Colorado seems an unlikely origin for reggae music. The distinctive grooves conjure images of beaches and palm trees, not snowy mountains. But Al Laughlin has been challenging that stereotype for almost thirty years.
Al was one of the founding members of a little band you might have heard of – The Samples. The reggae-influenced rock group achieved fame in the 90s, headlining national touring festivals and sharing the stage with the likes of Phish and Dave Matthews Band. Laughlin co-wrote some of the band's most iconic songs, and his percussive, off-beat reggae keyboard style helped define the band's much-loved sound.
Time moves on and many things change, but Laughlin is still growing and making great music. Collaborating with many of his old Samples bandmates, as well as new blood from the vibrant Colorado music scene, Laughlin has crafted a new sound in Highway 50 – a reggae/jazz/ska jam band named after a lonely road in Utah where Laughlin once ran out of gas.
Highway 50 is a fusion of talent and genres that will have your foot tapping and your head bobbing along within the first few beats. It's a big crew: the band's lineup includes guitarist James Hambleton, drummers Jeep MacNichol (also formally of The Samples), Brian Nevin (of Big Head Todd and the Monsters), and Sam Young; horn players Andrew McNew, Matt Planer, Rick Demey, and Kyle Etges, and bassists Chris Wright and Tony Soto. Live shows are always an exciting affair.
Highway 50 just released their sophomore album, The Violet Project, following their eponymous debut in 2014. The five-track EP is a compelling and upbeat mix of jazz, pop, and horn-soaked reggae. The band tours extensively throughout Colorado, proving to everyone that the Rocky Mountains can groove along with the best beaches.
This is another view of whats going on with Hwy50 music , recordings, live dates, and input from fans linking to my website Hwy50.com and new cyberpr.com