The venue was Wilmington’s own Battleship Park, home of the destroyer USS North Carolina. Attendance was substantial, given the late October date, and patrons were exuberant and celebratory. And, with good reason. The lineup was sprinkled with local and national reggae bands, and, with two stages leap-frogging, music played non-stop from noon until midnight.
Soja was the headlining act, and, for me, the coup de grace. Their impeccable command of lyric and rasta inspired rhythms are both delightful and thought provoking. More than once I caught myself personally relating to Jacob Hemphill’s insights. And who can resist bassist Bobby Lee’s animated stage presence? Soja is, without a doubt, one of the brightest stars on my musical horizon.
Other bands included Dirty Heads, Passafire, Tribal Seeds and Fear Nuttin...and…another band I’ve taken an interest in...Nahko and Medicine For the People. Like Soja, they are the latest incarnation of bands that write material which actually relates to our personal experiences. Amongst other themes, they sing about our relationship with mother earth and how we’ll we’ll need to adapt if we hope to survive in an ever-changing world.
In my estimaton, California Roots...the Wilmington Sessions...was a rousing success. We enjoyed great music, casual ambience and high times and I’m looking forward to next year’s festival with great anticipation. Please enjoy some of the sights of the day from CaliRoots 2013, the Carolina Sessions, as seen through my viewfinder.