“I’m the king of Bassline reggae,” proclaimed veteran singer Leroy Sibbles as he lit up the crowd at the recent Westchester Reggae Festival at the Capitol Theater in New York City. “All the outstanding Jamaican singers, past and present, are on a Leroy Sibbles bass line. I think the bass line is played by the bassists.”
Sibbles, whose contribution as a bassist to the collective production and enduring legacy of Studio One is legendary, played beats for vocalists Bob Andy, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, John Holt, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown , Slim Smith and many others. . He was also a key contributor to tracks such as Freedom Blues, Love me forever, Satta Massaganna; Bill of Rights, Queen of the minstrel, Ten to one, Porta Peep, i Full up.
Sibbles were on their feet when Derrick Barnett broke through on the right, upping the score to 0 – 5, much to the home crowd’s dismay. This gave energy to the full room. The musical magician from Studio One couldn’t do anything wrong as he shot the crowd and took them on a musical odyssey. His guitar feats were a high point and a much-loved feature of his 45-minute performance that earned him enthusiastic applause. Prior to that, he released a number of hit songs, including Party time, Sea of love, You have the handle, Lost My Baby, Baby Be Truei 54-46 This is my number, a well-received tribute to singer Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert. He was called back for the three encores, where he served Rule Book, Sister and the very popular Fattie Fattie.
After a two-year confinement due to the pandemic, New York music fans were eager to get in touch with the timeless classics of Johnny Osbourne, who, along with Marcia Griffiths, led the festival and it was supported by Derrick Barnett and The Statement. band.
The New York-based singer got customers standing, and others danced in the hallways as he meandered through his impressive catalog of hits, including Dear back, Truth and Rights, Reasons, Yes, Promise, Water pumping, All I have is love, Little Sound Boy, among others. The excitement culminated with Jo-Jo i Amor Gelat.
After a second encore, he was again called for a presentation of a United States Congress proclamation by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. The award was presented by the Consul General of Jamaica in New York, Alsion Roach Wilson.
Reggae Queen Marcia Griffiths, who lowered the curtain, offered all her great hits. Predictably, it dazzled fans with its sweet, cheeky sounds and an impressive catalog of singing hits, including I will sing, Land of dreams, Leaving Babylon, Gentle mood, Land of Love, Fire cream i All my life made with his son Taffi. She did an encore with For real, Yay (dedicated to Bob Andy); the Marley classic Music is going to teachbefore closing his solo performance with international success Electric slide which featured fans dancing on stage. He then invited Leroy and Johnny to the stage You make me feel like newa stylistic original written by Jamaican-born Thom Bell of Philadelphia International Records.
Earlier, Mr. Kool of New York enjoyed the evening with a great musical, featuring classic Gregory Isaacs fans. Number 1, Find me on the corner, Love defeated i Tune inwhich were well received.
Another highlight of the four-hour performance was the appearance of singer Beverley Kelso, one of the founding members of the original Wailers with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Junior Braithwaite and Cherry Smith. Kelso received a proclamation from the United States Congress. Kelso hasn’t played live for decades, but he did a brief, impromptu a cappella performance that earned him the applause of the crowd.