Jesse Wagner and Jeff Roffredo first met as bandmates in Los Angeles based groups of traditional style Jamaican reggae, rocksteady, and ska, and discovered that they shared many other musical interests, including classic Rhythm and Blues, Samba and Bossa Nova as well as Latin Carribbean sounds, and classic Jazz and vocal groups of various genres stretching back through the decades to the 1940’s.
Some of the players in these groups would evolve into The Aggrolites, creating a mix of soul, funk, and early reggae, with Jesse as lead vocalist and guitarist, while Jeff’s experience as an upright bassist in rockabilly and psychobilly bands led him to play in Tiger Army.
They joined forces again in The Aggrolites, and have continued to record and tour, bringing what has become known as the “dirty reggae” sound to all corners of the globe. In down time on the road or in between tours at home, they were creating some songs that explored new areas, combining the interests that went beyond what they were doing on stage. Bonded by a love of vintage music spanning many eras worldwide, they have assembled Jukebox 101, to connect generations of musical favorites that have been their lifelong inspiration to the current global generation.
“In our years touring The Aggrolites, we could be hanging out in our down time somewhere on the road, just making up melodies that were funny in the moment, little songs to describe what was happening at the time. While they would get a laugh in the moment, some of those melodies would stick around for days and start to get repeated, and after a while you realize it’s a good idea to build on and make it something real.”
Like an old jukebox, there’s going to be some different styles of music on the playlist, some old familiar songs you love to sing along with, maybe some things you’ve never heard of before, and probably all kinds of things in between. No matter where you are or what kind of mood you may be in, you know that you’re going to find something that makes you feel good in that moment and just makes life a little better. That’s what this is all about, breaking it down to the roots, the elements, carrying on the tradition of their influences while mixing it up fresh to create a crash course on old school sounds for the cyber world. It’s Jukebox 101.
For this debut recording they were fortunate enough to be able to assemble an international cast of some of the most talented friends they made over the years sharing musical experiences together:
released July 13, 2016
Engineer, Production, Pedal Steel, Drums: Michael Rozon
Piano, Organ, and Wurlitzer: Ray Jacildo (The English Beat, JD McPherson)
Drums: Oliver Charles (Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, Gogol Bordello), John Asher (The Expanders), Sean Rainey (The Aggrolites)
Jazz Tone Guitar: Aaron Owens (Hepcat)
Congas, Pandeiro, Percussion: Warren “Nacho” Ontiveros (Gladys Knight)
Brazilian Acoustic Guitar: Joao Suplicy (Brothers of Brazil)
Saxophone, Trumpet: Doug Corcoran (JD MCPherson)
Trombone: Mr. T-Bone (The Bluebeaters, Italy)
Vocals: “Uncle” Danny Magalen (Rastus)
Vocals: Joanne Highland (Penny Reel)
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