Music News

Reggae on the Rocks XVIII and XIX

With just a few months before one of the most hotly contested presidential elections in history, the concert trail has sometimes seemed indistinguishable from the campaign trail -- what with the Punkvoter tour, various anti-Bush concerts and a get-out-the-vote tour scheduled for this fall that will feature Dave Matthews and Pearl Jam, among others. Motivated largely by the urge to avert George W.'s re-election, performers have mixed music and message to an extent not seen in years. But the Bob Marley Roots Rock Reggae Festival, featuring five sons of one of music's great political and spiritual icons, is planned as a respite from politics, not a flashpoint. And if that's a surprise, so is the fact that this month-long tour (which stops by Red Rocks on Sunday, August 22) marks the first time that all five musical Marley brothers -- Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, Damian and Ky-mani -- have shared a stage. Fans can expect them to perform a generous selection of their father's back catalogue, in addition to closing with a joint rendition of a Marley classic. Organized primarily by the eldest and best-known of the Marley offspring, Ziggy, and the William Morris Agency, the tour is also an opportunity for the siblings to reach out to audiences from genres they've touched on in their own work. Besides Jamaican legends Toots and the Maytals, the fest will feature the pop duo Looner, the Sublime-style rock of Slightly Stoopid, and MC/DJ Stone Love, featuring Geefus. (Third World, Inner Circle, Abyssinians, Skatalites, Eek-A-Mouse, Haile Maskel, Judge Roughneck and MC Postman Roger are slated to appear at Reggae on the Rocks XVIII on Saturday, August 21.)
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Dan Leroy