Rock, reggae bloom with B Foundation
With the headliners representing the roots in the 2008 Spring Reggae Jam, the B Foundation can show off one of the genre’s newer branches.
“We’re like a rock-influenced reggae band,” said bassist Jason Moorehead, whose band has toured with the likes of Barrington Levy and Eek-a-Mouse before joining the Itals at Whiskey Dick’s.
The band actually has its own label for its surf-rock-reggae blend, and if Moorehead has his way, listeners who pop in the next B Foundation disc will see the genre pop up as “kick-ass.”
That could happen as soon as August. The B Foundation’s members have written a few new songs, and when they have about 20 or 30 to choose from, they’re headed to the studio to work on their third album, which they hope to release in time for a tour of college towns when school’s back in session.
“There was an exponential leap from the first album to our second album, and we don’t want to let people down,” Moorehead said.
New to the lineup is a new lead guitarist, Tyler Lewis from Portland, Ore. He might be a recent addition, but, according to Moorehead, he’s on board for creating that new genre.
“He’s pretty kick-ass, and he understands the whole concept of kick-ass,” Moorehead said.
The new guitarist, who stood out from about 25 candidates, sounds like he does much more than split duties with vocalist Pat Stevenson (who rounds out the lineup, along with drummer Ian McGrath).
“We want our friends to welcome him into the band, and if they have any issues, they can come get their faces melted,” Moorehead said. “He melts faces on request.”
The bamd is already a favorite in the area despite the fact the B Foundation has never played Whiskey Dick’s: Moorehead rattled off gigs at the Coyote in Gardnerville, the Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay and one of the first shows at Bar 24 inside Bill’s Casino.
“It’s not bad,” he said. “We draw really well in Reno, so a lot of those people will drive down to Tahoe to see us play.
“We’ve never had a bunk show in Tahoe. Let’s put it that way.”
The B Foundation, which formed in 2001 in Arcadia, is heir to the sunny Southern California sound that splices rock with reggae. That blend begat Sublime, but its reach stretches far beyond the Golden State’s borders.
“There were bands like that before Sublime,” Moorehead said. “Nowadays, there’s kids in garages that you may never hear. There’s kids in Indiana playing California surf-reggae-type shit.”
The B Foundation released their first full-length album, “The Deep End,” in March 2004, then followed that up with “Trouble Standing” in 2006. On the road, the band headlined the Bank of the West Beach Games (featuring the U.S. Open of Surfing) the past two years and has opened for the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Long Beach Short Bus, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Fishbone, the English Beat, Half Pint and others.
The B Foundation might not be as serious as a roots-reggae act. But the members’ good-times affability might explain why they’ve become a favorite. Moorehead suggested that they might act like rock stars onstage but probably would end up shooting pool with concertgoers after the show.
“It’s super-entertaining,” he said. “We really try to connect with the fans.”
“We’re just normal, but we’re going to blow your ass away onstage.”
2008 Spring Reggae Jam
Who: the Itals with the B Foundation
Where: Whiskey Dick’s Saloon, 2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
When: 9 p.m. Friday, March 21
Tickets: $16 advance at Mad About Music, Tahoe Hemp Co., Whiskey Dick’s, or online at ticketsus.at/Tribune or http://www.ticketweb.com; $20 door