Reggae Revival

P. D. Kelley

On Sunday, December 10th, two bands played at the Rogue that are a big part of the Reggae Revival movement which is building a large and enthusiastic fan base all over the world.  Opening was Jesse Royal and company who revved the crowd up with some tasty (as the fans would say) song treats, promoting his recently released album Lily of da Valley.  Jamaican born Royal was fun to watch as he swayed gracefully to the beat, dreds waving, voice caressing and then cajoling the audience to sing along and join the party.  His band mates were equally appealing and fine musicians as well.  The drummer, especially, had a beatific smile on his face most of the time and who could object to the group’s message of peace and love.  The main event was Collie Buddz (a.k.a. Colin Patrick Harper) and his ensemble who raised the roof just a touch more with some “get on your feet and dance” reggae which included some songs from his new album Good Life as well as favorites like  “Come Around” and “Mamacita”.  Buddz was an electric presence on stage, with a mellifluous voice, looking something like a cross between Eminem and Phil Collins.  He is not a white wannabe, however.  He grew up in Bermuda and his roots in Caribbean music go deep.  He, too, exhorted the crowd to sing, dance, and “be livin’ da good life, mon.”  And if a few audience members took that too much to heart on occasion, the Rogue’s dedicated security staff was there to keep us all safe so everyone could enjoy the show.  Fine job, guys, and thanks.   Buddz seemed surprised and pleased at the love he got from Grants Pass and thanked the audience for coming out on a Sunday night.  The challenge with playing two hours of reggae is keeping the music fresh and slightly different in tone and tempo and Buddz and his mates did a credible job with changes of pace, a few ballads and a lovely female vocalist who added nicely to the mix with a rich and compelling voice.   This band is reported to be one of the most commercially successful modern reggae groups and Buddz tours extensively, mainly in Europe and North America.  Well worth a ticket and he should be back with us at the Rogue again, as he seemed to love the folks and the theatre and vice versa.

Catch you on the flip side…