#MusicMonday: Veteran Austin-based Reggae Singer Alan Moe Monsarrat Releases New Solo Album

by Leean Vargas on November 23, 2020 in Entertainment, Music, Austin,
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With a career spanning over 50 years and countless albums with multiple acclaimed bands, Austin-based reggae artist Alan Moe Monsarrat has released his new album, “Agriculture.”

Those countless albums with various bands include being a founding member of the first reggae band in Texas, The Lotions (circa 1978) as well as performing in Stop the Truck, I-Tex and fronting the Mau Mau Chaplains, Austin’s premier reggae outfit who have been recognized for doing more than 500 shows at their weekly Wednesday night residency at Flamingo Cantina for more than a decade. 

With nearly 50 years in the industry, Austin-based reggae artist Alan Moe Monsarrat has released his new album, “Agriculture.” Courtesy photo

Even amidst the pandemic, Monsarrat has continued to do his weekly residency with the Mau Mau Chaplains through his Facebook Live stream on the Flamingo’s Facebook page. Now, he is proud to unveil his latest project and first solo album in 50 years, “Agriculture.”

Described as a collection of original roots reggae tunes with heavy dub overtones and Latin/African rhythms, the 10-track LP explores themes of gratitude, acceptance and perseverance. The title track, “Agriculture,” is a collaboration with Jamaican singer General Smiley and was recorded to encourage others to reconnect to the land, grow their own food to improve their health and to decrease dependence on commercial food products. The track can be found on Music4Life’s YouTube page and on Music4LifeMedia.com.

Monsarrat has countless albums with many acclaimed bands under his belt, including I-Tex.
Photo courtesy Alan Moe Monsarrat

We caught up with this talented Austin-based reggae artist to discuss his new album. 

What was life like growing up?

I grew up as an Army brat. We lived all over the place. I started playing music in nightclubs at age 13 in Tokyo, Japan. That was effectively the end of my childhood.

Monsarrat began playing reggae in Hawaii in 1973 and later co-founded the first reggae band in Texas, The Lotions, Austin’s premier reggae band from 1978 to 1983. Photo courtesy Alan Moe Monsarrat

How did you come up with the concept for your new album, “Agriculture?”

The concept is that songs are like seeds planted in the mind that grow and mature over time. 

Does the album fit into a particular musical genre, or does it borrow from multiple forms?

“Agriculture” is primarily a reggae and dub album with some Latin rhythms thrown in.

“Agriculture,” the title track of Monsarrat’s new album, is a collaboration with Jamaican singer General Smiley and was recorded to encourage others to reconnect to the land, grow their own food to improve their health and to decrease dependence on commercial food products. Photo courtesy Alan Moe Monsarrat

Are there particular songs, or even lines, that stick in your mind because of their lyrics?

One of the things we strive for in writing songs is getting them to stick in your head. It’s always a good sign when that happens. At different times, most of these songs stick in my mind.

The 10-track LP explores themes of gratitude, acceptance and perseverance in the face of strife and struggle.
Photo courtesy Alan Moe Monsarrat

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I ever had was my dad saying, “Mind your own business.” 

What do you want fans to take away from the album?

Fans should dig on the positivity most of these songs exhibit. There’s enough negative vibes out there already.


Cover photo courtesy  Israel Palacio on Unsplash 

Leean Vargas is an Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University
with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.

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