Monday, June 11, 2007

Concerts of the week - Reggae Got Soul

Toots and the Maytals Thursday June 14 - Webster Theater, Hartford

If we are to believe Toots himself, reggae owes its very existence to Mr. Hibbert (He was the first to use the word in a song lyric). His songs are exuberant classics, and his early works reflect the growing influence of rock-steady. After a stint in prison, he partnered with legendary producer Leslie Kong, and released, what is still a very powerful, and very personal prison protest song about depersonlization called 54-46 That's My Number. That was followed by hits like Monkey Man, and two songs (Sweet and Dandy, Pressure Drop) which propelled him to international recognition as part of the soundtrack of the film, The Harder They Come. James Brown called himself the hardest working man in showbiz. He may never have seen Toots. After 45 years of performing, he shows no ebb in energy or vocal power. A Toots concert is not one to be forgotten soon.

Clearwater Festival - Great Hudson River Revival June 16-17 Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

If you are amongst the many who think Pete Seeger deserves the Nobel Peace Prize (and there is a movement afoot), this festival, which will undoubtably be amongst the most political/environmental of the year, you may want to head to the banks of the Hudson. Joining Pete onstage are Leo Kottke, Buffy Ste. Marie, Bruce Cockburn, the Cowboy Junkies and many others.

The Great Connecticut Cajun/Zydeco Music and Art Festival June 15-17, Sunrise Resort, Moodus CT

For several years two local Cajun/Zydeco festivals competed for an audience on the very same weekend. A few years ago, they decided to co-exist on adjacent weekends. It makes Eastern Connecticut a destination for French Louisianan and Texan musicians, and the dancers who clamor to hear, and move to the music. This year the "Moodus" festival, as it's known among the regulars, leans heavily toward the zydeco circuit with appearances by Keith Frank, Step Rideau, Brian Jack, Big Red and the Zydeco Playmakers and Dora and the Badboyz. The wonderful Basin Brothers are going to have to carry all the Cajun music weight, but they're up to it.

Step Rideau plays Second Street, Eunice LA

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