Eric Rachmany, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the Grammy nominated California reggae/rock band Rebelution and host of SiriusXM’s Cali Roots Radio has announced a 12-date solo acoustic tour that begins November 29th in Denver.
Rachmany will be donating 100% of the tour’s proceeds to The Last Prisoner Project (LPP), a non-profit organization comprised of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists working towards the release of persons behind bars for cannabis related charges. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) there were 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010 in the US, 88% simply for possession.
“Rebelution’s name is associated with cannabis projects, we monetize from it (the band introduced their line of vape pens and cartridges in 2017) and I feel uncomfortable guilt that we’re making money from cannabis, like many others are, when there are people locked away for doing the same thing,” Rachmany told Billboard from his San Francisco home. “We’ve always been advocates for complete legalization and no one should be in prison for any cannabis conviction.”
LPP was founded by veteran cannabis activists, brothers Steve and Andrew DeAngelo and Rebelution’s manager Dean Raise of C3 Management. Rachmany is an LPP advisor, as are Stephen and Damian Marley and Damian’s manager Dan Dalton of Dalton Entertainment Group/Roc Nation.
“Rebelution has been incredibly supportive of LPP from its conception,” offered Raise. “After expenses, all profits from ticket sales and merchandise from these 12 shows are going to LPP’s clemency, expungement and reentry programs to get people back to their families and back to work.”
In a statement to Billboard, Steve DeAngelo, at the forefront of cannabis legalization efforts since the 1970s, and the co-founder of Harborside, one of the first dispensaries licensed in the US, said: “I am completely blown away by Eric’s steadfast, generous support. I’ve heard of benefit concerts before but can’t remember the last time an artist donated the proceeds of an entire tour. We’re deeply grateful and I hope more artists will follow Eric’s example; LPP is going to need a lot of ammunition to free every cannabis prisoner on the planet.”
Rachmany says the tour’s concept is modeled on Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds’ acoustic album, Live at Luther College, which he bought as a teenager.
“That album changed my life, I fell in love with the acoustic concept; it was just Dave and another guitarist,” recalled Rachmany, who will be accompanied by Rebelution guitarist Kyle Ahearn. “Kyle and I are taking reggae influenced songs, Rebelution songs, some covers and we’re throwing in a ton of instrumentalism. We’re getting a really unique acoustic sound that I don’t think anyone has done before, so we definitely encourage people to come out for a very cool, unique experience.”
The supporting act on all dates is progressive rock/reggae band The John Dank Show, from Guam, making their US tour debut; Howi Spangler, lead vocalist/guitarist of punk/reggae outfit Ballyhoo! is featured on east coasts dates, and Ted Bowne, lead vocalist/guitarist of rock/reggae band Passafire will appear on the west coast shows.
Sugarshack Films documented Rachmany’s 2018 acoustic tour (Rachmany donated those proceeds to eight different charities) and they’ve edited the footage into a three-part series directed by Jameson W. Yingling and Eddie Kopp, which will debut this month; episode one premieres below. As expected, Rachmany discusses his career, crediting 14-years of touring with Rebelution for providing him with the courage and confidence to embark on his solo endeavors. Quite surprisingly, he also reveals personal tragedies, including the death of his father when he was 8, and the profound role music has played in helping him overcome depression.
“The Sugarshack guys thought it would be good to go in-depth about my life, talking about things that I’ve never exposed before,” said Rachmany. “We often hear from fans about how Rebelution’s music has gotten them through difficult times, and I think that sharing personal experiences is one of the best tools for healing. My childhood wasn’t the easiest because my father passed away, so I feel like I have a duty to let people know they aren’t alone in their struggles, hardships are a part of everybody’s life. With this documentary, I want people to know that music has gotten me through really rough times, too.”
Eric Rachmany Winter 2019 Tour:
11/29 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall #
12/1 – Virginia Beach, VA – Elevation 27 #
12/2 – Washington, DC – Union Stage #
12/3 – Annapolis, MD – Rams Head on Stage #
12/5 – New York, New York – Bowery Ballroom #
12/6 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club #
12/7 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts #
12/17 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge +
12/18 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern +
12/20 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore +
12/21 – Orange County, CA – The Observatory +
12/22 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park +
# Howi Spangler
+ Ted Bowne