• Kimberly Stone •

There seem to be at least five different genres and numerous subgenres of reggae music spanning the spectrum from Roots to Dancehall. Roots artists like Burning Spear and Bob Marley and Dub artists like Bad Brains, The Clash, and The Specials have paved the way for the newest addition: Rock Reggae. Although the blending of genres is nothing new in the music world, more and more contemporary bands are fusing rock and reggae with other styles of music to bring a “new school” feel to an “old school” musical staple.

Riding high on the Rock Reggae music wave is Maryland’s own Ballyhoo!. Band members Howi (vocals and guitar), drummer Big D, bassist Mista J, and Blaze (keyboards) have developed their sound since meeting early on in high school in their small town of Aberdeen. They’ve also drawn a loyal and growing fan base from around the country due to their having toured almost constantly since 2008. Known for their energetic rapport with their fans, Ballyhoo! write songs about following your dreams with determination and the guiding love of music.

Their hard work has not gone unnoticed; not only have they opened for 311 and Slightly Stoopid, sold over 10,000 copies of their two self-released CDs, and contributed to the compilation CD Forever Free: A Tribute to Sublime released in 2006, they also now have two new songs in the Xbox 360 “Rock Band series” now available online. Those singles — “Cali Girl” and “Paper Dolls” — have immortalized Ballyhoo! on one of the most played video games in the world. To add to their list of accomplishments, their music is included in numerous surf and skate videos and their song “The Friend Zone” is on the soundtrack for the 2009 feature film “Road Trip II: Beer Pong.”

Ballyhoo! are again spirographing their way around North America on their 2010 summer Tour and will come to our area for the all-ages “Reggae Road Trip Beach Bash” set for June 19 at Sports Page in Satellite Beach. Come see why Ballyhoo! are deemed by many devoted fans as one of the most engaging and gratifying live bands working today.

To keep up with Ballyhoo!, check out their website: Sports Page is located at 220 Hwy. A1A, Satellite Beach (777-7243). For “Reggae Road Trip Beach Bash” ticket information, call Deuterman Productions at (321) 508-5141 or go online to

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