2 Dec 2023

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Cornerstone Roots


Cornerstone Roots are an enduring entity within the New Zealand music industry. From their humble beginnings in Raglan, to the revered and respected band they are today. The band pocces a list of admirable achievement’s coupled with the fact they have played along side some of the biggest named reggae artist’s in the world, whilst still remaining loyal to their beliefs and their love of true grass root’s reggae music.

The band was formed in 2001 after a session at the infamous Raglan Musician’s Club, and consisted of a 3-piece outfit. They quickly developed a strong local following with many of their early show’s being filmed and recorded by fans. This prompted the band to record their first EP “One Fine Day” and proceeded to tour provincial New Zealand where the café’s were crammed and live show’s intense.

The following year they recorded their debut album “Soul Revolution” that was described by reviewers as “brilliant” and “impressive”. The album was recorded in Wellington with engineer Lee Prebble at Surgery Studio’s, where the rhythm tracks were recorded live in one weekend. The album release was complimented with a 20-date tour of the country, and climaxed at the Wellington Town Hall supporting powerhouse rhythm section Sly n Robbie.

2004 saw the band cross the Tasman 8 times with the release of the “Forward Movement” EP, which was nominated for best root’s release the following year. Veteran Studio One DJ Rankin Joe also featured over cut’s off the EP. These remix track’s are still to be released sometime in the future.

Cornerstone Roots have supported such heavyweight reggae acts as Burning Spear, Toots and the Maytals, Sly n Robbie with Michael Rose, Jimmy Cliff, Lee Scratch Perry, Mad Professor, and very recently supported The Original Wailers from the ionic and legendary Bob Marley and The Wailers fame.

In 2007 the band released their long awaited and much anticipated second album “Free Yourself” which quickly found its way into the Top Ten Independent releases, and was in the Top Ten Indie Album sale’s for that year. The band has continued to gain many fans not only in Australasia but also throughout the world.

The Band has recently road tested new material with overwhelming response shown by those fans.

The coming year is set to be successful for Cornerstone Roots. Production of their 3rd album “Future Is Now” is nearing completion, with the release of the first single “My Generation” scheduled for mid February. This will be accompanied with CD launch parties in the main centre’s before the band head to Australia promoting the new album with date’s confirmed in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. At the conclusion of their Australasian Leg, the band embarks on its first European Tour culminating with proposed performance’s at the major summer German Music Festivals “Summer jam” and “Cheismee”. Planning is also underway for a return to Japanese shore’s where previous tours have been so well embrassed, including the World Expo in Aichi Nagoya.

Returning home will offer little rest for the band as they set out on their “Future Is Now” National Winter Tour encompassing the entire country. This will include the main centres as well as performances in provincial New Zealand, which have become synonymous with Cornerstone Roots Tour’s to date.

In November 2010 the band will return to the Studio to begin production on their Fourth Album release.

Once recording has been completed, Cornerstone Roots will continue their international touring with a return to the European Winter and a tour planned in South America where the band has developed a solid fan base through their distributor Tronador Records in San Paulo Brazil.

2010 is an exciting and productive year for Cornerstone Roots and the feeling within the band look’s set to see them fulfil their well-documented potential and evolve into true internationally recognised performing Artist’s, while remaining loyal to their root’s and maintaining their widely respected humble demeanour.

Band Members:
Brian Ruawai (vocals, guitar)
Naomi Tuao (bass)
Andre "waka" Peri (drums)
Nick Stevens (keyboards)
Lei Ahotaha (keyboards)
Conner McCabe (backing vocals)


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