Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad 2017

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad
Origin Rochester, New York, United States
Genres Reggae, Roots Reggae, Americana
Years active Since 2004; 15 years ago (2004)
Labels Rootfire Cooperative, Easy Star Records, Controlled Substance Sound Labs
Associated acts Thunderbody, The Cabin Killers, Bomb Squad, Funknut
Members Chris O'Brian

Dylan Savage

James Searl

Tony Gallicchio

Eli Flynn

Past members Matthew O'Brian

Rachel Orke

Aaron Lipp

Matt Goodwin

Dan Keller

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad is an American reggae and jam band from Rochester, New York, founded in 2004 and known for their live performances and authentic roots reggae and dub sound.[1][2]

The band's first album Slow Down was released in 2006, soon after they recorded a live acoustic session at the Moboogie loft in Denver. Their third studio album In These Times peaked at #5 on the Billboard Reggae Album chart.[3] The band's next studio album Steady hit #1 on the Billboard Reggae Album chart on October 9, 2014.[3] Their subsequent album Make it Better was released on September 16, 2016 and debuted at the #1 spot on Billboard and iTunes reggae charts.

History [ edit ]

  • 2004-2009

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad was formed in 2004 when childhood friends Chris O'Brian, James Searl, and Matt O'Brian teamed up with local Rochester guitar player Dylan Savage and started playing shows in Ithaca, New York. Prior to 2004 the guys had been playing music together for several years in their home town of Rochester, New York.[4] Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad based their name on the fictional "Giant Panda Gypsy Blues Band" from Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins.[5] The band has been noted for their live shows, which are often recorded by concert tapers and posted on Etree and the Internet Archive.

The band's debut album Slow Down[6] was released in 2006 and received regular airplay on Sirius and XM Radio.[7] [1]The album was recorded at Pyramid Sound Studios in Ithaca, New York, and produced by the band and Alex Perialas.[citation needed]

In 2008 the band played at Warren Hayne's Mountain Jam (festival) at Hunter Mountain Ski Resort on May 30.[8]

In 2009 the band released a live recordings album titled Live Up!!. The album features 11 tracks that were record during their 2008 and 2009 national tours.[9]

  • 2010–Present

Founding member Matt O'Brian and keyboard player Rachel Orke left the band in 2010.[10] The band also released Live Up!! Volume II featuring 10 live recordings from the band's Southeast USA tour.[11] The band also played at the 2010 All Good Music Festival gaining further notoriety in the jam band circuit.[12]

In 2011 the band added guitarist Dan Keller from North Tonawanda, New York on lead guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals, and harmony.[13] On July 23, 2011 the band played the Gathering of The Vibes music festival in Bridgeport, Connecticut.[14] They also returned to the All Good Music Festival for the 2nd consecutive year.[15]

The band released Country on January 31, 2012, on the California-based record label Controlled Substance Sound Labs.[16] With this release, the quintet has charted new territory and put together a lyrically driven roots Americana-music album.

On April 10, 2012, the band released a full electric album, In These Times, also on the Controlled Substance Sound Labs label.[16] The psychedelic roots sound is more familiar to fans who were familiar with the band through concerts and live recordings.

The band's music was featured on NPR's radio program All Things Considered on January 28, 2012.[17][18]

In 2013 the band recorded Steady coproduced by Craig Welsch of 10 Ft. Ganja Plant.[17] Tony Gallicchio of Rochester, New York joined the band in place of departing keyboard player Aaron Lipp.[19]

The band continued to make waves in the jam band circuit with a performance at The Peach Music Festival (a music festival started by The Allman Brothers Band) on August 17, 2013 and they are slated to perform again at the 6th annual Peach Music Festival August 10–13, 2017.[20]

In 2015 the band released their second Americana album: Bright Days (Easy Star Records) features nine original songs recorded at the Rear Window Studio in Brookline, Massachusetts.[21]

In 2016 the band released a new album called Make It Better (Rootfire Cooperative) featuring 10 new tracks. The album was recorded in their hometown of Rochester, NY at Blackdog Studios owned by former band member Matt Goodwin. The band also prepared some tracks at Scanhope Sound in Littleton, Colorado. This album was mixed by Danny Kalb who also co-produced.[22]

Musical style and influences [ edit ]

The band has many different musical influences. Some of them include Phish, Sublime, John Brown's Body, The Wailers, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, Lee 'Scratch Perry', Bob Marley and The Grateful Dead.[5]

Musical collaboration [ edit ]

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad has collaborated with many different artists on stage and in the studio. Their album Bright Days includes "Humboldt County Gold" featuring G-Love on harmonic.[23]

On the 2014 release Steady the band collaborated with reggae legend Ranking Joe on the track "Take Your Place."[24]

Elliot Martin from John Brown's Body (band) contributed vocals on the track "Really True" on the band's 2017 release Make It Better.

Italian-American musicologist Dougie "Roast Beef" Ducker, best known as "the man who brought Reggae to Biloxi" has covered several of the band's songs live, and dedicated a reggae-tinged cover of P.O.D's "Alive" to his so-called "Panda bros".[25]

Discography [ edit ]

Studio Albums [ edit ]

  • Slow Down (2006)
  • Country (2012)
  • In These Times (2012)
  • Steady (2014)
  • Bright Days (2015)
  • Make It Better (2016)

Live Albums [ edit ]

  • Live Up! (2009)
  • Live Up!! Volume II (2010)

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Brodeur, Melissa. "The Hot Spot: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad". Gide Magazine.
  2. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad at The Festy". Archived from the original on April 26, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad - Billboard Chart History".
  4. ^ Curtis, Tyler. "Interview: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad". BandsThatJam.
  5. ^ a b "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Interview". The Waiting Room.
  6. ^ Slow Down.
  7. ^ Stergion, Peter. "Show Review: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad in Buffalo 2010". Bands That Jam. Archived from the original on February 9, 2012.
  8. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at Mountain Jam, Hunter Mountain Ski Resort on 2008-05-30". Live Music Archive.
  9. ^ "New Album: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad "Live UP"".
  10. ^ PJ. "Interview w/ Matthew O'Brian formerly of Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad".
  11. ^ "LIVE UP!! Volume II".
  12. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at All Good Music Festival - Marvin's Mountaintop (Grassroots Stage) on 2010-07-09".
  13. ^ "Fresh To The Squad - Dan Keller, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad's Newest Marksman".
  14. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2011-07-23".
  15. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at All Good Music Festival on 2011-07-15".
  16. ^ a b Miers, Jeff. "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad: Country".
  17. ^ a b "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad on NPR All Things Considered". NPRWATC.
  18. ^ "GPGDS on NPR "All Things Considered"".
  19. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Set To Release New Album "Steady"". Cosmic Vibes Live.
  20. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad Live at Peach Music Festival on 2013-08-17". Live Music Archive.
  21. ^ "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad to release Bright Days, May 18th". Grateful Web.
  22. ^ "Exclusive Premiere: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad's New Album 'Make It Better'". JamBase. September 15, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  23. ^ Schwind, Gary. "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad goes country with 'Bright Days'". AXS.
  24. ^ BurnSilver, Glenn. "Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad: Steady". Relix Magazine.
  25. ^ Waters, Anita M. (1985). Race, Class, and Political Symbols : Rastafari and Reggae in Jamaican Politics. Somerset: Taylor and Francis. ISBN 9781351495066. OCLC 1004199251.

External links [ edit ]

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