NEPA Scene Staff

Peach Fest ska/reggae band Bumpin Uglies plays at Stage West in Scranton on Jan. 3

Peach Fest ska/reggae band Bumpin Uglies plays at Stage West in Scranton on Jan. 3
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From a press release:

Following their 2019 Peach Music Festival performance, it was announced today that Maryland ska/punk/reggae band Bumpin Uglies will return to Scranton for a show at Stage West on Friday, Jan. 3 as part of their 2020 Lava Sharks & Water Parks Tour.

Wilkes-Barre reggae rockers Elephants Dancing will open the 21+ show.

Doors at Stage West (301 N. Main Ave., Scranton) open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets, which are $12 in advance, go on sale this Friday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m. via Prekindle.

Bumpin Uglies spawned from an Annapolis, Maryland scene awash in musical history over a decade ago. They are rooted in East Coast ska, punk, and reggae, making their mark up and down the Eastern Seaboard. In the past 10 years, the band has worked to carve out their path by relentlessly touring and releasing one album after another. With each release came more focus, more creativity, and more desire to always experiment and try new things with their music. Their latest EP, “Buzz,” was released on March 22 via Ineffable Music Group. Based in Oakland, California, Ineffable is a name synonymous with the likes of Collie Buddz, Stick Figure, The Movement, and many other prominent artists.

Bumpin Uglies’ previous album, “Beast from the East,” is proof positive that Brandon Hardesty (vocals, guitar), Dave Wolf (vocals, bass), TJ Haslett (drums), and Chad Wright (vocals, keys, guitar) have meshed into a dynamic quartet as the album topped reggae charts, drawing interest from Billboard’s editorial team for their debut in the pole position. With fellow Maryland rocker Howi Spangler of Ballyhoo working on the production, the alchemy was right for their breakthrough release, so naturally they are keeping that intact with their current album while continuing the trend of evolving their sound, always experimenting in bold ways that keeps everything fresh from beginning to end.

Their climb hasn’t always been easy, and as Bumpin Uglies grinded their way to their current place in the music scene, they’ve shown that hard work pays off, and by putting your heart and soul into it and by taking risks, you can achieve great things. It’s why they’ve spring-boarded from The Whiskey in Annapolis (RIP) to regulars at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains to slots at major festivals like the Peach Music Festival, Firefly, and Reggae Rise Up and are selling out several markets around the nation. Bumpin Uglies also founded their own headlining festival, Weekend at Wolfie’s, that ran from June 13-15 in Bedford, Pennsylvania.

As a band, they are clearly intent on doing things their own way; it’s how it’s always been done. This philosophy has grown Bumpin Uglies into a prolific music-making beast, spawning devoted fans tattooing Hardesty’s poignant lyrics on their bodies. Now a nationally recognized touring headliner, Bumpin Uglies is on fire with no end in sight.

Elephants Dancing is a five-piece reggae/rock band from Wilkes Barre, driven by the chill beach vibe and powerful roots of reggae. The group delivers an island feel, filled with heavy grooves, fun melodies, syncopation, and clever raps.

Elephants Dancing was created by singer/songwriters Michael Iorio (lead vocals/bass) and Danny Sales (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), who were childhood friends. After experiencing several lineup changes since the band’s inception in the summer of 2015, the full and unique sound that the band possesses is fulfilled through the versatility and spunk of its members, which include Karl Rucker (lead guitar) and Jerry Coyle (drums). The Elephants groove to roots reggae, island hip-hop, and beach rock, but the influences go much farther. Both writers are influenced by a wide variety of genres, including pop punk, metal, rap, math rock, and classical.

In the winter of 2015, the Elephants released their debut EP, “Clear Skies,” which paved the way for their creative growth. Soon after, in the summer of 2016, the 19-song full-length album “Rituals” was released, encapsulating many of the band’s influences and setting the tone for the road ahead. Over the summer of 2017, the band refaced itself and solidified its lineup, adding another guitar and two-man horn section featuring a tenor sax and trumpet/flugelhorn. As the summer of 2017 approached its end, the single “Sunshine” was released, which featured the revamped lineup for the first time.

Amidst the growing process, Elephants Dancing was awarded Song of the Year at the 2016 Electric City Music Conference for “Panic Static” and was honored the following year with the 2017 Reggae/Jam/Funk Band of the Year award. To date, Elephants Dancing has performed on bills with acts such as Badfish, Ballyhoo, Bumpin Uglies, Roots of Creation, Of Good Nature, and The Waffle Stompers. They released their latest album, “Get Tropical,” on April 20, 2018 and aim to expand their roots throughout the Northeast.

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Bumpin Uglies playing at the 2019 Peach Music Festival here.