Ras Alan: Home
20 YEARS OF APPALACHIAN REGGAE!
RAS ALAN celebrates 20 YEARS since the release of the first album, NATIVE, on his own label, Red Pepper Records. The originator of REGGABILLY, Ras Alan discovered positive connections between his Appalachian homeland and Jamaica, the sparkling jewel of the Caribbean. 20 years later, the connections continue to grow stronger.
“Smiling faces, natural beauty, love for music … you can be driving on hillsides, looking at country homes and farms, thinking you’re in Appalachia until you hear Jamaican patois and remember where you are… To my ears, ska is the mandolin in bluegrass, and the reggae one-drop is country music’s backbeat. Negril’s famous Jamaican Cowboy was eager to learn flat-pickin’ while I worked on skankin’ and chunkin.”
Ras Alan continues, “I’m inspired by the beauty and resiliency of the Jamaican people, their ability to smile and keep going in the face of hardship, I'm inspired by the amazing beauty of the island and sea... and I’m most inspired by the reggae BASS LINES!” he adds, grinning.
ORGANIC, Ras Alan’s 2012 release is "livicated to the people of Appalachia and Jamaica." A prolific songwriter and talented musician, Ras Alan has consistently produced top notch Appalachian Reggae music. Previous recordings on Red Pepper Records were honored by being permanently archived in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, USA. Those albums include:
STONE INNA HURRICANE
LETTER FROM APPALACHIA
FOLKLIFE - LIVE AT THE SMITHSONIAN FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL
BUY RAS ALAN'S ORGANIC & other CDs by hitting the BUY button at the top of the page
Ras Alan's own Appalachian Reggae is "DOC WATSON meets BOB MARLEY at the CARTER FAMILY picnic, with THE ABYSSINIANS and NORMAN BLAKE tradin' recipes with BURNIN' SPEAR, THE ITALS and JOHNNY CASH."
The Smithsonian Institution, Country Music Television, the Archives of Appalachia, PBS, the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide, NPR stations and internet radio worldwide have all featured Ras Alan and his music in their programming...
Help us celebrate 20 years of this unique, entertaining music by booking or sponsoring a performance, showcase, house concert or event in your home, business, barn or town. Have vibes, will travel!
CDs are available through the "BUY" button at the top of this page. Or check http://www.cdbaby.com/all/rasalan for original Appalachian reggae music. It makes a positive present any time of year.
Ras Alan's "One HeartBeat- Appalachia to Zimbabwe" program for children is a wonderful way for K-5 students to learn RESPECT- for percussion instruments from around the world, the individuals who made the instruments and ultimately, ourselves.
Ras Alan's blend of traditional mountain music, original lyrics, and reggae heartbeat is fun, emotional, and socially responsible. Influenced by classic reggae, bluegrass, old time, Southern gospel, jazz, African drumming, and a respectful portion of Rastafari spirituality, Ras Alan's music is full of life, and the reggae rhythm is extremely danceable. Establishing the term "Reggabilly" in 1991, Ras Alan's songs are true stories inspired locally and applicable worldwide, rooted in Southern Appalachian and Jamaican reggae vibrations. Bunny Wailer, a founding member (with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh) of the seminal Jamaican performing group The Wailers, is shown here conversing with Ras Alan on the way to the stage at RALAK in Black Mountain, North Carolina. (Photo by Gray Whiley)