When we think about the sounds of Colorado and the Southwest, “reggae” may be the last thing to come to mind, and yet one of the best American reggae bands was home-grown in Fort Collins.

The six-piece roots reggae band, DubSkin, is the featured band at the Llama this Friday, February 17, starting at 10 p.m.

There’s something to be said for artists who release their albums free online. (That’s the way new Telluride Bluegrass favorite Joe Pug got his start, although Pug went further, actually paying the postage to mail his music to potential fans.) That very smart form of marketing is a gamble, but it does demonstrate a high level of confidence: the group knows their music is good enough that if their audience gets a taste, folks will flock to the live shows. Dubskin used the razor/razor blade technique to sell themselves and all three of their albums: Love in Spite Of, 2007, No End in Time, 2009, and the latest, Release From Fear, 2011, a combination of roots, steppers, rockers, dancehall. Release also features hip-hop, rock, and funk, indicating DubSkin’s love for styles of music beyond reggae.

Cory Eberhard was the drummer for the insanely awesome and creative dubstep band, Pretty Lights, until 2010, when he left to work with DubSkin full-time. And despite how much I love Pretty Lights, I’m glad he did. Eberhard’s compatriots now include singer Jamal Skinner, bassist Dean Curtis, guitarist Mike Tallman, keyboardist Jason Wieseler, and Matt Grundstad on percussion. And everyone in DubSkin brings his own unique style and predilections.

“Our sound is definitely reggae and rootsy, but it has outside influences of anything from hip-hop to jam-band music. Each different member listens to different things,” said Eberhard in an interview with Westword magazine.

DubSkin brings the soulful lyrics and rhythm of reggae into the 21st century with a blend of rock, blues, and even (who woulda thunk it?) dubstep.

I find myself at a loss for words.

(Which does not happen often.)

Check out your response, by watching the video:

Tickets are $10 at the door.

See you in the crowd.

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