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Toots Hibbert Returns to the Belly Up

Posted by Daniel 
Toots Hibbert Returns to the Belly Up
November 14, 2012 06:53PM
Reggae great Toots Hibbert's Belly Up return
Jamaican vocal great and his band to perform acoustic show here Tuesday

Frederick Toots Hibbert. Credit: Lee Abel

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert may not be the creator of reggae music, but this Jamaican vocal great can certainly claim credit as a founding father.

He made his recording debut in 1962 in Kingston. In 1968, he scored a hit in his native Jamaica with “Do the Reggay,” the first song to use the word now known worldwide as reggae. He and his band, The Maytals, made their first album, 1964’s “Sensational Ska Explosion,” years before Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff’s respective debut albums came out.

Hailed as the Jamaican Otis Redding, Hibbert has a wonderfully soulful voice and can make almost any song his own, be it The Kingsmen’s “Louie, Louie” or John Denver’s “Country Roads.” He has written such classics as “54-46 Was My Number,” “Pressure Drop,” “Funky Kingston” and “Premature” and counts The Clash, No Doubt, Amy Winehouse, Bonnie Raitt, Jack Johnson and David Lindley among the artists who have recorded versions of his songs.

For their 2004 album, "True Love," Toots & The Maytals were joined by such musical admirers as Raitt, Ryan Adams, Eric Clapton, Ben Harper, Willie Nelson, The Roots and Keith Richards. Alas, while the results were generally very good or better, the album did little to introduce the group to a broader mainstream pop audience.

But that wasn't Hibbert's first international recording foray. In 1988, he recorded the classic album "Toots in Memphis," which teamed him and the ace reggae rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare with renowned producer Jim Dickinson and such Memphis soul-music luminaries as Teenie Hodges, Eddie Hinton, Andrew Love of The Memphis Horns. Together, they injected fresh new vitality into such classic songs as "I've Got Dreams to Remember," "Love and Happiness" and "Hard to Handle." ("Toots in Memphis," sadly, is out of print, but is well worth seeking out.)

Exactly what Hibbert and The Maytals Tuesday “acoustic concert” at the Belly Up will entail remains to be seen. But the chance to hear them up close is always welcome.

Original Source ~ North County Times

Additional acoustic Toots West Coast dates:

Nov 16 Yakima, WA The Seasons Performance Hall (acoustic)
Nov 17 Edmonds, WA Edmonds Center For the Arts (acoustic)
Nov 18 Napa, CA Uptown Theatre (acoustic)
Nov 19 Mill Valley, CA Throckmorton Theater (acoustic)
Nov 20 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up (acoustic)
Nov 21 San Juan Capistrano, CA The Coach House (acoustic)
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