In Jamaica, irie is a word used to describe something good or pleasing, so—according to bass player Sam Licari—to be in an “irie state of mind is to be in a happy place with good vibes.” Which is exactly what the band Irie Minds will bring to Rochester at their Friday night show at Kathy’s Pub.
“Irie Minds will pleasantly remind you of warm, beachy, summer vibes,” Licari says. “Our music will bring you to a warmer place with the sweet sounds of reggae-rock. The very danceable grooves don’t hurt, either.”
Licari says attendees can expect a laid-back, yet rockin’ energy, as well as a setlist of originals and covers. Though the six members are not from Rochester, Irie Minds enjoys playing at Kathy’s Pub. “And we’re good friends with the guys from the Rochester-based reggae rock band Push 'N' Turn,” Licari adds.
Meet the band
Licari came up with the name ‘Irie Minds’ years before the band got together. When he first met guitar player David Ostrom in the halls of Mankato State University, Licari was wearing a Bob Marley shirt and Ostrom was carrying a Fender Stratocaster guitar. It seemed like fate.
“After confirming we both enjoyed reggae music, I declared, ‘We are gonna be friends,’” Licari remembers. Later, when Ostrom was working on a project with drummer Cayle Wendorf, he called Licari to come over and record a reggae bass groove on the project. That was when the fledgling group formed. Guitar player Carson Raethke was added to the roster soon after.
The four members started playing open mics at Mankato establishments in early 2017. The vibes kept rolling and the band started writing original music. “We wanted to add more energy to the sound,” Licari says of the band’s progression, “so we added a horn section with Jacob Erkel on the trumpet and Brody Schell on saxophone. Our horn section is referred to as ‘The Vibe Tribe.’ They really bring it.”
What’s the coolest thing about the band? Licari says it’s that every member comes from a different musical background. “I have a jammy-funk background,” Licari says, “David’s classic rock, Carson came from blues-rock, Cayle has an alt-rock background, and the two horn players came from metal. Together we create a very unique take on traditional reggae and turn it into an original Irie Minds reggae-rock sound.” Licari says the members of the band love to perform original music, and adds, “Anytime we get a chance to get in front of people and spread our message of love, that’s a valuable moment to connect with fans.”
Spreading the summer sounds
Just after Christmas, the band will begin a regional winter tour that runs through January. “We’ll be playing our favorite spot in Mankato with Jon Wayne and the Pain at Red Rocks on December 27 as the kick-off of the tour,” Licari says. Irie Minds’ latest album release, “Big Love,” is what the band members call “a true representation of our band’s values.” The title track from the album, “Big Big World,” ends with the lyrics, “How big is your love?”
Licari explains: “It’s backed by a gigantic sound. The lyric ties the entire album together and pushes the listener to dive deeper into thought.”
Head to Kathy’s to feel the love and hear for yourself.