As He Is: Julian Marley at the Ashland Armory
It is not his first time in Ashland, but it has been “many moons” since his last performance here and Julian Marley is ready to bring the love on August 24. Born in 1975 to Bob Marley and Lucy Pounder, the apple has not fallen far from the tree. Marley is a Rastafarian with a budding recreational and medical marijuana business (JuJu Royal) who embodies his moral, spiritual and global mission completely measuring time by the phases of the moon rather than the ticking of a clock. He is also a Grammy Award nominated musician who performed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The new album by Marley, As I Am, was released in January. When asked about the title, he responds, “It is my experience of life. When I say, ‘As I Am’ it is about the music and the feelings that the artist has. It is not too difficult, and there are a lot of sounds expressed.” Basically, drop the stress, strife and overinflated ego if necessary and just chill. The title is as authentic as Marley during a phone interview with the Messenger. And when you listen to songs like: “Hey Jack” the message is abundantly clear, “Can I depend on you? Watch my step, can I depend on you? Presenting that they care and their persona fades.”
“Broken Sails” refers to a journey of the people that has been rougher than it needs to be in a world that can be compassionate. Marley’s message to young musicians is, “Do not take the nature out of the music.” He feels that so much of today’s music is moving away from the organic and becoming more digital that we are losing our connections to Mother Earth. “Music is a life-force energy,” and “our music always gives you something.” Positivity and “we are one people” are Marley’s blessed offerings.
Although the yearnings for hope in Marley’s albums are consistent, the music is ever changing. You cannot be as dynamic and visionary as Marley without innovation. Every song is a unique gift with positive vibrations.
Marley explains, “The great thing is that you never have to do the same thing twice. That is the fun and mystical part of music.” He does not consider himself only an entertainer, “There is no place that cannot be travelled to in order to spread the message.” Marley’s business, JuJu Royal, which sells CBD products including infused olive oil made from hemp grown in Colorado is straightforward too, using natural, organic ingredients grown sustainably.
Along with Marley, Indubious will also be performing lifting spirits with their positivity and courage. For those who do not know the story of this Oregon-based band, the founders are brothers and bandmates who have overcome the odds of living with Cystic Fibrosis. Their Album, “From Zero” which came out in 2017 had several hits topping the Reggae charts. One in particular, “He Who Has Ears,” is a lovely meditation with uplifting affirmations embedded in the melody. The songs and the band encourage everyone to “live indubiously” as their authentic selves without fear. Even in the face of disease, poverty or violence, being yourself is a gift benefitting the planet and its people.
Marley signs off, “I don’t plan the next step, I just continue on with Jah Works and somehow things seem to just come together naturally that way.”
Julian Marley with the Uprising Band and Indubious
8 pm, Saturday, August 24
Ashland Armory, 208 Oak Street, Ashland
$35, advance. $45, day of show.