Party Time with the Legendary Leroy Sibbles in L.A.

by Aug 10, 2023Articles, Report

Party Time with the Legendary Leroy Sibbles in L.A.
In his book “Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King” (Penguin Books 2000), Lloyd Bradley writes: “In his various capacities as lead singer and songwriter in the Heptones from 1962, then bass player, musical arranger and interpreter, studio singer, talent scout, tunesmith and recording star at Studio One…Leroy Sibbles is one of the true giants of Jamaican music.” Bradley even asserts that “[i]n purely musical terms, Leroy Sibbles is probably the most important man in rocksteady/reggae[.]”

Given the historical record, Bradley’s stratospheric praise of Sibbles is arguably spot-on, and, close to a quarter century later, it appears stronger still with Sibbles’s voice sounding as sweet as ever. Incredibly, at 74, Sibbles is still touring, still singing the slew of hit songs that made The Heptones so famous—and so loved—in Jamaica, and internationally.

Moreover, through his Bright Beam Music label based in Kingston, Sibbles continues to produce new, righteous tunes, too, as well as mentoring and promoting a promising artist named “Young Garvey.” Just like his extensive classic catalog of hits, Sibbles’s new works are anchored by his hypnotic bass line creations—bass lines that have indisputably earned him the title “King of Reggae Bass Lines”—bass lines that have been used by a countless number of popular Jamaican artists to achieve their own artistic and commercial success (bass lines that made them “buss” as one might say in Jamaican patois, bringing them glory, money, and fame).

Leroy Sibbles and Stephen Cooper

On July 15, Sibbles brought all of his prodigious talents to the Dub Club in Los Angeles: Brilliant bass lines and historic, honey-sweet, smash-hit Heptones songs—all delivered with the incomparable stage presence and charming charisma of a professional entertainer who’s been thrilling audiences for six decades.

Through the graciousness of Susan, Tom Chasteen and the Dub Club staff, and, most importantly, the huge-hearted kindness of Leroy Sibbles, I was in attendance—in the best spot possible—right at the front of the crowd. Accordingly, I documented all the wicked, wonderful music action, to whit: the legendary Leroy Sibbles lighting up the stage, and with it, the darkest corners of the Dub Club patrons’ hearts too, as they witnessed one of the greatest musical talents in the world put on a virtuoso performance. No one who was there will ever forget it. And if you were not so fortunate, not so blessed, no problem! This article provides you with a link to view all of my exclusive video footage and photos of Leroy’s performance backed by the Fully Fullwood Band (which included, of course, legendary Soul Syndicate bass man—in his own right—Fully Fullwood, legendary Soul Syndicate guitarist Tony Chin, veteran master-keyboardist Michael Hyde, and some very talented young horns players).

I hope you enjoy this media from the show! Be sure to check back in a few weeks to read (or listen to) my exclusive interview of Sibbles, in which, amongst other very interesting things, Sibbles explains for the first time the true inspiration behind The Heptones’s hit song “Country Boy.” It’s a revealing interview which took place soon after Sibbles’s encore performance—after Leroy greeted all the assembled VIPs and lucky fans who crowded into the backstage area for autographs, photos, and, one last chance to linger with one of Jamaica’s best living legends.


Check Leroy Sibbles/Heptones  Music