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Fallbrook Soul Roll to feature legend Pato Banton, five other bands escalating in popularity, including Better Chemistry

Reggae has its roots in a large variety of music genres, and Better Chemistry, a six-piece band based out of the Los Angeles area, has found the perfect mix of those influences, plus a few from rock, ska and funk to create a unique sound that’ll bring a fun, refreshing sound to Fallbrook this Saturday at the Soul Roll.

According to Dave Monaco, the vocals and guitarist of the band, the band took form approximately 11 years ago in the Los Angeles area to create “positive, good vibes,” and now the band will bring those same vibes into Fallbrook as one of the headlining bands for the third event this year at the Elder House.

“We want to send a good message,” said Monaco.

The band prides itself for having the musical influences of Bob Marley, Grateful Dead, The Clash, The Specials, Skatalites, Toots and the Maytals, Dennis Brown, Phish, String Cheese Incident.

The band began playing their music in small clubs ultimately ending up in stadium venues and from backyard parties to three-day festivals, slowly spreading their sound throughout Southern California. The band was able to produce pieces for Fox, the Los Angeles Lakers, and has had their music on KROQ in Los Angeles, and currently has radio play in not only the United States, but the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, and Germany.

The band soon found itself opening for legends like B.B. King, Average White Band, Steel Pulse and now, the band will be able to play alongside reggae legend Pato Banton at the July 24 Soul Roll performance in Fallbrook.

“We try to interact with our audience, and come out with the crowd,” said Monaco. “We might have part of our horn section run through the crowd. We like getting the crowd involved.”

The band plays a combination of covers and original music, so Sublime and Bob Marley lovers may find something to enjoy while listening to fresh new sounds.

“Because of the mix of our music, everyone can enjoy our music,” said Monaco. “We don’t just have one type of fan we attract, either. Different people come out to hear us play.”

Better Chemistry’s new album, “6 Foot Shorty,” is the next step in the band’s evolution, showcasing their growth and development as songwriters, players and arrangers, while hewing to the warmth and positive feel that has been the hallmark of their sound since they began, according to the band’s Web site.

The band features the soulful lead vocals and rhythm guitar of Dave Monaco, the band’s primary lyricist; Ray Green, lead guitar; Chad Junkin, keyboards; the propulsive rhythm section of Rene Casas on bass; James Collins, drums; Eric “DJ Wood” Woodruff on the turntables, additional percussion, and background.

According to Collins, who came back to the band after a stint back East, the band takes great pride in the result that comes from being able to create a high quality sound with its own equipment.

Better Chemistry’s music is about the journey of the soul, spirit and the challenges and joys of life – the pitfalls of love and relationships (“Difficult,” “Who Loves You”), the threat to our environment, the simple gratitude in being alive (“Praise”) and they view their music as a vehicle to bring people together to experience oneness, community and the knowledge that peoples’ similarities far outweigh their differences.

The unqualified good times the band once sang about are now much more hard-earned, which makes the joy in the songs even more resonant.

“Our music has progressed to being more than just a jam band,” said Collins. “This is the best Better Chemistry sound we have produced. All the songs have a common thread, and a theme flows throughout the whole album.”

For more information on Soul Roll, scheduled for Saturday, July 24, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Elder House, 127 W. Elder Street, Fallbrook, go to For more information on Better Chemistry, visit

This Soul Roll event is being hosted by the Village News/Valley News for the enjoyment of its readers and to invite and encourage visitors to Fallbrook. It is an event open to all ages with a beer garden available to guests age 21 and over.

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