Show Review: John Brown’s Body April 24th at The 8×10

written by Cliff Tyler

photos by Cliff Tyler and Jane Barbacane

Thursday April 24th, 2014 was a day like many others at the 8×10 Club in Baltimore, Md.  An intimate host to a wide variety of talent, this particular evening the club was presenting reggae act John Brown’s Body with support from Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.

Sister Sparrow and her Brooklyn based Dirty Birds ensemble can most certainly bring the funk, a side of tasty rock n roll, and plenty of soul for desert.  They play high energy, fun shows that are easy to enjoy.  With seven members in the band there is always someone showing off musical prowess while showcasing some of the finest vocals around.  They closed their set with a rousing mash up of a Rage Against the Machine riff set to Led Zeppelin lyrics that really got the crowd going.    For more information on how and where to experience them for yourself check out .


After a quick set change, feature act John Brown’s Body took the stage.  Both bands managed to squeeze a bunch of members and instruments on such a tiny stage, which is always impressive.  The spring loaded dance floor absorbed the shockwave of bass as the band fired right into their first song.  The lead singer weaved his lyrical stories through familiar back beat rhythms, driving beats, and lead breaks from the Keys, Guitar, and Horns.  Seen by many as one of the top new age reggae acts, JBB certainly delivers.  Having heard them a time or two at festivals over the years it was nice to finally SEE the band and to actually get a chance to experience them.  The band puts a lot of joy into making their music and they display that onstage with big smiles and stage activity.  Their music and vibe will catch the ear of almost any music enthusiast.  You can feed off of their happiness and positivity and before long you are bobbing along to the beat of the music and having a great time regardless of your preferred genre.

The jams carried late into the night making it obvious that the weekend should clearly start on Thursday.   Waking to the pulsing rhythms of John Brown’s Body still echoing in the ears may be the best way to start a fuzzy Friday for those that have day jobs.  You can find their album and tour information at  Make sure and catch them at a venue or festival near you!