew from Washington, DC to California to join Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad on their first ever West Coast tour. Two of the shows were with a band I had never heard of before named The Simpkin Project, from Huntington Beach, CA.
I became instant friends with The Simpkin Project, and they made my left coast experience that much more special. They were easygoing, hospitable, talented musicians who seemed like kindred spirits to my northeast Panda family. To top it off, two of the band members were Eagle Scouts, just like me. And we were all recipients of the marijuana merit badge!
Over the past 10 years I’ve had the privilege of cruising with the Simpkins and running into them at various festivals and shows. In January 2014, I was honored to be a part of In Roots We Trust Tour, featuring GPGDS, The Simpkin Project, and The Expanders . Needless to say, that run was epic.
Today, I’m proud to be able to share their brand new single “Hustling,” off their forthcoming album Beam Of Light (release date TBA). Be sure to listen to the song on quality headphones or speakers, multiple times. With each listen you’ll discover new layers of goodness and eclectic vibes.
The Simpkin Project is comprised of Phil Simpkin (guitar, vocals), Shawn Taylor (organ, keys, vocals), Jules Luna (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sandoval (percussion), Sean Kennedy (drums), and Nick Zermino (bass). Courtney Panton, Jr. and Courtney Panton, Sr. of New Kingston played drums and bass on “Hustling.”
The beginning of the song makes me think of a small country western town where Sheriff Simpkin’s on the daily grind underneath the sun. But when the chorus hits, the tone changes from a personal vantage point of hustling, to an uplifting message of positivity:
Live with feeling, live with purpose
Hear the calling from deep within your soul
Find the meaning, let’s keep searching
Find the way with me
One thing I’ve always loved about this band, is their ability to turn simple lyrics into mantras that you can’t get out of your head. Songs like “If You Really Want It” and “Walk On Tall” are perfect examples of this. The members of The Simpkin Project, their music, and their message will always be a bright beam of light in my life.
To see the full article, CLICK HERE!
VINTAGE KING EXPLORES U47 MICROPHONES WITH SIMPKIN PROJECT.
How did a German microphone from 1949 become the most sought-after microphone in the world and come to define how vocals are supposed to sound? The U47’s imperfect, “filtered reality” flatters, forgives and makes more of the music than what’s actually there. That’s why singers and engineers fell in love with it over the years and everyone from The Beatles and Aretha Franklin to Elle Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra loved it. We now subconsciously associate the most beloved music of all time with the sound of the U47 microphone.
When it comes time to record our records, the band always tries to use old school recording techniques and vintage/vintage-inspired recording equipment. We believe that It really does provide a colorful-fun way of making music, while simultaneously giving homage to our musical ancestors. Therefore it is our pleasure to present to you a bonified audio collaboration between The Simpkin Project and Vintage King Audio! Watch as we team up to take viewers on a harmonious test drive featuring seven of the most remarkable "U47-style" microphones.
Click HERE to see Vintage King's BLOG article of the mic shootout!
JIMMY OVADIA: POET OF THE PAINTBRUSH.
In a dark club, between old brick walls, set to the roaring blast of the band, clamp lights form the silhouette of an artist in motion. With movements that mob the corner of the stage and cut through the must with paintbrushes, the picture becomes clear: Jimmy Ovadia is more than a mere painter, he is a performer of rare style and skill.
Sharing the stage with Jimmy offers the band a unique insight into the union of the arts, as our energy is matched, transformed and reciprocated through the color on the canvas. It's as if the painter himself is part of the ensemble; for every stroke with the brush and for every note played, a relation; between each craft and its artists, a bond. Through his work, mingled with the surreal and spangled among the cosmic, images of the divine render us cosmonauts exploring the panoramic beauties of the mind. Now do yourself a favor and explore the art of Jimmy Ovadia; poet of the paintbrush.
To see more of Jimm'y art CLICK HERE!
*Slide #5 Photo by: Stage Media
HOUSE OF SHEM AND THEIR ROAD TO ACCSESS!
We recently crossed paths with a band of Maori warriors House of Shem sneaking in the back gate of the Ziggy Marley/Steel Pulse show. As we walked up the loading ramp towards one another, we were stopped by a nosy security guard demanding to see their backstage credentials. Looking at the officer dumbfounded we asked in astonishment, "Don't you know who this is?!" Their answer, “No,” but they should have! From our point of view, of all contemporary reggae bands traversing the planet today, House of Shem is by far one of our favorites. We totally dig their superb three piece harmony, rootsy sound and high fidelity recordings, so to finally meet these guys, in this way, was a real treat. Luckily once our uso Matt Liufau of Seedless did a little smooth talking to pacify security, House of Shem was let into the show. Later that night, we had the pleasure of hanging backstage with Carl Perkins who graciously showed us a proper Maori salutation! We will never forget this awesome encounter and are now intrigued to learn more about the culture of New Zealand!!!
REGGAE LEGEND SANTA DAVIS SHARES KNOWLEDGE ON MUSIC.
The most profound conversation we had this weekend was with drummer Santa Davis (easily on our very short list of best reggae drummers of all time) whose wisdom spilled over when we said to him in passing that "you play the best hi-hat in reggae music.” take a listen...
He smiled and gave us a look of disbelief and told us with a shrewd glance that when he hears remarks of this kind, he finds it strange because he knows he is still constantly learning and trying to get better every day! We had a good laugh over the irony that If he is the best, then the best is always trying to get better than itself! He said that no matter how much mastery you attain, the threshold is never met and that "there's always room for improvement!"
He reminded us that “You must meet every day, every performance, as a new opportunity to be better than before and only by being present in the moment true greatness is awakened!” He has always played drums this way but he went on to say that the difference between him as a player now, and him as a player in his younger days is finding a certain level of understanding; not a technical knowledge, per se, but a kind of gradually attained understanding: about himself, the music, his relationship to other musicians and the audience. He likened his drum set to a sandbox and himself to a child playing in the sand! He told us he's having more fun now than he ever did before! We thanked him for these, and otherwise words he shared with us and wished him well on the night's show.
We'll never forget this crucial encounter with a reggae legend!!!
To read more about Carlton "Santa" Davis' amazing career in reggae music CLICK HERE!
SIMPKINPROJECT.COM GETS A FRESH COAT!
Welcome to the all new SimpkinProject.com! Since the band is celebrating it's 13th year together we thought it would be nice to spruce the place up a little so we added some new features, killer fresh look, and cooler functionality.
One thing we are particularly excited about is our brand new merchandise store. Shop the haberdashery right here on SP.com; featuring over a dozen different t-shirt designs created by some of the best artist we know! You can also purchase sweet Simpkin collectable like BIC lighters, custom pins, limited edition posters and stickers, and even physical copies of some of our past albums. Shipping is super cheap and checkout's secure and easy!
We've also added loads of new photos to our every growing Simpkin Project gallery. Photography is both an art and a skill, so it is our pleasure to showcase the photographs and talents of our photog brothers and sisters. Credit is very important to us, so if you see an image you took and we didn't give you proper credit, please contact us and let us know ASAP! If you have a photograph of The Simpkin Project you'd like to see featured, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some other upgrades include an updated biography, streamlined show calendar with ticket links, a dedicated news page, downloadable discography including free SP Live tracks and a cleaner contacts page!
It's our hope to use our new overhauled webpage to better help connect us to you, our fans! We look forward to hearing your feedback so if you haven’t yet, take a look around and discover what's new!
OC FAIR W/ ZIGGY MARLEY & STEEL PULSE 8/13 -8/14
Simpkin Project will be doing a two day stint starting August 13th through August 14th, at the Pacific Amphitheater, in Costa Mesa, CA. SP is slotted to open up for reggae legends Ziggy Marley and Steel Pulse. Please come early; the band we will be hitting the stage at 5:30pm sharp!
This event is ALL AGES | Doors 5pm