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Rebelution takes ‘a lot more control’ over latest album

Being on tour, Eric Rachmany catches himself being a fan.

The lead singer of the Grammy-nominated band Rebelution is blown away by the lineup of opening acts.

“Seeing Stephen (Marley) and the Common Kings every night is amazing,” he says in a recent interview. “Zion I is also great. We’re getting a chance to watch some amazing music each night.”

Rebelution is rounded out by Rory Carey, Wesley Finley and Marley D. Williams.

The band is touring in support of its sixth album, “Free Rein.”

“The writing for this album felt a little more hands-on,” Rachmany says. “After the writing was done, we produced the album ourselves, except for a couple songs. We chose the name of the album and designed the cover. It was very hands-on. We had a lot more control over that.”

Rachmany says “Free Rein” is rooted in the Jamaican inspiration that Rebelution’s songs and sounds have always paid homage to and takes experimental leaps and new adventures.

The band collaborated with Jamaican artists on three of the 12 tracks. Don Corleon produced “Rise on Top,” a pointed reflection on celebrity and ambition; and Winta James, producer for Damian Marley and Chronixx, worked with the band on “Settle Down Easy” and “City Life,” two songs that reflect a confessional perspective.

With six albums under its belt, the band is finding it difficult to put together a set list, Rachmany says.

At each show, the band is playing about five songs from “Free Rein.”

“We are trying to mix it up,” he says. “Each year, it gets harder and harder to put together a set list that makes everyone happy. With that, it’s also very exciting to have that much material to choose from.”

Rachmany says that when he was growing up, he never imagined a career like the one he’s had for 14 years.

It’s one that has taken a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

“As a kid, I knew that my music would be heard somehow,” he says. “I didn’t know what it would take. We play over 150 shows a year. I used to dream about giving music to the world. I don’t think that people really see how much we’ve toured over the years. We’ve missed a lot in our personal lives. What helps balance it all is the connection that we make at each show. Music is a common bond, and we’re happy to still be growing that bond after 14 years.”

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