published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Beatles tribute plays Fab Four music with island flair


What: Riverfront Nights concert featuring Yellow Dubmarine.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Ross's Landing, 100 Riverfront Parkway.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 756-2211.



The show will kick off with local indie rock four-piece Endelouz, which formed in 2008 out of former North American Royalty members Jack Kirton, Joseph Berkley and Dennis Hubbard. Read more at


On the green: Tennessee-American's Water Conservation Night.

GreenSpace tent: Gaining Ground.

Pup tent: Wally's Friends.

There are more than four of them, they're from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore instead of Liverpool and they play reggae music, but the members of Yellow Dubmarine are definitely Beatles fans.

Beneath the layers of echoing guitars, brazen horn lines and Caribbean and calypso overtones, the seven members of Yellow Dubmarine make a point to capture the spirit of some of the Fab Four's best-known songs.

The groove and structure of songs like "Come Together" and "Hey Jude" are open to reinterpretation, said Glaser, but the core components such as lyrics and melody are sacrosanct.

"We've been tested by many a purist and passed, from most accounts ... because we do our arrangements out of love for the original version," said bassist/vocalist Aaron Glaser. "We're inspired by the Beatles and aren't trying to do anything cheap."

Saturday, Yellow Dubmarine will headline Riverfront Nights about six months after their last Chattanooga show at Rhythm & Brews in February.

The concept of putting a Caribbean-style twist on Beatles music grew out of a jam session in 2007 when someone -- no one remembers precisely who -- recommended the band tackle a reggae version of "Strawberry Fields."

"We just thought it would be cool, and it was," Glaser said. "We tried it -- someone played the riff -- and it just came naturally to us."

Originally a four-piece, the band since has come under official management and has added three new members, including a pair of dedicated horn players.

The band's first release was "Abbey Dub," a radically remade version of The Beatles' penultimate studio album, "Abbey Road." For a year, Yellow Dubmarine shows used to include start-to-finish renditions of "Abbey Road," but in June, the band started a new program featuring The Beatles' 27 No. 1 hits.

Whether people realize it or not, Glaser said, The Beatles shared much in common with reggae artists, since both were drawing on influences in Motown.

That has helped make the process of transforming Beatles music while honoring its spirit much easier. In turn, that has helped them appreciate the Fab Four's music even more, especially its universal appeal, Glaser said.

"It's these beautiful songs that connect the world, which we're seeing now that we're traveling," he said. "We're seeing people in the middle of a town I would never imagine myself being in, and The Beatles have touched them in the same way that they touched me.

"Just seeing how The Beatles united the world has been really special."

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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