Good Vibes and Reggae Tunes with Roots Of A Rebellion, Ellameno Beat, Seewater at Charleston Pour House


A Reggae concert was all Charleston needed to kick off these summer weather days in Charleston, South Carolina. This past Friday at Charleston Pour House, Roots of a Rebellion played a show with The Elamenno Beat and Seewater music. The night consisted of good vibes, personal connections and the crowd dancing all night long.



Progressive Roots band from Jensen Beach, Florida, The Ellameno Beat, opened up the show and immediately drew the crowd in. The group has a positive vibe mixing reggae, blues, soul, funk and electronic sounds. They immediately drew the crowd in and got them in the mood for the rest of the show!



Local band, Seewater, closed out the show in the best way. They were high energy from the start of their set and kept the crowd as energized, if not more, as they were at the beginning. This up and coming band from Charleston combines reggae and punk rock for music that ranges from slowed down vibes to fast-paced head bangers. They were a great end to a night of reggae jams! 



Roots of a Rebellion was up next and their music so easily conveys their message of the importance of human connection and just loving each other. Their shows create that feeling and are a space for that connection to happen. The crowd vibed their entire set and not one person was standing still. Whether it was a more laidback song, or fast, upbeat song, every person just kept dancing and dancing. You could feel the love and gratitude the band has just for people and playing music. Their set was one that was good for the soul.

A reggae concert was all Charleston needed to kick off these summer weather days in Charleston, South Carolina. This past Friday at Charleston Pour House, Roots of a Rebellion played a show with The Elamenno Beat and Seewater music. The night consisted of good vibes, personal connections and the crowd dancing all night long.

Prior to the show, I sat down with Austin Smith, lead singer of Roots of a Rebellion, to learn more about the group!

Q: So how long has Roots of a Rebellion been together?

A: We have been together seven and a half years. This is the start of our eighth year.

Q: And did you all meet in Nashville?

A: We did, we met while we were all attending Belmont University. Half of us are music majors and half of us are music business majors. We’re very fortunate that that’s how we all met because we were all draw to Nashville for music, the love for music and that’s what brought us together and that’s what is keeping us together.

Q: Have you always played reggae music or have you explored other genres?

A: I’d say reggae is definitely the foundation of Roots of a Rebellion, but we all come from completely different musical backgrounds. So, Roots of a Rebellion is rooted in reggae, but is also pulling from funk, soul, rock, for me even more folky.

Q: You guys have shared the stage with bands such as Slightly Stoopid, 311 and other big names in reggae. What are these experiences like?

A: Incredible, incredible…a dream come true. Especially when my heroes become my friends and that, I’m speaking more to bands like Giant Panda Geurilla Dub Squad, Passafire; those more American-reggae rock bands that are the reason that Roots of a Rebellion is eve a band at all. The fact that not only have we played shows with them, but that we’ve toured with them- it’s almost surreal when it’s happened and still is happening. I take a step back and look at myself six or seven years ago when we were just starting and I was really inspired by these bands and now I’m at a point where I’ve earned their respect. If you ask me, that’s success. For some bands or musicians, it might be blowing up or having a radio single, but for me personally, earning the respect from people who I admire and respect is the definition of success.

Q: I know you have played music festivals in the past. Are there any on the agenda for 2018 yet?

A: There are some independent festivals we’re playing, the biggest one of those is Surrounded By The Sound and it is in Long Creek, SC on Labor Day weekend. That’s put on by our brothers Sun Dried Vibes. Yeah, that’s the best and coolest festival I’m looking forward to because it’s like all our family and just hanging out, a lot of features happening on stage. It’s like Christmas for all of us, seriously. It’s an awesome time.

Q: Your most recent release, Summer Sampler Vol II, features remixes, acoustic ad live versions of your songs. What pushed you all to put out an album like this?

A: We have just been sitting on a lot of content and we’re in between studio albums, so we felt like we owed our fans something while they’re waiting for the next studio album. So the acoustic tracks we did with the intention of putting on the sampler, the live tracks we’ve been sitting on. And circling back, one of those live tracks is a cover of Giant Panda Geurilla Dub Squad, the song is called “Pockets.” Right after we did a tour with them, James, their bass player, oddly enough was in Colorado for his wife’s conference, and we were already covering their song and he hopped onstage and is singing the verse on that song. So, the fact that we captured that and were able to release that is just evidence of a dream come true. That’s success for me. That song is a cover and it’s not gonna blow up or anything, but that’s success for me.

But the Summer Sampler is just to show all sides of Roots of a Rebellion outside of our studio albums. It’s cool to show different show different aspects and versions of songs.

Q: You guys recently announced a pledge campaign for a new album in the works. How is that coming along?

A: Great! We just got out of Boston, that’s where we recorded our last studio album “Brother’s Instinct” back in 2016 and we went back in January and recorded with the same producer who produced that. This time we went with twice as many songs, so we’re hoping to pick the best of those. Only four of five of those we’ve tested out live over the last year, but the other ten songs are completely new to everyone else besides us. It’s a lot of classic Roots of a Rebellion, being that some of its rock, but a lot is really reggae and some is more… I don’t know- we got out there a little bit, experimented and took some risks and really listened to Craig, our producer. He broke everything down and then built it back up ad I was really proud of us as six members of a bad to be able to really let go of it for a minute and just give it a shot. It’s good to be uncomfortable a little bit and the worst case is you go back to how you were doing it, but you never know unless you take that risk. I’m excited about it.

Q: Are there any other projects on the horizon for you all at the moment?

A: The new album is definitely the main focus right now because this is what all of our money is going into, which is why we started a pledge campaign. Which I hate doing, but the reality is we’re an independent band and the only way we’re going to pay for all of the things that go into an album, is money. But it was a lot of fun coming up with all of the different packages! One we did is we take disposal cameras and snap a bunch of pictures and then send them that film to develop their own unique set of pictures from us. We offered a music lesson, you can come write a song with me in Nashville, stay at my house in Nashville; we’re just having fun with it and whatever works.

Q: What is the main goal you are trying to achieve with sharing your music with the world?

A: I’m glad you asked that. Our music is bringing a message of unity that I think that this world so desperately needs right now. What a crazy, frightening time to be alive. There’s so much sadness and tragedy and chaos in the world every day and I don’t know how to wrap my head around some of that. So, our message is stay strong, keep the faith, love yourself, love your neighbor, friends and family. Do whatever you gotta do and what you wanna do in the short time that you have ad try and think about the bigger picture.

Support Roots of a Rebellion in releasing their next studio album by checking their Pledge Campaig out at


Coverage by Mia Naome

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