The Expanders are set to stop at Blueberry Hill on Friday, April 6. Now celebrating their second consecutive #1 Billboard Reggae Album following 2015’s Hustling Culture, The Expanders’ Old Time Something Come Back Again Vol. 2 sees the band reaching another impressive #1 milestone in the midst of their “Roots Train Fall Tour” with Iya Terra & For Peace Band, running through the end of October.
The Expanders consist of John Asher (Drums, Vocals), John Butcher (Guitar, Vocals), Roy Fishell (Organs), Chiquis Lozoya (Bass, Vocals), and Devin Morrison (Guitar, Vocals). Pristine three-part harmonies shine throughout the band’s entire catalog, bringing back memories of the nostalgic “golden age” of reggae. As ardent students of the genre, the California-based band seeks influence from places, times, and people that are often overlooked in the echo chamber that can be the American reggae scene.
The band’s exposure to and deep-seeded love for Jamaican music is due in no small part to the renowned record collection of Los Angeles based reggae archivist Roger Steffens. An organic relationship with Mr. Steffens’ son blossomed and allowed the band access to one of the deepest reggae record archives. Access to decades of underappreciated music and classics alike helped the band to internalize the essence and spirit of the music and apply that mentality to a new era. Humbly making large sacrifices in stride, The Expanders have made it their core mission to do right by the soul and feel of yesteryear, and the Old Time Something Come Back Again series exemplifies that mission in a keenly literal sense. Production from longtime collaborator Tom Cook assisted in capturing the band’s natural sound, while maintaining continuity in the cover series.
Where Volume 1 saw the band recording songs already incorporated into their live sets, Volume 2 presented a new challenge for the band in picking, learning and executing songs they had never played before. Deep cuts from The Ethiopians, Burning Spear, and more are curated and represented with conscientious attention to detail exemplified throughout. Volume 2 takes the listener on a journey through a snapshot of the evolution of reggae music, through social commentary and romance, to religious and spiritual overtones; Old Time Something Come Back Again Volume 2 shies away from no aspect of these timeless tunes.
Reggae music and culture has played a pivotal part in the lives of The Expanders, and Old Time Something Come Back Again Volume 2 gives the band the opportunity to pay homage to the voices that spoke to them. Relaying the message from the voices that helped shape the genre to a new audience allows The Expanders to play a vital role in contributing to the revival of the genre’s roots.