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Reggae On The River 2012

Reggae On The River 2012

Reggae On The River 2012

By on - Photos by Lee Abel - 2 comments

Celebrating its last year at Benbow on July 21st and 22nd.

It's been an interesting 28 year journey for Reggae on the River, and 2013 promises another bold transition. This time it's a venue move upstream on the Eel River, back to French's Camp, the original festival location. To celebrate the success of ROTR's rebirth, like a Phoenix rising, since 2008 at Benbow Lake State Recreation Area, the Mateel Community Center gave us 2 days of classic artists and exciting new voices on 2 stages.

Reggae On The River 2012

From Africa to island hopping in the Caribbean, from Latin America to Native Americans, there was a wide breadth of performers who shared their love of music. Here are just a few highlights.

Nkulee Dube, fresh from accepting the International World and Reggae Music Award for Most Promising Entertainer, was all the buzz. The audience eagerly anticipated the chance to see Lucky Dube's daughter, and then were elated by her talent, mixing her unique blend of reggae/Afro-soul. She also got the chance to show off her freestyle talents when she joined the mighty Turbulence during his packed set.

Zimbabwean Oliver Mtukudzi, with 57 albums under his belt, gave an inspiring performance with his band Black Spirits. Calypso Rose, a pioneer among female Calypso artists, was a rare treat to see. BBC Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Pato Banton, was welcomed back to the River and gave an energetic performance, at one point filling the stage with children. Romain Virgo, a great voice and outstanding young role model, showcased his talent on one stage while fellow Jamaican, Lady Saw, long-time reigning dance hall queen, showed off her vim and vigor on the other.

Toots, the hardest working man in reggae, always puts on a joyous show. This year was no exception and was a real family affair. His son Hopeton played bass and another son, Jr. Toots, joined him for a song while his grandson did a flip and loved up the crowd. Daniel Bambaata Marley headed another family dynasty, with cousins in tow. Being Ziggy's son, there is no denying that young Daniel has the Marley voice.

Always a favorite, Duane Stephenson's well-crafted songs were poetic and uplifting, whether singing of love or social justice. St. Croix's pre-eminent band, Midnite, swayed the venue, giving us a solid set of hypnotic rhythms and conscious lyrics. And Fantan Mojah blew the place up, proving that he has matured into an outstanding performer, creative, uplifting, and vibrant.

Looking forward to next year and what the new bend in the River will float to us. For sure it will be more outstanding acts and positive vibes. Thankfully, it will also be a larger space, better river access and on-site camping.


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Read comments (2)

Posted by Happyface on 09.12.2012

Posted by Phello on 10.22.2012
I think reggae on the river has got that aura which one can never get anywhere. Rivers and Rastas go hand in hand.

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