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Hailing from the frozen tundra that is currently the South Shore of Boston, High Hopes Band has traded in snow blowers for sand and sea this February. The band combines influences of roots reggae, dub and R&B into their own sound and has been together for roughly seven years. Considered one New England’s premier reggae bands, they have provided tour support and shared the stage with Ziggy Marley, Maxi Priest, Morgan Heritage, Freddie McGregor and St. Croix’s own Midnite. 2015 marks their third tour on St Croix and this year, they’re adding stops in St Thomas and St John. High Hopes has been nominated for a New England Music Award for Best in State of Massachusetts (across all genres). Last year they were nominated for an Independent Music Award. Having the opportunity to share their music with new fans from across the globe is one of the driving forces behind their tour. Of course, hitting the beach mid-February while their Northern fans shovel driveways doesn’t hurt either! I had the chance to ask lead singer, Jason Dick, a few questions about his take on St Croix:
What made you decide on the islands?
One of our singers and guitarists Sebastian Franks spent his high school years on St. Croix. He’s been the catalyst for getting High Hopes down on the islands. Plus it’s a desirable destination, and you end up meeting all sorts of people from all over the world. So essentially it gives us exposure to people from all over the globe. And all the while we get to sweat and go swimming in the middle of February.
What is your favorite thing about STX?
I feel STX is kind of like a best kept secret. I like that. There’s a respect for the environment that you tend not to see on other islands. The Agrifest is awesome! Also ginseng up ginger brew and the food. They can make a mean salt fish pate.
What are you hoping to do/see besides playing?
This year we won’t have a lot of down time. But on the few days we have off we’re looking forward to packing a lunch and refreshments in a cooler and sitting at the beach, getting some nice vitamin D exposure! Slow down the clock a little.
What are your reggae influences?
Bob Marley & the Wailers, Aswad, King Tubby, Prince Jammy, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, Pablo Moses, Culture, Burning Spear, Yabby You…there’s many more, but that’s a good representation. How would you describe your style? We would describe our style as modern roots reggae. The foundation is built on a 70’s reggae sound, but we have also been strongly influenced by soul and r&b.. People have also mentioned that they hear a little country “twang” in there as well.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to see the band, there’s still time on St Croix!
- Fri 2/13-Dashi: Jump-Up, Christiansted, St. Croix (9-12pm)
- Sat 2/14- Freedom City’s Bar and Grill: Cruise Ship, Frederiksted Beach, St. Croix early show (12-3pm) and Late Show (5-8pm)
- Sun 2/15- Eat @ Cane Bay: Reggae Brunch, North Shore, St. Croix (3-6)
- Mon 2/16-TBA
- Tue 2/17- Iggies Beach Bar: Bolongo Bay, St. Thomas (7-10pm)
- Wed 2/18- Tickle’s Dockside, St. Thomas 7-10pm
- Thur 2/19- The Beach Bar: Cruz Bay, St. John (8-11pm)
- Fri 2/20- The Beach Bar: Cruz Bay, St. John (8-11pm)
- Sat 2/21- The Beach Bar: Cruz Bay, St. John (8-11pm)
- Sun 2/22- Hull Bay Hideaway: Hull Bay, St. Thomas (5-8pm)