Maxi Priest, LW Reggae Fest

Published on April 1st, 2017

Maxi Priest 19th annual Lake Worth Reggae Fest

Maxi Priest – Courtesy 21st Century Artists Inc

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.

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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

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