Rebels at heartSaturday, October 03, 2015
BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer
FOLLOWING the success of its fourth studio album, Count Me In, journeyman reggae band Rebelution recently released its unplugged version, Count Me In Acoustic.
It debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart with 860 copies sold in its first week.
Eric Rachmany, the group's lead vocalist and guitarist, said sales are not an important factor for he and his colleagues.
"We enjoy playing acoustically and wanted to release different versions of the songs with the hope that somebody may enjoy it. We also wanted to be able to donate a portion of the sales to certain organisations we support, and shine some light on these organisations we believe in," he said in an interview with the Sunday Observer.
Originally from Santa Barbara, California, the six-member outfit has made a name for itself tirelessly touring the United States. Its current members are Rachmany, Marley D Williams (bass), Rory Carey (keyboards), and Wesley Finley (drums).
Rebelution emerged with 2007's Courage to Grow which peaked at number four on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart. 2009's Brighter Side of Life opened at number one, while 2012's Peace of Mind sold over 16,000 copies in its first week, also coming in at number one.
Count Me in was Rebelution's third first-week number one on the Reggae Album chart; it reached a career-best number 14 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart with opening sales of 17,200 copies.
It was named Best Selling Reggae Album of 2014 by Billboard Magazine. To date, it has sold over 49,000 copies. Without the support of a major label, Rebelution has registered reasonable figures.
"A major label is not needed to sell music with the current distribution outlets available to anyone these days. We released this acoustic album ourselves without any label attached at all. We are really happy that people enjoy our music and message," said Rachmany. "We partnered with Easy Star Records and strategically marketed the album to people who we thought would enjoy it. We enjoy our creative freedom, releasing music independently and having control of our recordings and publishing."
He added that there is no push to attract a mainstream audience with a pop song like Big Mountain's Baby I Love Your Way or Rude by Magic!
"The group plans to create music we hope people will enjoy and make a positive impact as best as we can, with no creative or financial pressures, the same way we always have. If a larger audience outside the loyal and supportive fans we luckily have right now, connects with the music we have created and they enjoy it, the more the merrier," he said.
A joint release between their 87 Music and New York's Easy Star Records, Count Me In featured collaborations with Bermudian artiste Collie Buddz and roots singer Don Carlos, one of Rebelution's biggest influences.