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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.