Cliftones, Boomslang and WANYAMA to play Friday


While the most well-known Halloween Block Party bands begin playing on South Stage at 6:30 Saturday, early arrivers as well as Ohio University students don’t have to wait that long for some quality Athens bands.

On Friday at 10 p.m., Casa Nueva will host The Cliftones, a “straightforward American reggae” band. The band has been coming to Athens steadily for the last few years, said lead vocalist and songwriter Diedrich Jones.

“We really like playing at Casa,” Jones said. “I love the vibe up there, and this weekend is one of the best places in the world you could be for Halloween.”

Although Jones says that many reggae bands mix their reggae with rock-and-roll or hip-hop undertones, he believes that The Cliftones are “as legitimate American reggae as you can get.”

“Last year, we did songs in an ’80s reggae style,” Jones said. “I’m sure we’ll bring out something like that [Friday]. It’ll probably be a surprise.”

Boomslang, an Athens based heavy funk-fusion band and Wanyama, a funk/hip-hop band out of Cleveland, will play at Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery on Friday at 9 p.m.

Michael Brokamp, keyboardist for Boomslang, said audiences can expect to hear some of the Rage Against the Machine material which he also plays in the group’s cover band, Bulls On Parade. Boomslang plans to bring not only the gamut of “Boomslang repertoire,” but also plans to perform a cover with the organizer of Block Party festivities, Jonathan Holmberg.

“Even though Block Party is just one night, Johnny spends a better bit of the year planning out ways he can make it better for the community,” Brokamp said. “It’s really great to have someone who cares so much spearheading the event.”

Brokamp added that costumes are encouraged at the show.

“Friday, we hope to bring a little bit of everything to the table,” he said. “I would feel really out of place as the only slutty Chewbacca.”


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