Dallas isnt a place usually associated with reggae music or reggae culture. Hippies dont roam the streets, independent vendors lining popular squares are nonexistent, and there are no big fields in which music lovers can congregate. However, Tuesday, October 13 will be a landmark day for the reggae scene in Dallas. Washington D.C.-based band SOJA is coming to The Green Elephant with Columbian trio Movement Vibe and local reggae innovators Ugly Lion to play their first show ever in the great Lone Star State.
Soldiers of Jah Army, SOJA for short, began when middle school friends Jacob Hemphill (vocals and guitar) and Bob Jefferson (bass) met Patrick OShea (keyboards), Ryan Berty (drums), and Ken Brownell (percussion). They all had one thing in common: a growing passion for peace and reggae music.
As a band birthed in the new millennium, SOJA produced three full length albums, two EPs,
By: Jake Krolick
Building off of their 2006 breakthrough reggae release, Get Wiser, SOJA's Jacob Hemphill, Bob Jefferson, Ryan Berty, Ken Brownell and Patrick Oshea pour their lion hearts and communally conscious lyrics into a third album, Born In Babylon. Their time touring through Hawaii seemed to have a greater affect on them than just a DVD and some live shows. Their previously punchy drum and bass reggae sounds have hopped a flight to a promised land filled with purple and gold sunsets of smooth, flowing rhythms that shimmer with the effortless drip that is the essence of reggae. These songs work magic on one's psyche by not raising the pulse as much as they expand the mind and lift the shoulders of a society that needs more positive minded storytellers that sooth with their craft instead of destroying.
SOJA had just started to scratch the surface of well-built reggae on their