It's mid-summer in Northern California and reggae rhythms will once again be reverberating off Southern Humboldt's golden rolling hills. Arguably Humboldt County's most historic and world-renowned gathering centered around live music, this weekend's 28th annual Reggae on the River offers a “global music experience,” according to the festival's promoters at the Mateel. ”Featuring a lineup consisting of more than 30 classic and cutting-edge artists on two stages, the festival (at the Benbow Lake State Recreation Area) will celebrate Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence from imperial rule and will honor this momentous occasion by presenting some of the island's best talent,” according to a news release.
Steel Pulse may have explored various styles of music since they started out in 1975, but when it comes to the message, the reggae band has remained close to their roots. The group have continued their commitment to fighting injustice, educating the masses and promoting positive messages through spiritually uplifting music. “We just can’t ignore the politics, because every life and soul that’s born on this earth is a political maneuver for someone, at some point," Hinds explains. “From a spiritual aspect, it’s really an upliftment through facing reality – what’s out there. We deal with positive spirits. It means putting aside the guns, the drugs and all of the things that are ailments of society – especially in the black communities right now.”
Motet drummer and founding member Dave Watts says he plays “music to get lost in.” Nicely matched, State Bridge has the venue to get lost in, and there's no better opportunity than this weekend's Take It To The Bridge festival. Co-headlining are Black Uhuru and See-I featuring members of Thievery Corporation. Supporting the three-day event along the Colorado River are Euforquestra, Nicki Bluhm and the Gamblers, That One Guy and many others. From Boulder, The Motet has been tearing up the national jam scene for 12 years, evolving and helping pioneer the electronic sophistication of that last decade.
A group of musicians rejected the idea of boycotting Israel at a Jerusalem Music Conference panel discussion. Artists "should come here and donate money to causes," stated Moshe Levi, who was born in Belize and studies at a yeshiva in Jerusalem. Levi gained fame as the hip-hop artist Shyne. The session was moderated by Kobi Farhi of the Israeli band Orphaned Land. Farhi sited singer Leonard Cohen as an example of someone who performed on Israel despite calls to boycott and then donated proceeds to charity.
For everyone that wants to hear some incredible tunes, head to Jaco this weekend for a great taste of reggae Saturday night, starting at 10 pm. There is no cover charge and Monkey Bar will have DJ Who-lio playing before and after the show. WATUSI is the original, “REGGAE / WORLDBEAT” band in Texas and one of the top reggae / worldbeat groups in the USA, with 10 players from around the world and based in Dallas,Texas. WATUSI is the premier artist on World Beatnik Records, for 28 years a Texas reggae legend, a “worldbeat” pioneer and are respected and played worldwide. Winners of numerous Reggae and World Music Awards including 2011 Dallas Music Award for Reggae and.. nominated for the Roots Music Association “Reggae Artist of the Year” . Watusi is a charter member of Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide (R.A.W.)