Roots of Creation Share Stephen Marley-Featuring 'Fire on the Mountain,' From Grateful Dead Tribute Album: Exclusive

Josh Coffman
Roots of Creation

Going to back to the days of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, reggae music was brought to the world with authentic songs of freedom and a rock n' roll heart. Rock band Grateful Dead is known for their unique band interplay and extended jams giving fans goosebumps.

Influenced by their music, reggae-jam staples Roots of Creation have paid tribute to the Dead with a cover of their “Fire on the Mountain,” featuring Stephen Marley & Marlon Asher. The song comes from their Grateful Dead tribute album, Grateful Dub, due next Friday, March 9.

Roots of Creation was first introduced to Stephen Marley through mutual friends, Errol Brown and Jon Phillips, who actually coined the term, “Grateful Dub.”

Lead vocalist Brett Wilson’s soulful voice and guitar playing, combined with Marley’s cutting-edge vocals, make for a compelling rendition of the Dead classic. "I very much enjoyed working on the track. It's a great song and great vibes from Roots of Creation," Marley shares. "It was a pleasure.” 

One of Wilson's favorite parts is Stephen Marley’s verse. “The music drops out and there’s this tape rewind effect; all of a sudden it just drops out and you just hear the vocals," he tells Billboard. 'We just had a lot of fun doing different things, taking the music in and out using dub techniques.”

Roots of Creation decided to pay tribute to their musical heroes with a full-length album after great success of their “Row Jimmy” cover, from 2016's Livin Free (Deluxe) set, which debuted  at No. 1 on the Reggae Albums chart. They spent 14-16 hour days over a week in studios, not just making music but having a party. 

In order to deliver an organic sound similar to Grateful Dead’s classic music, they linked up with reggae producer Errol Brown (Bob Marley, Rebeultion). He mixed and produced the entire 13-song in 26 hours. Wilson was grateful to have worked with Brown, who helped originate some of the classic sounds of reggae-rock.

“He’s just amazing, we were super excited to have someone help guide us in the studio and who could help obtain the sounds the we were striving for,” Wilson tells Billboard. “Obviously he’s an originator of a lot of those sounds. Why imitate when you can get the original?”

The New Hampshire-based band consists of five members: Brett Wilson (lead vocals), Tal Pearson (keys), Mike Chadinha (drums), Nick Minicucci (bass) and Andrew Riordan (saxophone). Grateful Dub features other renowned artists Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), G. Love, Dan Kelly, Jesse Wagner, andHayley Jane (Hayley Jane & the Primates) as well as a bonus cover track of "Row Jimmy" remixed by Errol Brown. 

“We’re just excited for everybody to hear it for the first time," Wilson says. Pre-order the album here