By Rachel Montoya
The Ill Eagles are Bradley Burton on vocals and guitar (Captain Ghost), Angel Ferrer AKA “Spade” on bass (Haivyn, ex-Empty Seat) and Ryan Alexander Diaz on drums (Higher Heights, Crucial Culture, Unity Frenzy).
Set Free is their Reggae-soaked coming out party. The song, released on July 2nd and recorded, mixed and mastered at Room 9 Recording Studio in Redlands, California by Jerry Whiting (SANGRE, ROBOTIC HUMANS, SLEAZY CORTEZ), continues Burton’s characteristic songwriting; with urgency and significance.
It’s the listener’s blessing that Burton decided to pursue the spotlight of the stage along with his cave-dwelling studio persona. Set Free also features saxophone and trumpet by Long Beach’s own Jah Connection (Tribal Seeds, Stick Figure, Josh Heinrichs, Mozaiq). The single’s artwork was conceptualized and created by Diaz. The song is available on Spotify, Apple Music and can be purchased on iTunes.
Here’s the Coachella Valley Weekly review of Set Free:
The intro gets things rolling with timbale action from Diaz and a rolling bass line from Spade. When I think about it, every classic Reggae song that is familiar to me has rhythmical drum and bass lines on the same wavelength. Enter Jah Connection. Oh man! Trumpeter Glenn Holdaway and saxophonist Warren Huang know how to make an entrance; Tower of Power, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and Earth Wind and Fire come to mind. The duo consistently find their corners in each song they perform on, it truly is artistry within an art form.
I’m sure Burton’s lyrics strike a chord with many of us; “going way too fast, wish I could make it last…look what it’s done to me…I’ve got my ball and chain, soaked up the desert rain”. The belief we are liberated by gaining someone’s love is bewitching. In turn, setting someone free subsequently unshackles you from the pain and heartache of a harmful relationship. The dilemma is, we believe it’s all we want and all we need leading to a distorted perspective of the interconnection. It’s encouraging that artists continue to welcome their fans to develop their own narrative through words. Burton’s vocal style is light in vocal weight with a romantic and mysterious tinge much like Sam Smith and Jason Mraz. Never one to shy away from love or politics, I look forward to what else ILL EAGLES have up their sleeves on their forthcoming EP.