A continually evolving music group, Bonfire Dub returns to their roots Friday and welcomes back an original member of the band when they take the stage at Campout for the Cause.
The band formed 11 years ago as an outlet for nationally touring musicians who wanted to get off of the road. It began with the simple concept of playing authentic reggae music, frontman Scotty Stoughton said.
Over time, the group evolved into more of a jam band, folk group, reggae combination. That all changes Friday, when Brian Dillon, the original drummer, returns to the group for one show and the band embraces their reggae origins.
“Brian was in a terrible automobile accident many years ago and has been unable to play music regularly,” Stoughton said. “He’s an amazing person and a ripping reggae drummer, so we decided to return to our roots for this show.”
The regular drummer, Mark Levy, now spends more time with a new project, the band Circles Around the Sun. As Levy is currently touring with his new group, the timing for Dillon’s return, even if only temporary, was perfect.
“We played with him (Dillon) recently, and it was beautiful,” Stoughton said.
Bonfire Dub, founded by Stoughton, who is also the driving force behind Campout for the Cause, strives to be more than a band. They want to inspire positive change.
The band’s music, original melodies lacing together down tempos, acoustic and steel instruments and uplifting lyrics, is inspired by Eastern philosophy and deep respect for the power of love and keeping nature in balance.
The Friday show is also a homecoming for Stoughton’s family. His mother and father (whom he doesn’t recall ever seeing him play in this band) will be in attendance, as will other family members, including his brother and sister.
Stoughton is most excited to play the song “Pilot” for his relatives. He wrote the tune about his father.
“My dad is 81 years old, and he was a commercial airline pilot. He influenced my life a lot.”
Always in and out every few days while jetting around the globe, Stoughton’s father instilled a love of travel in his son, a passion which still exists.
“I love the smell of jet fuel and the thought of getting on a plane. The lifestyle of constant travel was always normal to me.”
The Campout sets are the band’s best of the year, Stoughton says, as the group embraces the spirit of the event and focuses on collaboration.
Bonfire Dub has eight guest artists scheduled to play with them.
“We always invite people to sit in. It’s all about community and connection, and we try to be a portal for that,” Stoughton said. “It’s going to be pretty awesome.”
Bonfire Dub will play a few additional shows around Colorado this year, including a gig at River Runners from 5-9 p.m., Sunday, June 16, an outdoor series in Granby and some concerts outside Boulder.
Their Campout for the Cause set is scheduled to run from 7:30–9 p.m., Friday on the main stage.