Reggae freedom fighter Anthony B stirs the crowd at 8150
VAIL – Dancehall reggae freedom fighter Anthony B and California’s contemporary roots sensation Soul Majestic warm Vail, even at elevation and Club 8150, with their island vibes Friday at 10.Anthony B (born Keith Blair) is the living personification of African consciousness in reggae. His single “Nah vote again” was a major factor in making the Jamaican elections in 1997 a peaceful one.Like his hero Peter Tosh, he is an uncompromising Pan Afrikanist, in the tradition of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, the founder and leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and African Communities League (ACL).The traditional route of most African singers is via the church, and Anthony B is no exception. Growing up in Clarks Town in the parish of Trelawny (a parish noted for the heroic African freedom fighters, the Maroons, who defeated the English military), his Revivalist grandmother and Seventh Day Adventist mother immersed him in the singing, call-and-response and clapping mechanics of rural Jamaica. Anthony B honed his vocal skills in the church and school choirs and then entered the secular world.
He debuted his deejaying skills in Portmore, Jamaica, in the parish of St. Catharine in 1988. In combination with Little Devon, another teen musician, Anthony B made his debut single “The Living is Hard” on the Wizard label in 1993. Recordings and releases followed quickly, and his first hit was “Repentance Time.” His bigger hit singles “Fire pon Rome,” “Rumour” and “Raid di Barn” followed in quick pursuit and his landmark debut album, “Real Revolutionary” was released in 1996. “Fire ‘Pon Rome’s” forthright lyrical stance, rebuking the island’s politicians for their apathy towards the underprivileged masses, proved too controversial in an election year and was quickly banned from Jamaica’s airwaves.Anthony B was one of the first dancehall reggae performers to inject consciousness and politics into his lyrics. He has a distinctive sing-jay style (a blend of classic roots singing and modern deejaying).For more information on the show, visit http://www.club8150.com.Vail, Colorado