Last January, Groundation made its big comeback with the announcement of a new album: One Rock. In the process, the Californian band unveiled Original Riddim featuring the legendary Israel Vibration and The Abyssinians. A strong first title, dealing with the universal history of music and its role in sparking the journey of our existence.
Today, Groundation presents Human Race, the second single from the upcoming album. On this new track charged with energy, Harrison Stafford sings about Love and calls for unification. “If love was the rule, would all this remain the same?”
The string trio and brass sections are triumphant and emotional while the overall song arrangement is extremely meticulous. The result is a unique title, imbued with jazz inspiration, the band’s hallmark for so many years.
The single Human Race is available on all streaming platforms.
Groundation formed in 1998 when Stafford began a roots reggae/jazz fusion group with bassist Ryan Newman, keyboardist Marcus Urani, and drummer James Stafford, all of whom were in the same Jazz Performance program at Sonoma State University. The group’s first 2 albums (Young Tree and Each One Teach One) established their unique roots sound.
In 1999, while in Jamaica, Harrison met the legendary engineer Jim Fox, who was involved with the production of many of Ras Records’ most iconic releases. Fox remastered both Young Tree and Each One Teach One and recorded Hebron Gate (2002), the album that launched Groundation to international acclaim. Fox has continued working with the band on every subsequent release, helping to shape their sound on We Free Again (2004), Upon The Bridge (2006), Here I Am (2009), and Building An Ark (2012), creating a catalog of genre-bending, deep, progressive roots reggae music. Similarly, Groundation’s artwork had a consistent look and feel, in collaboration with Stafford’s childhood friend, Giovanni Maki, creating all visual designs from the very beginning.
Through the years, Groundation has performed in over 35 countries on 5 continents. The band, which had a number of personnel changes over the years, but always built around Harrison Stafford’s leadership, continued to bring reggae into new worlds, with their last studio album, The Next Generation (2018) opening with a full jazz big band (featuring 12 horn players). This album beat out Ziggy Marley and others to win Reggae.fr’s “Best Roots Reggae Album of 2018,” voted on by over 16,000 media members, musicians, producers, and fans.
This year, the group will be on tour in support of their upcoming album release. Groundation will be on stage in Europe, but also in South America and the United States. Lots of news is coming for the next few months, while waiting for the release of One Rock on May 13th!