$28 in advance / $35 day of concertMatisyahu
is a true original, a Hasidic Jewish musician from New York City singing reggae songs about his religious devotion.
In April of 2005, a fresh voice announced his arrival on the international stage with a stunningly inventive album titled Live at Stubb's
. Six years later, Matisyahu
returned to the renowned Austin venue that helped to launch his career with Live at Stubb's Vol. II
, a new CD-DVD package that demonstrates the continued originality and increasing depth of this longtime New Yorker's craft.
Inspired by the runaway success of the original record, which spawned the hit single "King Without a Crown" and has to date sold nearly 700,000 copies in the United States, Matisyahu
says he always knew he wanted to make another live album. "Performing is such a big part of what I do," he says, "and there's a lot about that live energy that you just can't catch in the studio.Ã??????????Ã?????????Ã????????Ã???????Ã??????Ã?????Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â So for me it was simply a matter of figuring out the right time to do it."
He chose well: Last year Matisyahu
, a studio disc on which he jumped boldly from hard-edged dancehall and ska-inflected New Wave to laidback pop-rock and acoustic folk-soul. The album took Matisyahu
well beyond his stylistic comfort zone and charted the growth of his vocals from traditional reggae toasting to a more dynamic, emotional place. But it didn't necessarily show off his onstage evolution. His first studio album Youth
was nominated for a Grammy Award and reached the top spot on Billboard's reggae albums chart.
"I've played so many shows and gone through so many metamorphoses as a performer," he says. Especially valuable was the opportunity to showcase that evolution at the very club where his career really took off. "It was kind of a return-to-roots occasion," he says - albeit one where we see how far he's come, as well.
Part of that transformation has been fueled by Matisyahu's
new band: Brooklyn's acclaimed Dub Trio, which includes guitarist D.P. Holmes, bassist Stu Brooks and drummer Joe Tomino. The singer first came across the group - as fate would have it - while in Austin recording the first Stubb's record. "I remember seeing their name at a record signing and being intrigued," he says. "So I got one of their records while I was on tour, and there was this one song I couldn't stop playing."
Shortly thereafter, Matisyahu spent an entire day walking around Boston writing lyrics to the tune. "I love the way they bounce back and forth between really beautiful music and heavier, harder-edged stuff," he says. "I knew right then that I wanted to work with them." Last year he booked a show with Dub Trio at a small club in Brooklyn. "We just did an improv set after maybe one rehearsal," he recalls. "It felt so right."
That improvisational spirit looms large throughout Live at Stubb's Vol. II
, which pulls primarily from Light
. "Dub Trio understand the concept of space," he says, "which for a vocalist is great, because that leaves a lot of room for me to really get into my lyrics in new ways." Here Matisyahu uses that room to dig deeper into his sound than ever before, shedding new light on its hip-hop, rock and reggae dimensions to the vocal delight of the enthusiastic (and demographically varied) Stubb's crowd.
That audience was central to what Matisyahu
set out to accomplish with his new album. After all, the fans were the ones who enabled his return to the venue in the first place, affording Matisyahu
the opportunity to extend the legacy Stubb's represents. The appreciation, no doubt, was mutual.
Find more info at: www.matisyahuworld.com/home/ iLa Mawana opens the show!
Find more info at: www.ilamawana.com