Maxi Priest 19th annual Lake Worth Reggae Fest
British pop-reggae crooner Maxi Priest has always brought the heaviest Rastaman vibrations to his ‘80s and ‘90s hits, braiding swirls of reggae rock, R&B and hip-hop into crossover success. Not that he’s any kind of pretender: jams such as “Sure Fire Love” capture his feel-good rhythms, while another ‘90s gem, “Just a Little Bit Higher,” is a bouncy, spiritual proclamation of his Rastafarian faith.
It is Priest’s career of crafting a righteous hybrid of sounds that should dovetail perfectly with the spiritual tone set by this year’s Lake Worth Reggae Fest, which has long built a reputation on colliding dancehall riddims and Afro-Caribbean grooves for all reggae fans.
Priest will lead the bill of 11 reggae acts holding court April 21-23, as always, at the foot of the Lake Avenue Bridge in Bryant Park. Priest (also responsible for ‘Wild World,” “Close to You”) will co-headline Friday’s lineup alongside the Original Wailers, the five-piece troubadours co-founded by guitarist Al Anderson, who toured with Bob Marley and the surviving Wailers in the 1970s and 1980s.
If those reggae bona fides aren’t enough, Saturday’s lineup at Reggae Fest, a get-down celebrating Caribbean food, music and island pride, will boast music no less diverse. California’s punky ska-rock crew the Long Beach Dub All Stars, led by ex-Sublime affiliates Jack Maness and Marshall “Ras MG” Goodman (fun fact: he’s a city councilman in La Palma, Calif.), top the afternoon’s bill alongside Savannah, Ga. reggae-rockers Passafire, Orlando’s kazoo-toting ska songstress Michelle Beebs and Her Money Makers and rising Los Angeles singer Tenelle. Rounding it out are local stalwarts Moska Project, a Jupiter Latin reggae sextet, and Karlos Marz Band, a soulful Palm Beach act that covers classic reggae. Sunday, meanwhile, belongs to headliner Collie Buddz, the dancehall-reggae crooner recently heard catching a buzz with his single “Wake and Bake,” off his compilation album “General Hydroponics Vol. 2.” Also performing are San Jose, Calif. hip-hop-reggae trio the Holdup and KBong, the mellow reggae-dub solo project of Kevin Bong of Stick Figure.
Lake Worth Reggae Fest will run 7-10 pm Friday, April 21, noon-10 pm Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, at Bryant Park, 30 S. Golfview Road, in Lake Worth. Tickets are $15 daily, $65 for VIP via Eventbrite.com.
~ Phillip Valys