BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor Auto and Entertainment firstname.lastname@example.org
MYSTIC Revealers, the Jamaican roots-reggae band of the 1990s, is re-grouping.
According to the band's lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Billy 'Mystic' Wilmot, the group has been in rehearsal since the start of the year.
"We have been rehearsing since January with the intention of going back on the road. It sounds encouraging," Wilmot told the Observer. "I have written at least an album worth of new songs so we're not short of material."
Wilmot said the rehearsals involve only three members as the entire group has not yet assembled.
"Currently, we're doing some three-piece rehearsal... Leroy 'Lion' Edwards on bass and Nicky Henry on drums, and myself on lead vocals and guitar," Wilmot said.
Like Wilmot, Edwards and Henry are original members of the band which formed in 1977. He said the group's next move is getting a keyboard player.
Wilmot, who is currently a mainstay character on the long-running local television series Royal Palm Estate, is also president of the Jamaica Surf Association. He said the music industry has rapidly evolved over the last decade.
"Because of the nature of the music and popularity abroad, we were able to sell units of albums. That is why international recording companies were interested in us," Wilmot told the Observer. "We represented a certain aspect of the music that Bob Marley had exposed the world to and after his passing there was not a lot of proponents of that type of music."
He believes the focus has since shifted from Jamaican bands to overseas acts.
"The interest moved to bands which followed in his [Bob Marley's] footsteps but were located abroad but tried to emulate his type of music because of the popularity the music held in those countries," Wilmot continued.
Wilmot said his band was at its peak during the period when dancehall music and deejays were gaining traction in Jamaica. This caused Mystic Revealers to search for new markets overseas.
They enjoyed moderate success with songs like Saw You Smiling, Religion, Gotta Be A Better Way and Remember Romeo.
The band, which has recorded seven albums, was once signed to Washington DC-based independent company RAS Records and Mesa Bluemoon Records, another 'indie' affiliated to Atlantic Records.