Blog Archives

Midwest Reggae Rockers to Bring Their Talent to Gabe’s

Minneapolis based reggae-rock group, John Wayne and The Pain, was started up in 2005 and has been taking the nation by storm ever since. Being a part of the Minneapolis music scene helped them develop connections to play at more well-known venues and provided opportunities to play with bigger name artists. The groups frontman, John Wayne, has a story much like the late Bradley Nowell, Sublime’s former frontman, because Wayne is a recovering addict. Their songs often reflect on the struggles that Wayne had with addiction and how he dug his way out to see the light of redemption. However, their goal is to break free of the drug stereotype that is often associated with reggae music by solely promoting positive vibes to their audiences. The other two members of the group are Tito Miller (drummer) and Chuck Torgerson (bassist). Their sound is much like that of Sublime and Slightly Stoopid. The message they convey is something like Matisyahu or Wookiefoot would express in their songs. John Wayne and The Pain’s blend of electronic dub-style sounds with powerful lyrics is what sets them apart from other reggae-rock groups of today.

The sole reason for their reggae-rock style is to spread the love and unity that reggae music has to offer, to bring the audience together as one. They will be taking the stage tomorrow, Friday, March 8th, at Gabe’s. The show begins at 10 PM and will be available for ages 19 and over. It’ll be $7 to get in so be sure to not forget that. So if you’re either looking for some redemption or a good time, be sure to check out John Wayne and The Pain tomorrow at Gabe’s!

(Video credit: TheLizardKingAaron)


Reggae Found Amongst the Cornfields

Waterloo native, Tony Brown, has been a professional musician for decades. Tony has shared his talent across the country and across the world. In the 1960s, Brown, along with his group, were groundbreakers because a lot of African-American bands were not playing at the same venues. He was also involved with the Black Panther Party and NAACP, mainly to help out his community and bring out the inner-strength within his community. He has recorded 20 albums with tunes full of soul, reggae, R&B  and blues that all share a message of hope. Brown’s main goal is to be a moving force in social change within his music. He makes his music to motivate people of all ages to expand their outlook on life to better themselves and their community. Brown has been inducted into the Iowa Music Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

Brown has spent most of his life but spent some time in Belize, the West Indies and Central America. He is now back in Iowa, where it all began for him. He continues to play his music and spread his message of social change today. This Thursday, February 21st, Tony Brown will be at Shakespeare’s (819 First Ave, Iowa City) for the The Big BackYard Jam Session 2013 from 7 to 11 P.M. The best thing of all: NO COVER!

Random fact about Tony Brown: He used to be a football player back in his day and made tryouts with the Chicago Bears, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs.

(Picture credit: Iowa City Press Citizen/Video credit: Johnny Miller)