Tom Batchelor Band: Reggae Replay

There isn’t any moment when I’m not in the mood for Reggae music.  Sometimes I have to be in a certain headspace to jam to particular genres. I don’t do well with metal in the mornings and prefer something a little more soft and early-like to blend in with the birds.  When I’m trying to accomplish anything I can’t listen to slow stuff – I need a fast pace to be productive. When I’m in a bad mood I put on some punk to perk up my personality.  When I’m driving on country roads my music correlates to the condition. I put on rap when I need to really rally and motivate myself,  but reggae is a regular and repetitive part of my playlist.


Thomas Batchelor began playing trumpet in fifth grade and graduated to guitar and creating compositions in high school.  Mostly self-taught, he and some others started Rasta Rafiki while going to graduate school at WVU.  With 3 resourceful releases the group garnered around 175 touring dates a year, making a steady job out of music.  After 6 years of success and with much more  wisdom, Thomas concluded his contributions to Rasta Rafiki and joined The Recipe.

Within two years time Thomas then made his way from The Recipe to meeting the Morgantown musicians that make up the Tom Batchelor Band.  The band – Tom Batchelor-guitar and vocals, John McConnell-drums and vocals, Glenn Rowsey-steel drum, Andy Lindsay-bass, Jim Lennie-keyboards and vocals, and  Robert Shank-trombone – brings a wide range of reggae, rock, and island romps, instrumental experience, covers and original compositions.  They are spontaneous within their song structures, improvising and including some ska joined with jazz and they can even do country! A few years ago they released”Runes,” their original 10-song cd.

Their sound is groovy and gritty, smooth and sensual.  The composition is clear and even when certain sounds overlap they still have a particular purpose, it doesn’t become bedlam.  I can’t suppress a smile when listening to their songs – my body begs to not sit still.  Although not released recently, I still have “Runes” on replay.


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