What can I say; this will be a hard review for me. Yes me the Queen who have reviewed hundreds of reggae artists over the years. (smile).
The positive thing is: The Show was centrally located at: The Premiere Reggae spot – Caribbean Grill in Dallas, making it easy for the fans to find. The night as we have come to know was Texashot!!! The DJ’s played a solid set. Local Artist such as Singing Kumba was in the house, always pleasant to see him. Singing Kumba brings always the sunshine with him; positive Rasta vibes even though he did not perform. The house was packed!!! This is also a good indication that Reggae in Dallas is getting back its Reggae Grooves. Last but not least is; Freddie Mcgregor came out and mingled with the crowd, both before the show and after: for me a strong fan advocate, Freddie surely gets an A-1 for this. It shows the respect for those who came out to bless up the place.
Jamaican Reggae Artist – LADEN
In all honesty, if I had not interviewed this Youth man from Jamaica, everything would have been cool. He gave a solid performance to an ever appreciating crowd. So there was no slack there. However, once off the stage he proved to be crass, rude and full of himself. I understand in interviewing him that he has only been performing for 3 years that would explain his cockiness. Although he is a good entertainer, he has a beautiful voice: moves smoothly with his well received releases such as: “Shine”, ” Really Like You”, and Money over war”.
However, Laden has a lot to learn about the International press;hopefully he will learn some much needed social decorum, before his mouth put the breaks on his budding career. No, I am not using his Youth as an excuse for rude behavior, I’ve interviewed other more well known Reggae youths out of Jamaica, such as “Movado” and trust me, he did not exhibit this same type of behavior.
I am a Jamaican born woman, so it pains me to write anything negative about any of my brothers, however over the years I had been taught by my mentor – Mikey Dread(DATC) to call it as I see it, in all honesty “without any apologies”.
With that said, I will move on to the positive-ness of the Big Ship sailing into Dallas!
A breath of fresh air literally! Chino lit up the Dallas Massive like the world’s popular Christmas tree lightening in New York’s Times Square. Magnificent! Not only did he pull the hard core Dancehall fans strings like a puppet, he also pulled the strings of the veteran roots and culture crowd. He came, he performed and he solidly took the house. Chino most definitely inherited his musical creativity honestly, being the son of Freddie McGregor.
When Chino bust out on stage with his most popular song in Dallas “HAFFI GET D CREAM” the house erupted and rocked like an 10.0 Earthquake; talk about moving a crowd! Chino most certainly did this and more. He has a beautiful rock hard voice, dealing with Dancehall solidly; I would encourage any and everyone to check him out. Well, it does not stop there. He was a pleasure to interview; he’s respectful, polite and just cool. Well, yes he is also a youth man from Jamaica, well Hmmmmmm! go figure the contrast right?! Anyway, it was an enjoyably pleasant interview. I learned from him,that he will be doing promotions for Coca cola zero in Jamaica and soon coke billboards will spring up all across the Island of Jamaica. I can see Chino doing bigger and better things in the coming future in Reggae. He is already a class act; so it can only get better!!!! Just keep your eyes on this young man. Big things a coming!
Going in not knowing what to expect from Chino, I was pleasantly surprised! I did receive positive reports from from my compadre’ in California – Carmelita Harris with Irie VisionWorldbeat TV – she had the opportunity to chat them up while they performed in California. However Carmelita is a well known Reggae TV personality and normally Artists are tuned in to good behavior around her;they know who the media is, and will more likely be on guard in good behaviour.
Being a Radio Personality and writer. Sometimes I get the opportunity to be invisible and observe, before I introduce myself to those who don’t already know me. I like to see what the honest personalities are, when they don’t recognize the media. (smile). This is truly the true perception of the person. With that said, Carmelita’s assessment was on the money with Freddie and Chino they were exactly as she said; a pleasure. However her assessment with Laden was way off.. OK I have to be straight with you.. Maybe me referring to him as Bin Laden!!! Tacked his hide. (smile).
Moving on to
Veteran Reggae Artist – Freddie Mcgregor
What can I say about Freddie that has not already been written about over the last 40 years? Traveling with Mikey Dread over the years, I’ve been able to witness Freddie performance on numerous occasions, in many different places. His performance tonight was classic Freddie,something the people here in Dallas needed. I understand that he had not paid a visit to Dallas in over 20 years. That is a long time. Now, I was just hearing thisfrom the crowd, I did not live in Dallas in 1989. Freddie has the reputation of being one of the most vocally gifted reggae singers around; this fact was more than proven at the Caribbean Grill on Saturday night. Although, he did not offer any new songs, he did have the audience in full control with just his classics such as: “Big ship” – whom he recorded with Linval Thompson; “Brandy”; and my all time favorite – “When Push come to Shove”; he pushed on with classic hits after hits such as: “I was born a winner”, “Comin in tough” and “Just don’t want to be lonely”.
Probably the most exciting part of the show for me was when he so graciously paid homage to one of my all time favorite Reggae Artist -Crown Prince of Reggae- Dennis Brown– he sung Dennis’s highly regarded hit song “Here I come” to the excitement of the already overwhelmed crowd, with lighters flickering,the fans just went mad it was off the chain!!! Even had me rockin!
Well folks that does it for me. To Freddie I say positively. A Little Bit More!!!
Just a note: Ielected not to interview Freddie for this reason only. He had appeared on The Reggae solutions show the past Wednesday night In which I am the Host, he interviewed with my Co-Host Steady Rankin. Freddie has been out there for years and is already a giant in the industry. I chose to interview the Youth, give them more International exposure in hopes to give them their time to shine, as they are the future.
Also: Keep in mind, I was really out of my elements here. I have always been strictly a Lover’s rock, Roots reggae and Culture lady. I am use to dealing strictly with Rasta’s for many years; the vibe is always different than Dandehall. However, I was invited to the show by Compliment of the Caribbean Grill, so I truly Big them up!
Next to come in two weeks!! – Beres Hammond rolling in to Dallas with Culture and Kenyatta Hill!!! Sunday August 30th at the House of Blues.