In this week’s Local Music Monday DeBraun Thomas introduces us to a veteran musician who’s played a little bit of everything over his long career.
Lexington native Saint Jerrod Figgs has been a fixture in the Local music scene since the 1980’s. Figgs started playing Punk in the 80’s and that eventually led to the band Groovezilla and in the mid 90’s Groovezilla became The G-Funk Allstars having their music featured on MTV and charted on the billboard top 100. After transitioning from the Punk, Funk and R&B that was Groovezilla and G-Funk, Figgs formed the reggae band The Rudies in 2001. While he’s played various genres Figgs says the one constant in all the music he plays is Reggae.
“I’ve always loved Reggae from the very first time I ever heard it and you know when I hear you know oh for instance Junior Murvin just died, that was a big deal for me cause that was one of the first Reggae songs, Police and Thieves, one of the first things I ever heard, Rudies used to cover it and Reggae’s just always been a part of my life, it’s just a mindset I’ve always been able to hang on to no matter what I’ve been playin.”
While the Rudies disbanded in 2013, Figgs has continued his romance with Reggae shifting from being an on stage performer, to a producer. Figgs has been putting together a compilation of local musicians performing Dub and Reggae for a CD titled Bluegrass Babylon. His hope for the record is to have all proceeds go to charity and be completely non-profit. Figgs says the album will show a different side of the artist.
“I’ve learned more about the whole recording process and my songwriting has developed over the years and I feel like I should go ahead and explore this and it’s easier to do than keeping a band together, it’s a lot easier to do it that way cause you can write songs, play with a bunch of different musicians. It’s about still remaining creative.”
Bluegrass Babylon is set to be released in 2014. Other works by Saint Jerrod Figgs can be found at Soundcloud dot com slash saint Jerrod.