Orange County has always been a hotbed for music. A writer has the ideal scenery for putting pen to paper and pick to guitar strings, for the ideal hit track. Some of our favorite bands call “The O.C.” home, and now they are being honored for their musical work!
The OC Weekly released their yearly “Best Of” series, and some of the reggae-rock scene’s most devoted artists, musicians and producers were honored with the title, “Best of 2012”. The Best Record Label honor was earned by 17th Street Records and The Best Rock Band was awarded to HB Surround Sound.
17th Street Recording Studio has been churning out top shelf music for over a decade. With producer and musician, Lewis Richards holding down the fort since 2001 in Costa Mesa, CA, bands have since been banging down his door to set up recording time. With some of the biggest names in the Reggae-Rock genre such as Sublime, Slightly Stoopid and the Dirty Heads attached “Lew Dog”, it is no wonder some of the scene’s brightest rising acts are coming straight out of the 17th Street Recording Studio doors.
In a recent exclusive interview with man behind the glass at 17th St., Richards was humbled by the award stating: “It is a true honor. I didn’t really expect it. I knew we were putting out some great music, but to be credited with it right there in front of your eyes is pretty amazing.” With Lew Richards, there is always plenty more in store, and The Pier will soon feature the full conversation in the debut of our Producer Spotlight Series. The bands and names that are linked to Richards seem endless, but Richards managed to tie together the likes of Sublime, Michael “Miguel” Happoldt, the Dirty Heads, Slightly Stoopid, Mary J. Blige, Sting and many more. So, stay tuned.
Alongside Richards at 17th Street is executive producer, and right hand man, Anik Dang. His efforts cannot go unnoticed, as well. Behind every great mind, there is an equal partner to compliment each others’ attributes. However, both Richards and Dang shared the same sentiment regarding the honor of Best Record Label, as he explained, “We are honored, this award belongs to Lewis Richards, our artists, Micah Brown and The Originalites, and next time I hope they get Lew’s name right!”
Aside from a editing gaffe by the OC Weekly, it is a true honor for both 17th Street Records and the Reggae-Rock community. Although the congratulatory exchanges don’t stop there, the award winner for Best Rock Band was bestowed upon Huntington Beach locals HB Surround Sound.
Surround Sound released their latest EP Explode on February 21st after releasing the five-song EP Back To Reality in late 2011. Although they received the award for Best Rock Band, HB Surround Sound’s musical style is extremely diverse. One song might be pure ska, the next might have a bit of punk, and the next thing you know you feel like you’re standing on the sandy beaches of Jamaica listening to pure reggae music. Another area that sets HB Surround Sound apart from other bands is their professional style while performing on stage. Button-down dress shirts, ties, vests, dress pants, shined shoes, and the occasional fedora all accompany HB Surround Sound’s dress to impress live performance.
There is no questioning the impression that the Orange County music scene has had on the Reggae-Rock genre, and there will be plenty more to come in the future!
If you are interested in reading more about The Best of 2012 from OC Weekly, click Here