Black Dub | Live off the Floor

Black Dub

You would think that after successfully producing some of the most legendary musicians (Neil Young and Bob Dylan, for example), being inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and surviving a near-fatal motorcycle accident this summer, Daniel Lanois would take a breather. But the fifty-nine-year old is hard at work again with his new project, Black Dub.

Black Dub debuted in America in October of 2009 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, and since then, the band has been making international sound waves.

The band features Lanois’ dub technique, which he says he has been working on for years. Dub music, an offshoot of reggae, consists of instrumental remixes, achieved by reshaping original recordings, or “dubbing” (borrowing) snippets from other works.

In Lanois’ words, Black Dub is essentially a three-piece band with a high level of musicianship. “We don’t operate on a technological grid” he says, “nor are we tied to a page of fixed notes. Our songs are fluid. Often recorded live […] it’s a very old fashioned idea, really”

Lanois claims that Black Dub’s success thrives on its immediacy and authenticity: “In these sad times of prepackaged music, people yearn to experience something soulful, heartfelt, something meaningful. As simple as it sounds, real music is a rare commodity these days.”

Black Dub features Brian Blade on drums and Daryl Johnson on bass, but the star of this show is undoubtedly vocalist Trixie Whitley, daughter of the late Chris Whitley. Whitley’s voice is out of this era, more reminiscent of Etta James or Billy Holiday than anything contemporary.