Dub Apocalypse is an instrumental dub reggae band from Boston, MA. Band members are Tommy Benedetti-drums,Van Martin-guitar,Johnny Trama-guitar,Aaron Bellamy-bass,and Timo Shanko-sax/bass. The band came together in 2007 led by drummer Tommy Benedetti and guitarist Johnny Trama. Tommy Benedetti is one of the founding members of American Reggae Pioneers John Brown’s Body. He brings a wealth of experience from the reggae/dub scene to the table having recorded albums for the legendary Shanachie Label, John Zorn’s Tzadik Label (mixed by Bill Laswell) and is currently with John Brown’s Body on Easy Star Records. This history is combined with almost 2 decades of International touring as well as backing some of the giants of Jamaican music including The Meditations and Justin Hinds.
Guitarist Johnny Trama adds a soulful blues touch to the Dub Apocalypse signature sound. Trama has spent time on the road with the great Ron Levy, BB King’s organ player, as well as many other regional rock and soul/r&b acts. Not long after Dub Apocalypse came together longtime friend Timo Shanko entered the fold. A dual threat on both bass and saxophone, Shanko is a veteran of the blues and free jazz scene. He spent many years on the road with Blues legend, Eddie Kirkland, as well as with G. Love and Special Sauce. Shanko is also a prolific composer and his improvisational stylings are an integral part of the Dub Apocalypse sound. Although DA started out as more of a collective, in the past few years the lineup has solidified with the addition of bassist Aaron Bellamy and guitarist Van Martin. Bellamy is a longtime fixture in the Boston funk scene, and in combination with Benedetti, they form the deep, militant sound at the core of Dub Apocalypse.
Originally hailing from Chicago, Van Martin rounds out the lineup on guitar. Martin has much touring experience as well, including appearances with Bernie Worrell and Big Daddy Kane. His sonic textures, adventurous playing and songwriting have helped Dub Apocalypse take their sound to a new level. The DA sound is an evolving mix of original compositions and their own interpretations of classic Jamaican and UK songs and dub plates. Heavy hitting drum and bass grooves set the table. A twin guitar attack, with Trama’s rhythmic anchor and Martin’s dub sonics, swirl in and out in tandem. These pieces, combined with Timo Shanko’s Coltrane inspired sax approach, give Dub Apocalypse a sound that is truly their own.
The band has appeared at many clubs and festivals throughout New England. They’ve won a Boston Music Award, were named “One of 10 Local Acts You Need To Hear Now” by The Improper Bostonian and have one of the most popular and longest running weekly residencies in Boston. Dub Apocalypse released their first CD, “Road To Oblivion” in March 2015. The CD release will be followed by an International release on vinyl through Mnemonic Dojo Records out of the UK.