Treasure Dub Quartet at RBC Bluesfest

July 20th, 2016 by  |  Published in Concerts

Treasure Dub Quartet - photos Danyca MacDonald

Without Dub, rap, hiphop, ambient, jungle, house, garage, grime and multiple other bass driven and dance music genres may not have been even thought of. Acknowledging and conjuring that history, the Treasure Dub Quartet brought it to the Black Sheep Stage at the RBC Bluesfest on Saturday, July 9th.

Citing Joe Gibbs as their inspiration, Adam Saikaley (keys), Alex Moxon (guitar), Philip Charbonneau (bass, dub station), and Michel Delage (drums) push this ‘can’t-stand-still’ style to its outermost boundaries, suffusing their guitar and keyboard dexterity with reverberating echos, waves of reverb, and unexpected imaginative sounds and random effects.

After they hit the stage and honored their ‘mentor’ with his piece, which is their eponym, Treasure Dub, these wizards of reverb wandered into a savvy laid-back number and a faster ska-rhythm tune that featured both an intricate guitar solo and a slick keys solo.

Keyline Rock by Joe Gibbs came next, a sweet slow tune stamped with Alex’s high-toned ‘acres-of-reverb’ guitar finesse and Adam’s reverb-soaked keys solo dancing over top of the foundation of Philip’s solid bass walking and Michel’s jazz-infused drumming.

Dub has made its mark as possibly the most influential sub-genre of Reggae, evidenced here by the version of the folk song, Hey Joe, popularized by Jimi Hendrix and reworked onstage in Dub style by the Treasure Dub Quartet. Their rendition included periodic reverberating flashes of sound behind Alex’s Stratocaster-like guitar soloing (ala Hendrix) as, nearing the close of the piece, they upped the tempo into a jazz-rock beat that kept increasing until it abruptly ended with the reverb fading to a swift echoing close.

This led to a number they called the “Dirty Word Song” (…’cause they probably couldn’t say the word out loud to a mixed crowd) that opened with a complex drum reverb intro which moved into a faster paced ska-style beat, rapid guitar playing and Michel’s adroit complex drum rhythms. Philip’s bass and Michel’s drumming – drums the foundation and bass the constant driving force (as in RockSteady) for any style of Reggae – must be spotlighted here, as without them, the other musician’s ability to fly free and creatively improvise would not exist.

Treasure Dub Quartet was an excellent addition to the diversity of music assembled by the organizers of this year’s RBC Bluesfest and showcased a style that emerged out of Reggae not commonly known or widely appreciated.

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Photos: Danyca MacDonald

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