Mykal Rose with Sly & Robbie
with Reggae Angels & 21 Dread
Sun, Jun 16
Mykal Rose with Sly & Robbie
with Reggae Angels & 21 Dread
|Price:||$15 Advance GA / $18 Day Of Show GA / $25 Reserved|
ALL AGES: 18+ w/ valid photo ID, under 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Reserved seating is available for $25 and guarantees a seat in the reserved section. If necessary groups will be paired together at tables. Seating is based on time of purchase and the configuration of groups.
There is a 6-ticket limit for general admission OR a 6-ticket limit for reserved per customer, credit card or email address. Orders exceeding these limits, or any tickets purchased for resale, may have a portion or all of their orders cancelled without notice.
Mykal Rose with Sly and Robbie
Outside of the music of Bob Marley and the Wailers (and the subsequent solo efforts of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer) which brought reggae music to all corners of the globe and ensured its enduring legacy, in my book the most influential band in reggae history was the Black Uhuru line-up that existed between 1979 and 1984. Along with “Duckie” Simpson and “Puma” Jones, the group featured singer and front man Mykal Rose and Jamaica’s premier drum and bass rhythm section, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. During this period they released the following records:
1979 – Showcase (later added the single “Shine Eye Gal” and was retrospectively titled Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner)
1980 – Sinsemilla
1981 – Red
1982 – Chill Out
1984 - Anthem (Awarded the inaugural Grammy for Best Reggae Recording)
As I listen back to my favorite recordings, there seems to be a clear moment that marked a major shift in the direction of reggae: the 1979 release of what would later become Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Until then, the genre had been dominated by songs written in major keys. For example, “Pressure Drop” by Toots and the Maytals, “The Harder They Come” by Jimmy Cliff, “Equal Rights” and “Legalize It” by Peter Tosh, “Two Sevens Clash” by Culture, “Tenement Yard” by Jacob Miller, and many of the catchiest, radio friendly Bob Marley songs feature a major key, melodically driven sound. There were exceptions to this, of course. A significant portion of the Marley songs are in minor keys, but there is a distinct signature to these songs which is the melodic bass playing of “Family Man” Barrett. As a general rule, the music was shaped around the vocal melody line.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is cut from a different cloth. The sledgehammer minor key basslines of Robbie Shakespeare and the masterful minimalist drumming of Sly Dunbar dominate the soundscape. Staccato skanks and textural licks complement the heavy grooves. The liberal use of assorted reverbs and delays are reminiscent of a classic dub record. Of course, the music is punctuated by the lead vocals of the great Mykal Rose, and backing vocals, harmonies, and shading by the incomparable Ms. “Puma” Jones (RIP Puma).
Together this forms a hypnotic sound that carries thematically throughout the record. If you are looking for a starting point to appreciate the music of Black Uhuru, a full listen of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, in a relaxed atmosphere and through a sound system that can handle the low end, is an appropriate starting point.
From there, the music of the band evolves. The two primary components in this evolution are:
a) A shift in the approach employed by Mr. Shakespeare: As loud and soft, full and sparse, come to delineate verses and choruses of Nirvana songs, the changes in Black Uhuru are often defined by contrasting bass styles. A flurry of 16th notes, juxtaposed against spacier combinations is a frequent pattern.
b) More layers of complimentary textural sounds. The integrity of the drum and bass is maintained by keeping these sounds simple and sparse, but yet they appear more prominently in the mix and lend themselves well to the more upbeat grooves on the later records.
For me, Red and Chill Out are the pinnacle of this style, and these records are among the high points in the history of reggae music.
Perhaps, a full listen to Chill Out, after Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, is a good way to appreciate the whole gamut of this magical period. In addition, I have created a playlist comprised of a sampling of my favorite Black Uhuru tracks from 1979-1982. Enjoy!
This new minor key, drum and bass heavy sound, came to dominate reggae in the 1980’s (Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Ini Kamoze, Israel Vibrations, and Singers & Players are a few, of many, examples). Of course, Sly and Robbie made major contributions outside of their primary band. It would be almost impossible for me to list all of the records that they appeared on. Here are two incomplete lists of their credits, but these will give you an idea of the magnitude of their contributions:
Among these, a list of my “A-list” favorites (records to bring to a desert island):
Equal Rights / Peter Tosh
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Red, Chill Out / Black Uhuru
Ini Kamoze / Ini Kamoze
An interesting musical footnote is the role that Sly and Robbie played in fusing the genres of Reggae and Hip-hop. In 1989, KRS-ONE and Boogie Down Productions included two reggae influenced tracks “World Peace” and “Jah Rulez” on their epic 1989 release Ghetto Music: the Blueprint of Hip Hop. KRS-ONE followed that up with a collaboration with Sly and Robbie and a stable of hip hop artists entitled Silent Assassin that blurred the boundaries of the two genres. “Party Together” with KRS-ONE on the mic is one of several excellent tracks off of that album.
Reggae Angels and 21 Dread
Currently based in the San Francisco, CA East Bay, the Reggae Angels have been touring the last eighteen years in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Hawaii, and Canada. They are well loved and respected. They have co-billed and toured with many top international reggae artists and groups such as Don Carlos, Sly and Robbie and the Taxi Gang, Anthony B, Perfect, Richie Spice, Horace Andy, Michael Rose, Big Youth, The Abyssinians, Edi Fitzroy, Lutan Fyah, Carlton & The Shoes, Clinton Fearon, Everton Blender, Sugar Minott, Andrew Tosh, Prezident Brown, Shinehead, Junior Reid and Frankie Paul. reggaeangelsThe Reggae Angels vocalists are Fenton Wardle, Cynthia Roots and Angelica Wardle. Lead vocalist Fenton Wardle started playing for the public at the age of twelve playing his accordion in the streets in San Francisco. In 1982 Fenton fronted his first band called Ily in New Hampshire where he attended Dartmouth College and graduated in 1984. In 1986 he formed a band on the West Coast called The Chosen Few. In 1989 the band re-grouped as The Elevations. Fenton sang lead and harmony vocals and played keyboards. With the Elevations, he produced two albums - Jah Guide and Good Judgment. In 1992 Fenton started the Reggae Angels.
reggae angelsThe Reggae Angels have one of the most extensive discographies of any American based Reggae acts. With the Reggae Angels, Fenton has produced - Guard the Honor, Truth and Conviction, Spirit, Signs and Wonders, Which Road Will You Choose, Live Positive, Come To Jah, Save Our Souls, A Heart With Love, Balance, Make Blessings, Prophetic Mission and most recently The Way. Augustus Pablo is featured playing melodica and synthesizer on the earlier works, adding his melodious far eastern sound. The early mixing was done in Jamaica with top engineers there including Sylvan Morris, David Rowe, Soljie, Dr. Marshall and Hugh Palmer. Scientist mixed the next four CDs in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. The latest albums, Balance, Make Blessings, Prophetic Mission, Turn on the Light and The Way were mixed at Lion and Fox recording studios, in Washington DC by Jim Fox.
Their new 13th album features Sly and Robbie and the Taxi Gang and is called The Way. This album is a double CD featuring a dub CD - Fox Dubs the Taxi Gang. The Reggae Angels record their rhythms live in their own studio in Oakland, CA called The Workshop.
Fans of reggae know The Reggae Angels deliver high-energy pumping performances with a happy, uplifting sound and conscious message. Their message is universal and their musicians are world class. Their music speaks of God consciousness. The lyrics contain spiritual insights and teachings. All different ages and kinds of people love and appreciate the Reggae Angels, especially the spiritually inclined. Their focus is on clarifying the message of the prophets – sincere advice and prayers to help us live lives pleasing to the creator.