John Asher: Drums, Vocals
John Butcher: Guitar, Vocals
Roy Fishell: Keys
Chiquis Lozoya: Bass, Vocals
For more than a decade, U.S. reggae artists have been building a foundation from the Hawaiian islands to the east coast. This new generation of reggae artists continues to reach new heights of success with album and ticket sales, as well as winning over fans worldwide. While most modern American reggae bands are rooted in the rock reggae style, there are a few U.S. artists championing the lineage of classic roots reggae traditions, and Los Angeles-based vintage reggae revivalists The Expanders are leading that charge, building their sound around classic 70’s and early 80’s style reggae, with three part vocal harmonies, conscious songwriting, and an indie-DIY spirit.
The five-piece band comprised of John Asher (Drums, Vocals), John Butcher (Guitar, Vocals), Roy Fishell (Organs), Chiquis Lozoya (Guitar, Vocals) have been making reggae fans and critics take note with their refreshing sound that references the “golden era” of reggae. Butcher grew up listening to the record collection of famed reggae archivist Roger Steffens, and credit much of his love and knowledge to the accessibility and education of those experiences. Becoming friends with Steffens’ son, they developed an obsession with exploring the deepest reaches of the genre. The Expanders’ recent album Hustling Culture was released June 16, 2015, on indie tastemaker label Easy Star Records. Hustling Culture was the band’s third studio album, but for the band members feels like their first proper album as a cohesive unit. Asher explains, “Our first album was a collection of music from good friends making a record together. Our second album was a great covers album, but Hustling Culture is the band coming into its own with our songwriting and musicianship.” For this album we spent more time prepping and rehearsing, giving us more confidence in the recording studio. The result made the process more fun and enjoyable as we approached the songwriting in a more organized way and explored a wider range of topics than on the first album. Our combined efforts really shine through and all the musicians really stepped up and gave an inspired effort on the whole record.” In addition to the core members, their extended family includes keyboardist Roger Rivas of The Aggrolites and Rivas Recordings. Rivas has been an integral part of The Expanders’ recordings and helped maintain and produce the authentic sounds, which shine through on all the band’s releases.
The band has since released another gem, the Vol 2 of their cover series, Old Time Something, Come Back Again. The Expanders decided to go deep into their archives and the result is a great album paying homage to the genres great and often forgotten founders such as greats like; The Itals, The Ethiopians, Burning Spear, The Gladiators, Ghetto Connection, Yabby You & The Prophets and many more.
On February 2018 the band released an original single entitled Blood Morning, showcasing the band's powerful harmonies and roots-reggae sound that continues to push them to the forefront of the genre.
Music can be contagious, inspiring, and poignant. Quinto Sol (QS), or Fifth Sun, caries that type of emotion and sound - deeply rooted in community and roots music - from the Americas, to the Caribbean and Africa. Having emerged from the artist/activist community of East Los Angeles in 1994, Quinto Sol is roots-reggae at its core, woven seamlessly with Latin rhythms like Cumbia, rumba, and son. Quinto Sol is a collective of musicians, inspired to use music as a tool for awareness of socio-political and economic issues facing their community. They do this by translating their own urban realities in every day life and the struggles of indigenous communities in the world, through conscious lyrics and powerful live performances. Nine years after the band's inception, Quinto Sol releases their second independent album and first national release, Barrio Roots. Produced by and arranged by the QS band, and engineered by Johnny Alvarez and Mizraim Leal, the band's lead vocalist and guitar player, Barrio Roots documents music from a period that helped shape what is known today as the East L.A. art "scene"; a contemporary Chicano-inspired arts movement where, incidentally bands like Quetzal and Ozomatli emerged and grew to international popularity. Home, East L.A. or L.A, Quinto Sol is dedicated to planting the seed that let's everyone know where they come from and where they are headed. Currenty in progress is Quinto Sol's third and most anticipated album, "Spirits of the Martyrs". A tribute to all the heroes that fought and died for Land, Love, Peace, and Dignity. - don't forget your roots and culture.we're just trying to give something back that's positive." From the roots-reggae song, "Mexica Tiahui", to the up-tempo cumbia/salsa jam, "Tocani" and the reggae/cumbia/salsa mix "Sangre", Quinto Sol takes you on a world beat tour unlike any reggae band in the music circuit. Having performed with artists, such as: The Wailers, Third World, Inner Circle, Steel Pulse, Eek-A-Mouse, Maldita Vecindad, Jaguares, Malo, Ozomatli, Poncho Sanchez, Puya, Todos Tus Muertos and others, QS's fan base is as diverse as the musical fusion they produce and the bands with whom they've shared the stage; from L.A. to Mexico City and even Japan.