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.
“Root Shock has something that other bands don’t always have, a mission, a point of view that trancends the notes played by the incredibly talented players on the stage. To see Root Shock is to put your soul in their hands, and know they will enrich it, and lovingly return it to you, so you can do the same to others.”