My name is Ras Alan. I like to build guitars and play them. I compose and record Appalachian Reggae music. I apprenticed with some very good luthiers outside Nashville, TN some years ago and am adding to that knowledge as I craft instruments in my mountain shop. Crafting music and lyrics as well as instruments and buildings of wood are my passions in life, along with family and adventure travel. (Check out my CHILDRES herringbone OMC guitar in the YouTube thumbnail below and dance along while listening to my breezy palm tree and love influenced tune, "Canoe".)
I have been exceedingly fortunate to meet, and sometimes play music with, some of my biggest musical inspirations, such as Doc Watson, Bunny Wailer, and Malian master musician Ali Farke Toure. My songs and recordings are preserved in the Permanent Archives of the Smithsonian Institution as an example of contemporary Southern Appalachian culture and music, as well as in the Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University. Who'd have thought that could happen to a dreadneck from the mountains?
Here's what folks have to say about my original Appalachian Reggae music:
Bob Marley biographer and Reggae Grammy@ chair Roger Steffens exclaims "Reggabilly at its best!"
“Good work giving us positive vibes..." reports DJ Rankin of Radio Contrabanda in Barcelona, Spain.
"Ras Alan has created a style of his own. His fusion of driving Reggae basslines and Appalachian guitar riffs transcend both genres. Besides the catchy melodies you'll find yourself humming, his lyrics are straight from the heart, deep and thoughtful. In a nutshell, a masterful artist."
"An absolute perfect blend of country and reggae, there is not a bad song on this CD. Worth every penny!!!"
"Hey, if you think the CD is great, you should see him live."
"All original, homegrown, mountain roots reggae... weaving the traditional reggae sound with the front porch flat-pickin' generally associated with Carolina bluegrass musicians."
"Addicting. Great CD. The first few days I had it, I couldn't stop playing it."
"Gentle, strong, ringing with sincerity and with broad appeal. Gentle as an island breeze and strong as the roots of ancient mountains, with a voice that rings out with the sincerity of country church bells on quiet evening air. Wonderful instrumental work, too. Altogether a splendid effort in a beautiful fusion of styles that should appeal to a great many people."
"This cd is great to listen to when you're in a chill mood, or want to get into one. Some of the songs sound a little country; his voice definitely keeps it reggae. My fave is "Rastafari Ridge."
"True to the Roots reggae with the folk flavor added to it. I ordered a second copy to give to my niece"
"Great music...socially conscious...entertaining... I've seen Ras Alan perform many times! This CD collection is outstanding..."