Rock and Reggae

Nothing warms up the soul for a little rock ‘n roll better than reggae.

Warren Haynes, a latter-day recruit of the famed Allman Brothers Band, probably learned that long ago. But regardless of when Haynes crossed paths with Toots Hibbert, frontman of the legendary Jamaican band Toots and the Maytals, Denverites at the Fillmore Auditorium on April 26 got to reap the benefits.

Toots opened up the show, playing hits such as “54-46” and “Do the Reggay,” a 1968 track for which he gets credit for coining the term that gave his chosen genre its name. The Jamaican sensation has inspired everyone from Eric Clapton to Phish to Sublime, not to mention generations of other rockers who grew up listening to his positive vibrations.

Next, Haynes stepped on the stage with his jammy rock band, Government Mule. For the most part, Haynes is the Mule, whaling away on his guitar as if he’s the only one in the room. The man is a blues genius, traveling with two dozen guitars and playing a different one during almost every song.

As the evening wrapped up, Haynes invited Toots out onto the stage. They blended their styles into a rockin’ reggae good time.

Government Mule will shake the Fillmore again tonight, April 27, although Toots won’t be there this time. Too bad, because they made a great combination. -- Luke Turf

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts