The Cliftones are headlining the Thanksgiv’n Rock’n Eve Blowout Wednesday November 27th! Be ready to dance the night away for a good cause. Get $2 off your ticket price at the door with canned goods donation for food drive. This major annual event is not only a great show but a perfect way to unite the community to support the Oakley Community Emergency Food Pantry, as well as raise awareness of the need for community support in all neighborhoods throughout the city.
We sat down with Deke Jones of The Cliftones to give you some backstory on this amazing band.
Give us some background on The Cliftones…
The Cliftones are a 9 piece reggae band. Predominantly original music, sometimes when we have longer shows we will throw in some covers – which I like to call tribute songs. The genesis of the band is when I was living in Austin Texas with my friend PJ Harrington (who is know our band manager), we had a reggae band down there. I came to Cincinnati, with every intention of moving back to Austin. Then the bass player, Michael VanHorn, from my Austin band decided to move to Cincinnati. I got up on stage at a Kenyatta Hill show and the owner asked if I had a band. I didn’t at the time but I decided to put one together. The owner booked my soon to be band right there, just from my free styling on stage.
How does the dynamics of such a large band work?
It can get a little hectic getting everyone together for rehearsals. As long as we have the key members, we are good. The hardest part is the horn section since they have to be more rehearsed than the rest of us. You have to be on point with that many members. Everyone in the band is a pro musician, so it’s awesome though.
Any advice for other local bands?
Try to make your own scene. That’s what we did. We started playing at The Northside Tavern as one of our first gigs and I wondered how reggae would be accepted there but we just did our thing and people loved it. It’s packed whenever we play there. Just do what you like and try to do your own thing.
For those who have not seen The Cliftones, what can they expect?
We are roots reggae band but we also have a rock edge. We are not a corny reggae band. You are guaranteed to have a good time and dance.
What is next for The Cliftones?
We do our yearly Christmas song for charity. Also Chris (Madine) is going to Austin to finish remixing some of our debut album with Stuart Sullivan. Sullivan has worked with a bunch or artists such as Sublime, Reverend Horton Heat and The Refreshments. We have enough tracks for probably an album and an EP. We hope to have the new stuff out by the beginning of next year!