The original Maytals, who had a central role in the formative stages of reggae, are ancient history. But Toots Hibbert and his marvelous voice are still thriving, still negotiating the exquisite turf where piquant Jamaica meets Memphis soul, gospel, and R&B. As sweet as fine molasses but with a fiery, complex, textured bite, Hibbert's singing irrefutably proved reggae got soul decades ago. Leading the latest version of the Maytals on last year's Flip and Twist, Hibbert continues to smartly stray from reggae orthodoxy, flirting with disco, hip hop, funk, and blues, covering Stevie Wonder and Gamble and Huff. But the earthy grandeur of Hibbert's pipes ensures everything stays grounded, the hooks are always alluring, and reggae's primal hitch is never far off. With Natty Nation.
Sat., July 9, 7:30 p.m., 2011