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Big Mountain

The evolution of the Big Mountain band started in 1986 as the San Diego, California reggae band Rainbow Warriors. In 1988 the lead singer Quino (pronounced Kino) joined as the lead singer of the band Shiloh. Quino is of Mexican/Irish heritage and several members of his family were mariachi musicians and his interest in reggae began after seeing a documentary about Bob Marley and Rastafari. In 1989 Shiloh secured their first record deal and put out one album titled California Reggae. In 1991 the band changed the name to Big Mountain which was the name of a Native American reservation in Arizona. The original line-up was a sextet consisting of Joaquin "Quino" McWhinney (vocals), Lynn Copeland (bass), Gregory Blakney (drums), Jerome Cruz (guitar), Manfred Reinke (keyboards), and Lance Rhodes (drums). The band first reached the charts with the song "Touch My Light" in spring 1993, a song taken from their debut album Wake Up. Prior to the band recording their second album, Unity, in 1994; Blakney, Cruz, Reinke, and Rhodes all departed the band, with McWhinney and Copeland finding replacements in Jamaican duo Tony Chin (guitar) and Carlton "Santa" Davis (drums), along with keyboard players Michael Hyde and Billy "Bones" Skoll, and percussionist James McWhinney. Following this lineup change, the band went on to receive major airplay on mainstream radio stations. "Baby, I Love Your Way" was included on the soundtrack for the film Reality Bites, and peaked at No. 6 in the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart., and its follow-up, "Sweet Sensual Love" reached No. 51 in the UK, whilst Unity went on to sell over a million copies worldwide. Big Mountain's follow up single "Get Together" became a top five hit in Brazil and Norway.

The band appeared at both the 1994 and 1995 Reggae Sunsplash festivals in Jamaica. In 1998 Jamaican drummer/producer Paul "Groove Galore" Kastick replaced Carlton "Santa" Davis as full-time drummer and primary producer in the group. Kastick spearheaded the production on the previous six Big Mountain albums between 1998 and 2007. After 10 consecutive years of touring, Big Mountain decided to take a break in 2005. During this time Joaquin (Quino) McWhinney started to teach at Olympian High School, which received the highest test scores on their CAHSEE exams during his tenure. During the period between 2005 and 2013 Big Mountain occasionally would get together for mainly international live performances and various benefit causes. In 2013 Quino, Hyde, Kastick reformed the band with an extended lineup including Carlos Arias (bass), Richard "Goofy" Campbell (keyboards), Reggie Griffin (guitar, saxophone), Stephen Kamada (guitar), Danny Lopilato (guitar, vocals), Tim Pacheco (percussion, vocals. This lineup recorded the band's newest album. Further lineup changes have ensued and the band now consists of Quino, Kastick, Campbell, Lopilato, Pacheco (percussion, vocals), Luis Castillo (was added as a second keyboardist and vocals to replace Michael Hyde when on tour with Ziggy Marley) and Michael Ortiz (bass)and Andre Sias as a second drummer to cover Kastick when on tour with Ky Mani Marley and Maxi Priest.

Much like UB40, American reggae band Big Mountain brought a very commercialized version of Jamaican music to the American mainstream when their cover of Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" reached the Top Ten in early 1994.


90's Hits

Baby I Love Your Way


Lean On Me

Members of this Group





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