Deerfield Beach's the Resolvers turn reggae on its dreadlocked head
By Joanie Cox
City Link Metromix
The members of reggae band the Resolvers gather around the kitchen counter at bassist Steave Nieratka's Pompano Beach home. Drinking Heineken from Mason jars, the band's members reminisce about the day their group accidentally came together in 2007.
"We took the jam-band approach," guitarist Ron Eisner says. "We landed a gig at Kahuna Bar and Grill in Deerfield Beach, which was a dream gig for a reggae band. The band literally formed at the gig, but we were all friends first."
The band started out performing reggae versions of unexpected covers by Sam Cooke, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison and the Beatles. "You can reggae-fy pretty much any song," the 28-year-old Eisner explains with a laugh.
However, the Resolvers don't fit the stereotype of the reggae band. First off, four out of the five members are white. Eisner is an accountant from Tel Aviv. Keyboardist Dean Fishback grew up a country boy in Tallahassee, but became so deeply accepted by the reggae scene he has become the go-to guy for tours to Martinique and Hawaii with national reggae acts such as Glenn Washington and Wailing Souls. Drummer Nate Largent has a day job as a massage therapist. Nieratka is obsessed with science-fiction novels. And lead vocalist Ojay Smith is a skateboarding Frisbee enthusiast who is also the son of 1960s reggae singer Ernie Smith.
"For a while, we felt like we had to prove ourselves to sound authentic," Eisner says. "People would come out and say, 'This bunch of white guys is going to play reggae?'"
Just as Eisner is getting animated about the early days of his band, a fly lands in one of the Mason jars.
"You want to see a trick? I bet I can bring him back to life," says the 32-year-old Largent while fishing the insect from the glass. He dumps a mountain of salt on the fly and nothing happens. The other members of the band shake their heads in disbelief, study the pile for a minute and continue their stories.