Conscious, soulful, uplifting, even healing—that’s how many fans of Root Shock have described the band’s infectious sound and energy. With a reputation like that, it’s unsurprising that this group is indebted to reggae, a class of music forever married to love, humanity, social change, and an almost tangible sense of sunlight. But Root Shock didn’t form on a beach. Instead, they came up in snowy Syracuse, New York in 2012, and since then, they’ve developed a voice that transcends genre.
Spearheaded by the acrobatic, powerhouse vocals of Jessica Brown, the Root Shock sound is at once commanding and cathartic, but never at the expense of a velvety, carefully placed jazz or neo-soul lick. When he isn’t complementing Brown’s pipes with his own earthy vocal turns, Phil Grajko gets weird on the guitar, seamlessly moving from chop chords to girthy riffs and spellbinding solos colored by Latin, prog, and psychedelic rock textures—often in tandem with mad keyboard genius Brian Lauri. Rounding out the band, bassist Bill Eppel and drummer Tyre Outerbridge make for a formidable rhythm section fluent in patterns ranging from dancehall to ska to heavy dub style and funk.
In 2016, Root Shock released a self-titled album, produced by Jason “Jocko” Randall at More Sound Studio, and followed that up with the “Many Paths” EP in 2018 & the Waves single in 2019. These recordings are proof of the band’s democratic songwriting process, with thoughtful lyrics from Brown and Grajko that invoke hope in dark times, warn against injustice, and imagine a future in which all are free and equal and united by music.
Today, Root Shock is bringing their renowned live show to clubs, festivals, and concert halls across the Northeast and beyond, delighting audiences from all walks of life with a positive message and danceable tunes.
“"Root Shock, including their three song encore, performed for a solid 90 minutes, and it was all positive, uplifting music that made everyone feel good. If someone bumped into you, or accidentally spilled something on your pants, you wouldn’t even get heated about it. You’d be like, “Hey man, it’s all good.” Hmm, did I just describe Root Shock as weed? Ah, well, I look forward to getting high on them again soon!"”