Toots & the Maytals

Formed in Kingston in the early '60s, Toots and the Maytals played a seminal role in the evolution of reggae from ska and rock steady, and are even credited with being the first to use the term, in the 1968 hit "Do the Reggay." Other groups made the same transition, but no one has been able to match the wonderful, gospel- and soul-drenched voice of Toots Hibbert, who seemingly uprooted Memphis and transplanted it somewhere in the vicinity of the Blue Mountains. The Maytals' "Pressure Drop" was among the memorable tunes in the landmark reggae film The Harder They Come, and the group issued a series of essential albums through the 1970s, including Funky Kingston and Reggae Got Soul. Hibbert eventually split with original Maytals Jerry Matthias and Raleigh Gordon, working solo for a time, then reconstituting a new version of the Maytals in the '90s, continuing to exercise his glorious voice and put out solid albums like 2007's Light Your Light. With Wain McFarlane.
Fri., July 3, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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