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Sometimes when listening to a reggae, funk or soul-tinged band, you can get exposed to what I like to call "groove hyperbole." This isn't a bad thing, but it can confuse you as to who is in charge. In the case of Root Shock, it's like the Syracuse band's energy supersedes the band itself; the music is playing the musicians. But it's a balance that they've mastered. There's groove a-plenty, and singer Jessica Brown tags it and brands it with her pretty voice before sending it out with a smile. This is one of the happiest bands I've heard in a while.

Root Shock plays a Halloween show with Baker Street on Thursday, October 31, 9 p.m. at Photo City Improv, 543 Atlantic Avenue. $10. Under 18 with guardian. 451-0047.;


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