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By Kevin Jackson—–

YEARS of touring have earned southern California singer Mike Pinto a strong fan base in the United States, especially on the east coast.

His new album, Truthful Lies, debuted at number two last week on the Billboard Reggae Album chart. It also came in at number one on the iTunes Reggae chart.

PINTO… it has been difficult to get songs on the radio in the US

He is the latest American artist to make a move on the Billboard reggae table.

Truthful Lies is Pinto’s fifth studio album, but in a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer, he said it is not easy getting his music on mainstream radio.

“It has been difficult to get songs on the radio here (in the US). I am an independent artiste and I only have a booking agent and a PR person,” he explained. “But what I wanted was to take more of a chance on my work. So far, I think it’s working and I think I have been fortunate as far as the fans go.”

Pinto enlisted former Wailers guitarist Junior Marvin to work on Truthful Lies, as well as southern California reggae band, The Aggrolites.

The album’s lead single, Where the Beach Meets the Ocean, is homage to the laid-back lifestyle for which southern California is famous.

Though he has called the Golden State home for the past six years, the 31-year-old Pinto was born in Pennsylvania.


A fan of soul music, his early influences included Otis Redding and Booker T and the MGs, heartbeat of the Memphis-based Stax Records in the 1960s.

As a teenager, he discovered Bob Marley and reggae.

“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have stayed in this genre of music. I try to model his mindset and his message,” says Pinto.

Mike Pinto and his band kicked off an 40-date tour last weekend at the California Roots Festival in the city of Monterey.

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