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Alehouse serves a side of reggae
Posted April 7, 2006
Lindsey Gooding
T. Phillips, a local bar and grill on D Street in Old Town La Verne, has live music at 8 p.m. every Sunday. Ray Green, lead guitar, has been playing with the band Better Chemistry for more than a decade. Better Chemistry is one of the regulars, performing every other Sunday night. Their sound is a mix of reggae and hip-hop, resembling Sublime and Dave Matthews Band.

Jonathan Smith
Staff Writer

Many La Verne residents consider T. Phillip’s in Old Town their local watering hole. On Sunday nights, the alehouse transforms itself from a bar and grill into a Caribbean party as live reggae acts Full Watts and Better Chemistry perform to a music-loving crowd.

Free live music acts have kicked the T. Phillip’s atmosphere up a notch, allowing students and locals to take a break from the stress of their week.

“Sunday night was our slowest night of the week,” said Bryan Reese, who manages the restaurant located on D Street off of Bonita. “We brought the bands here and it works.”

Full Watts had patrons on their feet during the band’s entire performance.

The band even managed to receive a standing ovation following their rendition of Bob Marley’s classic “Stir It Up,” which featured several different elements of R&B lines with the band’s own mixture.

Full Watts never hit a bad note during its set on a recent Sunday as T. Phillip's faithfuls continued to blurt out requests.

“It was very relaxing,” said Adam Doty, University of La Verne senior computer science major. “It was a great break from homework.”

Full Watts, one of two alternating line-ups featured in the Sunday live act series, blends original material with recognizable favorites.

The band members describe their music as obscure, with influences from reggae pioneers Marley, Dennis Brown and others.

“This music is all reggae, different sub-genres, but all reggae,” the band’s lead vocalist Andre Kindread said. “We formed this band mainly to play in the Inland Empire...from north Orange County to Riverside.”

T. Phillip’s live music acts have been rocking the alehouse for about a year. Full Watts, and Better Chemistry, combine reggae and ska elements.

“Usually the people who come here are familiar with (reggae) music,” Reese said.

T. Phillips has enjoyed praise for its new Sunday night live music acts from its patrons.

Because of this success, T. Phillips has recently added live acoustic sessions on Wednesday nights.

Along with customers, employees seem to enjoy and welcome the music as well.

“A lot of people come down and they have a lot of fun,” said Shawn Khardin, a waitress at T. Phillip’s. “Sometimes there’s dancing and a lot of college students come down. A lot of our regulars enjoy the live acts on Sundays.”

Jonathan Smith can be reached at

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