As a professional disc jockey and music enthusiast, I am seldom excited by up-and-coming local bands and admittedly even less enthusiastic when it comes to friends bands. I’ve got no shortage of musician friends who flood social media promoting their most recent music ensemble or band project, and in almost every case, I could not be less interested… The Philadelphia based “Jah People” is a unique exception to that rule.
In all honesty, the first time I saw Jah People early on in their existence (about two years ago) I wasn’t all too impressed. Upon the urging of friends, I gave them a second chance a few months later, and what I experienced was an entirely evolved incarnation of the band I’d seen months earlier. They were tighter, and had profoundly improved upon everything I’d considered sub-par upon first hearing them. It was at this point I decided to keep up with Jah People, almost to the point of “groupie” status. Each time the evolution was remarkable, and unlike their Reggae-infused name, their tag line “Roots, Rock and Reggae” more accurately sums up their musical presence. Yes, they cover Bob Marley hits, but with a funked-up flavor, sprinkled in-betwixt with a plethora of soul, rock and R&B covers done with fresh sounding arrangements.
Equally impressive are Jah People’s original songs, three or four of which I’ve become intimately familiar with. To say that an “original song” by a local and otherwise “cover band” is good would be generous praise for this disc jockey who generally poo poos on that sort of thing, but good would be an understatement in this instance. They are outstanding. I had the opportunity to listen to some of their raw demo tracks recently, and wow, I was truly impressed. I look forward to hearing the finished cuts, as well as continuing to follow this up-and-coming bands journey on to what very well may be something bigger than they themselves even realize.
DJ and Musicologist