MEMBERS of the EarthKry band are on a high following their recent North American tour.
The 22-date trek which kicked off on April 9 in Dallas, Texas, wrapped May 29 in Phoenix, Arizona. It was the group’s first overseas outing in two years.
Phillip McFarlane is one of the group’s two keyboardists and CEO of production label Irie Yute Records.
“The tour was an exciting and nerve-wracking one after not touring for over two years due to the pandemic. We were excited to perform for the fans again but we were nervous about navigating ourselves through the shows and travels as COVID-19 is still here and about,” he disclosed.
The group was booked for several club dates and major festivals, including the popular California Roots Fest in Monterey.
“Out of the 22 shows that we did, six were festivals. Some of the major festivals we did were California Roots Festival, Austin Reggae Festival, Dallas Reggae Festival, Tico Time Reggae Fest in Colorado, and Havana Reggae Fest in Florida. The Cali Roots was a festival we watched over the years on YouTube and dreamed of gracing the stage; now being able to do so gave us real joy and motivation to continue pushing our music, style and brand,” said McFarlane. “It is also vital for any Jamaican artiste who wants to break into the American reggae scene — which is growing each day — to be rubbing shoulders with major groups like our good friends Rebelution, Stick Figure, Tribal Seeds, Pepper, Arise Roots, Slightly Stoopid, Fortunate Youth, Dub Inc, J Boog, The Green and many others.”
EarthKry took two emerging artistes on the tour — singjay Rik Jam and singer Janeel Mills.
“These two are a part of the Irie Yute Records label so they are like family to us. We hope to continue to give more opportunities to others to gain the experience, knowledge and grow their fan base in a bigger territory,” said McFarlane.
The other cities the band performed in were Houston, West Palm Beach, Key West, New York, Boston, Providence, Outer Banks, South Bend, Greenville, Quincy, Monterey, Chino, and Durango.
McFarlane said it was good to be back on the road since COVID-19 halted live performances globally two years ago.
“It was great to be back on the road after two years of uncertainty with the pandemic, visa issues, and a war in Europe. Ninety-five per cent of our fans are overseas so to be in front of them again, seeing their smiles and dancing to our songs, brought great pleasure to our hearts.”
EarthKry formed in 2012 at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. McFarlane’s band-mates are Kamardo Blake (bass), Kieron Cunningham (drums) and Aldayne Haughton (vocals/keyboards).
The group is set to release a self-produced EP titled Dandy Shandy this year on the Wash House Music Group label.