Preview Guide

Back to Your Roots!

By Zaki JufriEvents - 28 March 2011 11:04 AM | Updated 29 March 2011

Back to Your Roots!

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When it comes to live music in Singapore, no one else displays the type of dedication to bring you the loud kerranngg of guitars and the beat of the drum than the good people at Timbre.

These guys, since Day One, have been pushing out top notch music that’s made in Singapore by its stable of home-grown artistes and musicians in its Timbre venues. Of course when they do bring in foreign acts, that same dedication is reflected as well, and as expected the acts they bring in are second to none.

Come April, Timbre’s annual two-day sonic feast Rock & Roots Festival will take flight again for the second time at the Marina Promenade. Last year’s instalment saw The Fray, Gipsy Kings and Jools Holland, and it was breath-taking. This year’s festival will see acts that have no less than 25 Grammy awards between them and countless nominations. Chief among them is none other than the Father of Folk Rock himself Bob Dylan. Other acts to look forward to are alt synth-pop queen Imogen Heap, soul crooner John Legend and barefoot funkster Michael Franti.

Here are the highlights:

Bob Dylan (Apr 15, Fri)

Age may be catching up to this freewheelin’ troubadour but that hasn’t stop Bob Dylan from packing his guitar and harmonica, and giving us lesser mortals a glimpse of his musical genius at Rock & Roots. The man with more than 50 recorded albums, a career spanning six decades, listed in Time Magazine's '100 Most Important People of the Century', Grammy award winner, and Academy award winner, presents a deceptively simple proposition: To keep performing where he is most comfortable--on stage year after year. As the saying goes, “Old is Gold.” Indeed it is.


John Legend (Apr 16, Sat)

His sultry vocals have been known to get the ladies weak in the knees and some men wishing they’re just as slick. Multi-platinum Grammy-winning soul provider John Legend is making his way back to our shores with a bag of new tunes (and old). His latest effort “Wake Up”, a collaboration album with hip hop band The Roots recently bagged three Grammys; and the man will be performing songs such as “Wholly Holy” and “Little Ghetto Boy” as well as familiar favourites “Save Room” and “Ordinary People”.

Imogen Heap (Apr 16, Sat)

Called ‘the ‘Kate Bush of our times’, British singer-songwriter-producer and two-time Grammy nominee Imogen Heap is returning to Rock & Roots. Her ethereal sounds laden with lush electronic textures juxtaposed against a voice like no other, conjures up images of fantastical lands and imaginary creatures. So good, that it has been made appearances on The OC, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Garden State.

Michael Franti & Spearhead (Apr 15, Fri)

When it comes to singing for a cause, Michael Franti walks the walk, and talks the talk. Vegan, spends most of his life walking barefoot and having the honour of being one of the most moving and politically charged writers, Franti’s compelling brand of music has definitely struck a chord ever since he picked up the mic. Fusing hip hop, funk, rock, jazz and soul with a message of love and rebellion, Franti’s music is definitely something we can relate with. So come listen to his poet and songsmith, and be inspired.

Timbre Rock & Roots is on Apr 15-16 at Marina Promenade. Tickets $70-200 are available from Sistic. For more info, point your mouse to