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Reggae at the Lake festival Sunday

Staff reports

Renegade Productions presents the 8th Annual Reggae At The Lake, with Toots & The Maytals and local favorites Keyser Soze and DJs Soulmedic Sounds, Sunday, July 29 at the Truckee Regional Park Amphitheater.Ethnic arts and crafts vendors and food and Wolaver’s Organic beer complete the festival atmosphere. Wolaver’s Organic Beer is the sponsor.TOOTS AND THE MAYTALSToots and the Maytals’ lead singer, Frederick Hibbert (Toots), was born into a large family in Maypen Clarendon, Jamaica, and began singing at the age of 7 in the church choir. In his teenage years, he left his family in search of musical inspiration and moved to Trench Town in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, where he met Raleigh and Jerry. There he formed his group, and they named themselves The Maytals. After struggling for a while, they began singing for Clement Dodd, who is an internationally-acclaimed soundman and producer known to the public as Sir Coxsone Dodd, from Studio One.The group made their debut on the music scene when the ska craze was in full swing (ska is the frenetic forerunner to reggae). Ska vocalists needed to work very hard indeed to make themselves stand out against the heavy, frantic and often overpowering rhythms, and Toots sang himself hoarse in true Baptist-preacher style, while Jerry and Raleigh filled in whatever gaps were left, to make a solid, impenetrable wall of sound. Subtlety was not their strong point, but the sheer vibrant joy of all that they were doing is evident in every note.It was not too long before The Maytals were the number-one vocal group in Jamaica – a position they would maintain throughout the ’60s and on into the ’70s. They introduced a spiritual feel to ska, and this new, slower, more hypnotic style was welcomed by the listening public.They also appeared in the hugely popular film, The Harder They Come, singing one of their all-time hits, “Pressure Drop.”Toots is a producer, singer, songwriter and also plays the guitar and piano. He became a legend, a household name in Jamaica and was nominated for the Grammy Award in 1988 for his album Toots & the Maytals in Memphis and in 1990 for the one-hour live album Knock Out, which went gold, and for the song entitled “Beautiful Woman,” which went platinum.Many international artists including Bonnie Raitt, The Clash, Robert Palmer and The Specials have covered Toots’ songs.Thirty-five years of Toots’ belting out his repertoire of eminently memorable songs hardly shows. How many generations of people have Toots and his dedicated musicians delighted, enlightened and inspired, not through preachy didacticism, but through a truckload of wholesome, funky reggae? What is so refreshing about Toots’ live shows today is that not only do they have cathartic power, but they offer young people a real, living example of how a lot of music used to be – and how Toots still is.Reggae fans young and old will enjoy this exciting living legend, nicknamed the “James Brown of Reggae” because of his incredible high-energy stage performance.KEYSER SOZEKeyser Soze is a fantastic local Reno/Lake Tahoe ska band breaking new ground. Former members of the Mudsharks, this energetic group branched off to form Keyser Soze. They combine reggae, funk, jazz and ska to create jumping tunes that they perform regularly in the area.SOULMEDIC SOUNDsSoulmedic Sounds is a Caribbean style sound system, with the addition of MCs, DJs and singers, performing original style sounds including reggae, hip-hop and dancehall.Truckee Regional Park is on Highway 267 just one mile from downtown Truckee. No ice chests, dogs, glass or alcohol can be brought in to the park.Advanced tickets are available in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee at: Joby’s, New Moon Natural Foods and Musaic, and on the South Shore at Mad About Music and Tahoe Records & Tapes. Get tickets online at http://www.ticketweb.com; and at all Tickets.com ticket outlets.Credit card phone orders can be placed at (510) 601-TWEB or (530) 583-2801. Kids under 5 are free, while kids 5-12 are half price at the door.This is an all-ages, general admission show.For more information call the Renegade Productions Hotline at: (530) 583-2801.


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