Max Romeo & Dubtonic Kru with DJ King Toby

April 4, 2019 - 8:30pm

On Thursday, April 4, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and University of Oregon Campus Radio 88.1 FM KWVA proudly welcome Max Romeo and Dubtonic Kru to the WOW Hall.  KWVA's own DJ King Toby will open the show.

Max Romeo (born Maxwell Livingston Smith, 22 November 1947, St. D'Acre, St. Ann, Jamaica) is the reggae artist who put the rude in rude boy.  Romeo was responsible for launching an entirely new sub-genre of reggae, whose overtly suggestive lyrics caused an outcry but took a massive hold of the music scene regardless.

Previous to the release of his infamous "Wet Dream", Romeo had garnered a string of sweet hits with the vocal trio the Emotions. And once the nocturnal naughtiness faded (in the UK it was met with a BBC Radio ban), the singer established himself as one of the most important figures in the roots scene.  The democratic socialist People's National Party (PNP) chose his song, "Let The Power Fall On I", as their campaign theme for the 1972 Jamaican general election.

After this, Romeo recorded a number of religious songs, until he worked with producer Lee "Scratch" Perry, producing the classic singles "Three Blind Mice" (an adaptation of the nursery rhyme with lyrics about a police raid on a party), "Sipple Out Deh" and "Chase the Devil".  A remixed version of "Sipple Out Deh", entitled "War Ina Babylon", was a popular track in the UK and was followed by an album of the same name, and a follow-up single "One Step Forward".

Romeo moved to New York City in 1978, where he co-wrote (with Hair producer Michael Butler) the musical Reggae, which he also starred in.  In 1980 he appeared as a backing vocalist on "Dance" on The Rolling Stones album Emotional Rescue.  In 1981, the favor was returned when Keith Richards co-produced and played on Romeo's album, Holding Out My Love to You.

Max visited the UK again in 1992, recording the albums Far I Captain of My Ship and Our Rights with Jah Shaka.  In 1995 he recorded Cross of the Gun with Tappa Zukie, and he joined up with UK rhythm section/production team Mafia & Fluxy in 1999 for the album Selassie I Forever.

“Chase the Devil” was sampled by The Prodigy for their 1992 UK Top Ten hit "Out of Space".  Kanye West also used samples from it to produce Jay-Z's hit song "Lucifer", which appeared on Jay-Z's 2003 release - The Black Album.  Romeo's single "Sipple Out Deh" appeared in John Peel's Record Box.

 

DUBTONIC KRU

 

Positive energy is shared through music between Dubtonic Kru and their listeners everywhere they perform.  Like their style of music, Dubtonic is a mixture of the two words "Dub", relating to the heavy drum and bass aspect of reggae music, and "Tonic", referring to medicine.  The eclectic blend of music and musicians is certainly medicine to one’s soul, and after listening you simply just want more of this tonic.

The band’s versatility and capability was the edge they had over their counterparts when they were voted “BEST NEW BAND IN THE WORLD" 2010 - 2011 at the Global Battle of the Bands World Finals in Malyasia in February 2011.  After a fierce musical showdown of different genres that involved national finalists from numerous countries, the Executive Judges made the unanimous decision that awarded Dubtonic Kru top honors.

The founding members of Dubtonic Kru are “Jubba” and “Stone”, a dynamic Drum & Bass duo, who over the years contributed to the development of modern roots reggae with their unique sound and approach that intertwines Jubba’s mesmerizing reggae/jazz fusion drumming with Stone’s groovy, yet pulsating bass lines.  The Duo has gained about a decade and a half of experience from touring and recording with the legendary likes of Max Romeo, U-Roy, Burning Spear, The Mighty Diamonds, as well as modern day artistes such as Bushman, Junior Kelly, Richie Spice and Lutan Fyah.  A significant milestone in their careers was the composition of the “I Swear” rhythm that took the reggae arena by storm, featuring artistes such as Richie Spice, Chuck Fenda, and Sizzla, among others.

With the addition of longtime friend and versatile guitarist Jallanzo, who added his strong vocal ability, and the young, talented Luke Dixon on work stations, Dubtonic Kru became a more complete music machine.  Another turning point came with the addition of a very unique and powerful singer to round out the already electrifying dub compositions.  Kamau, “the quiet warrior”, also brought a revolutionary voice to the Kru.  Their songs and spoken words are consciously thought provoking, while their rhythm/dub section walks through the passage of time with a gritty sound that rolls stones and breaks fences.

In 2010 Dubtonic Kru was presented with a Congressional Proclamation by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke for their contributions through music to varying communities.  The same year, they were awarded the Simba Award by CPR (Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music), and in Jamaica and they were once again honoured with the Jamaica Star’s "People's Choice Award" for the "Band of the Year".

The Kru continues to give medicine to audiences through remarkable performances locally and across the world.  Dub and tonic, the Dubtonic Kru is dedicated to keeping reggae alive.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.  Doors open at 8:00 pm and showtime is 8:30.

 

Door Time: 
April 4, 2019 - 8:00pm
Cost: 
$20 Advance, $25 Day of Show