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Toots & The Maytals

An influential reggae pioneer and his band

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Toots the Legend

  • Apr 1, 2009
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From the minute I heard Toots' rendition of "Take Me Home Country Roads" I fell in love with his soulful voice and one of a kind gospel-reggae style.  IMO, he's the finest reggae musician of all time not named Bob Marley.  His vocals, engaging style and thoroughly enjoyable songs are in a class by themselves.  While his subject matter isn't as deep as Marley's, he's not afraid to ask poignant questions and tackle daunting social issues.  For instance, in One Eyed Enos he asks the perplexing question which I had never considered "suppose you were to knock out the one eye, what would you do?" and in his opus Peeping Tom he deals with an apparently large problem in Jamaica, voyeurism (it seems that everywhere you go in Jamaica - on the plane, in the train, on the lane, in the tree, etc. - there's peeping toms).  Even though it seems hard to avoid peeping toms, Toots doesn't let it get him down, which I like.

For the complete introduction to Toots go out and get yourself  "Time Tough: The Anthology" (http://www.amazon.com/Time-Tough-Anthology-Toots-Maytals/dp/B000001E9D).  This two disc set is packed with incredible songs, including some of my favorites: It's You, Peeping Tom, One Eyed Enos, Pressure Drop (a song that has been covered by many a band), Pomps & Pride (if you don't want to get up and dance to this one, you've got issues), Funky Kingston, Take Me Home Country Roads, Time Tough, Reggae Got Soul, and (I've Got) Dreams To Remember.  Toots is also an amazing erformer - try to catch him before its too late if you're lucky enough to have him play in your area.

After writing this review, I can't wait to jump in my car and rock out to Toots. 

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April 22, 2009
If you're into reggae, I'd recommend Black Uhuru if you like reggae mixed with electronica. Great band and the lead vocalist sounds quite a bit like Bob. The band's sort of a cross between Bob Marley &  the Wailers and Afrika Bambaataa.
April 03, 2009
Peeping tom... One-Eyed Enos... I now have those songs stuck in my head... what a great feeling. Thanks! Great data point too.
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Brew Johnson ()
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I have a beard. I like to travel.
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Reggae icon Toots Hibbert and his band.  Toots Hibbert ("Toots") is a legend of reggae and ska music.   Toot's is considered the grandfather of ska and is even credited with coining the word "reggae" in his 1968 song "Do the Reggay".  Their music is a combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock.  The group was featured in "The Harder They Come," the 1972 film and soundtrack starring Jimmy Cliff, named as one of Vanity Fair's Top 10 Best Soundtracks of all time.

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