A Latino, a Polynesian, & a Caucasian guy walk into a bar…. They plug in their instruments and begin to unload a contagious concoction of Reggae elements blended with Soul, Pop & Vintage Rock! While this would give the impression of utter confusion to an audience it instead draws them in closer to the stage. The music blasts the crowd like a sneaky ice cold round of kamikazes. As the chill settles their bodies are suddenly overwhelmed with a vibration that melts the soul into a syncopated eruption of bliss. 11 years of songwriting, beer swilling, fist fighting, immaturity, loving, eclectic record collections, a break-up, a make-up, and a good old streak of musical experimentation led to a reckoning. 880 South will not be denied their place in the Alternative Reggae scene. 880 South is motivated by legendary artists such as Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Sublime, Fishbone & the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
It’s 1998, in the San Francisco South Bay Area of Northern California. Luigi Casaretto, Greg Medeiros & Steve Shyshka introduced the funkiest 5 pc outfit known as the Floppy Rods. They quickly identified themselves with the Alternative Hard Rock scene with a jazzy funky flavor that got youngsters moshin’ & hoppin’ and older folks dancing on the bar stools. As every young artist must learn, the music business can rip a band apart quicker than it’s created. Unfortunately this group would soon disband in 2002 due to personal & financial indifferences. The separation would of course lead to a path for these young men to embark on a revival journey in 2004. Re-united at a local Campbell, CA bar, the 3 young men along with former Rods drummer Aaron Liebelt would commit themselves to a new beginning. Following the same recipes of old, but introducing new ingredients of reggae, soul & rock which were a direct result of the influence of vocalist/songwriter Weege. Rejuvenated and reformed this alliance would choose to name themselves 880 South. This name stamped itself from their Campbell/San Jose roots. The freeway they frequented on a daily basis to get to practice, recording sessions, live shows, and once in a while if they were lucky, they got to go home. In the 10 years of gigging and recording they prospered through snow storms, tour van breakdowns & the rigors of city life. Determined to prevail, they devoted themselves to each others and their fans and stayed true to their sound. Trivial times developed through the rigors of playing the large nightclubs, local bars & outdoor patios just for the love of music. That same devotion lead to product endorsement deals, an indie record label, a live DVD, 2 albums & a regional tours across the Southwest & Northwest of the United States. Songwriter “Weege” even has a Q&A column that offers advice to young musicians on webzine ThePier.org which has immensely re-established the status of 880 South as veterans of the California reggae music scene.
In 2006 they released their debut album “Beware” selling internationally & across the United States. Instantly making them a hit with the reggae/rock scene aligned by such artists as Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, Fishbone & Matisyahu. It wouldn’t be surprising if many have seen 880 South perform in support of acts such as Fishbone, the Expendables, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution & Badfish. These alliances helped identify 880 South with many more prosperous acts along with their fans in the reggae rock scene.
Although 880 South’s style is easily comparable to many of these acts, you’ll find their infusion of soul & rock is easily more directed towards the R&B/Pop, Alternative Rock and Adult Contemporary sound. You can hear the variations in their recorded material & feel the energy during a live show. This is a party band with purpose that America has come to admire and the world will soon love. Youth Bus Sessions is 880 South’s newest release and you can find it on iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster and CD Baby. YBS is a feel good album that allows you to enjoy the notion of summertime throughout all 4 seasons.