Reggae on the river
State Bridge Amphitheater will showcase the Roots River Reggae Festival Friday through Sunday. It’s three days of music the venue plans to make an annual event. Stephen Marley, son of Bob and his wife Rita, will headline the show Friday. Marley released the album “Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life” in May. Marley, who branched out to a variety of genres, said he felt inspired to return to the roots of reggae for this album. For him, whether he plays a rock concert or a hip hop concert, reggae is still the foundation of his music. “I wanted to pay homage to the foundation of reggae music,” he said during a phone interview Wednesday. “The roots is always there to go back to … Reggae is always the foundation and the platform.” People have pointed out that the new album has a lot of political themes to it. Marley said it’s not about parties or issues though. “Life is important to me solely,” he said. “I’m speaking about life, really.” ‘A reminder for peace’The artist, who began his career at age 6 in the family group The Melody Makers, said not all of today’s reggae music deserves to be classified that way. “The integrity implemented in our music, that hopeful feeling you get in your spirit and soul, that is reggae music,” Marley said. “We have all different styles. It’s not the beat that makes it, it’s the integrity of the music. That’s the most important factor to me.” That trait seemed to motivate the organization of this weekend’s festival as well. “Reggae music carries such deep and powerful messages that are often a call to action and a reminder for peace,” said the festival’s promoter, Scotty Stoughton. “The music is timeless and poetic with power and integrity – tough to find on today’s scene.” ‘It’s a good thing’Other headliners this weekend include Toots and the Maytals and Jus Goodie. Colorado band Dubskin, a six-piece roots/dub reggae band from Fort Collins, performs Sunday. The Maytals, who also perform Sunday, blend gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock into a unique sound. Led by Frederick “Toots” Hibbert, the band released its first album in 1964. The group received a 2005 Grammy for the album “True Love,” and Toots received a nomination in 2008 for “Light Your Light.” Justin Goodman, aka Jus Goodie, grew up in a Jewish family surrounded by Hebrew music. He also combines different influences in his music -vintage reggae, motown soul music and classic R&B – but he says his music is rooted in spiritual liberation. Jus Goodie performs Saturday. Marley said he is bringing a few guest artists with him, and that he may also share the stage with some of the other performers at the festival. “I love to play in Colorado, it doesn’t matter the setting to me,” he said. “(For State Bridge) to request our presence … it’s a good thing.”
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