We’re very excited to anounce that HEAVYWEIGHTDUB! will be starting a steady Tuesday night gig at The Wild Hare in Chicago. The residency will kick off on 2/24 @ 9:30. The Wild Hare has been a vital Chicago institution since 1985, and has hosted a who’s who of Reggae artists over the years. We are honored to be invited to become part of the Wild Hare family. The Wild Hare and it’s owners have been to hell and back to keep this club open. If you don’t know the history of the battle the club had to fight in order to host live music at the new location,2610 N. Halsted Ave) do a web search (click here for one example). The owners have sacrificed so much and fought so hard in order to keep the Hare open so that people can still experience LIVE Reggae music on a regular basis. The venue is so important, not just for Chicagoans, but for touring acts coming through the Midwest, it is an Oasis. The Wild Hare got the nickname of “Reggae Capital USA” for a reason. We want to help them restore that title and give it even more punch. What can you do? Come out on Tuesdays starting 2/24! You’ll have a chance to hear the band evolve on a weekly basis. We are all about helping to create a home base for Reggae & Dub lovers in Chicago. Check out the club even if we’re not playing. There is live Reggae Wed-Sun as well. Special parking rates at the Home Depot garage across the street. They’re serving killer food there now as well. It’s well worth it even to just grab a bite. There is a Reggae and Dub revival happening in Chicago – be a part of it!
First and foremost it is important for you to know that I am wearing a black turtleneck and blue jeans as I type this message. But seriously folks, I would like to share some band news with you as we wrap up 2014.
I started Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub as a “project” with the thought that I would see where it leads. We started rehearsing just drums & bass in January of 2013 and played our first gig at the end of March of the same year. By April 3rd I had somehow managed to talk with The Scientist. We decided to do a record together, and embarked on a Kickstarter campaign. The Kickstarter ended successfully on May 3. From May 3 – July 1, I wrote and arranged the material for the record and searched frantically for musicians who could learn and play this music for the recording. To make a long story short, we did complete the record and released it on Sept 20, the day of our CD Release Party as part of the Chicago World Music Festival 2013 at Martyrs’ in Chicago.
Since that CD release we have gone through many different lineup changes and musicians until we arrived at our current lineup. I’m happy to say that with this roster of musicians the group has progressed from a “project” to a true BAND. The musicians who have been playing with the band have been dedicated to the music and the mission and are starting to see it as their own – not just a project in which they are sidemen.
In order to reflect this development we are shortening the name of the band from “Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub’ to HEAVYWEIGHTDUB! That’s right! All caps AND an exclamation point! BOOM! We feel that this more condensed band name will be easier for people to remember and will reflect more of the collective sense of the band. This should eliminate people erroneously calling the band names such as “Tom Sriracha’s Reggae Band” or “Ted Sirota and the Heavyweights” or “Todd Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub Champions”. At least that’s what we’re hoping. So, you will start seeing the band listed as HEAVYWEIGHTDUB! Don’t be alarmed. Same great music, new and improved packaging. Help us spread the word about the name change if you don’t mind.
We are in the pre-production stage of recording our new record. We plan to record in the first quarter of 2015 and hope to have it released shortly thereafter. We are excited about recording because we feel that we have developed a distinctive band sound over the past stretch of time and are anxious to let the world know what we sound like with our own King Tony on the mix. We will definitely be pressing vinyl this time so fret not DJ’s and analog heads! We’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Our monthly residency at the Whistler, “The Dub Connection”, has been a success and has been extended at least through the first half of 2015. Thanks to all that have supported this night. For those of you who haven’t made it out, it’s not too late! Starting in January we will be switching to the 2nd Thursday of the month, so our next Whistler date is Jan 8. We will be celebrating the tenor sax and featuring the music of Tommy McCook and Cedric IM Brooks.
In other exciting news, we are pleased to announce that we will be starting another monthly gig at Emporium Arcade Bar in Wicker Park. We will be at Emporium every 4th Friday of each month. Like the Whistler, there is NO COVER. Somehow our Dub seems to fit right in with the Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug machines and we are looking forward to playing there each month. Our first gig of the series is Jan 23. Mark your calendars!
We would like to thank EVERYBODY that came to one of our shows, liked us on FB, followed us on Twitter, bought the CD or MP3, told a friend about us, or hired us for a gig in 2014! We are on a mission to bring great Dub/Reggae music with a massive sound, played and mixed by great musicians, to the world and we want you to take the ride with us. FORWARD!
Peace & Dub,
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That’s right folks! Heavyweight Dub is heading out to corn country to play our first gig in DeKalb, IL. If you live in the area please come to the show! If you know anybody who is a student at NIU please let them know about the show.
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We’re excited to once again be opening up for John Brown’s Body – this time at Schuba’s Tavern on 12/13/14. Come check us out as well as the “future roots” music of JBB. Chicago’s own Kinky P on the decks. Show is 18+
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The Reggae community lost one it’s greatest drummers on October 9, 2014 when Lincoln “Style” Scott was murdered in his home in Jamaica. Style, a member of Roots Radics, was one of my biggest influences as a Reggae drummer. We are still hurting from this senseless killing. We will pay tribute to Style on Thursday, Dec. 18 at our monthly “Dub Connection” gig at the Whistler in Chicago. We will play originals as well as some of the legendary tracks that Style recorded. Style Scott is gone but NOT forgotten.