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Formed in 2001 after a session at the infamous local Raglan Musicians Club, the original three-piece outfit singer/songwriter/guitarist Brian and drummer Turongo Dixon (both Māori) and bassist Naomi Tuao (Samoan/Scottish) formed the rhythm section of Cornerstone Roots. The music at that time was raw and riddim focused with a mix of contemporary styled ska/roots/soul and reggae. The band quickly developed a strong local following with many of the early shows being filmed and recorded by fans. This prompted the band to record their first Extended play One Fine Day in 2001 where they set about touring provincial New Zealand where the cafes were crammed and live shows intense.
By the following year the Corners had released debut album Soul Revolution, described by some reviewers as brilliant and impressive. The album was recorded in Wellington with engineer Lee Prebble at Surgery where the rhythm tracks were recorded live in one weekend. The album release was backed up with 20 date tour of NZ ending at the Wellington Town Hall supporting powerhouse rhythm section Sly and Robbie.
To date seven out of the eleven tracks off the Soul Revolution album have been playlisted on independent radio in NZ with tracks being playlisted in Australia, Japan, Brazil, and more recently the United States. The band have begun to break new territories in the last 18 months with shows in Noumea, Australia, Japan and a tour planned for Brazil in October 2006.
2004 saw the band cross the Tasman eight times with the release of the Forward Movement EP which was nominated for Best Roots Release in 2005. Veteran Studio One DJ Ranking Joe features over cuts off the EP and remix tracks are to be released at a later date.
Cornerstone Roots have supported some heavyweight reggae acts including Burning Spear, Toots & the Maytals, Sly and Robbie with Michael Rose, Jimmy Cliff, Lee "Scratch" Perry and Mad Professor. They have also recorded tracks with Ranking Joe & Big Youth.
The band have evolved many times since its humble beginnings and now feature Jonathan Crayford on keyboards, Ashley Pirie on drums and Aaron Bush on percussion. Recent shows have been described as "intense" with the "impact of a hammer hitting an anvil".
One Fine Day EP - released 2002
Soul Revolution- released 2003
Forward Movement EP - released 2004
Free Yourself - released 2007
Future Is Now - released 2011
Conscious Roots 1 Miracles and Light
Conscious Roots 2
Conscious Roots 3 Calling
Kaikoura Roots CD
Weekend Session 2