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Author: Stephen Cooper at Reggae Vibes

Safeguarding Bob Marley with “So Much Things To Say”

“SAFEGUARDING BOB MARLEY WITH ‘SO MUCH THINGS TO SAY'” When: July, 2017 Where:  Los Angeles, CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper In reviewing Roger Steffens’s latest book, “So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley,” Hua Hsu asserts in The New Yorker that Steffens’s contribution to the Marley canon is his “nerdish monomania.” But Steffens, who invited me to tour his overstuffed “Reggae Archives” in L.A., epitomizes cool – as does his magnum opus on Marley – right down to its subtle red, green, and gold binding. Moreover, it is Steffens’s avidity and accuracy...

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King Yellowman Defends Gay Rights at Reggae on the Mountain

“KING YELLOWMAN DEFENDS GAY RIGHTS AT REGGAE ON THE MOUNTAIN” When: July, 2017 Where:  Topanga Canyon, CA Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper Born with albinism in 1956, dancehall music legend King Yellowman was rejected from birth. As a baby, he was found in a supermarket’s trash heap in Kingston, Jamaica. Miraculously surviving and raised in orphanages, he was ridiculed, called names, and abused. Yellowman was scorned solely because of his color. However, possessing preternatural musical talent, an indomitable will, and braveness beyond belief, Yellowman surmounted these Herculean obstacles, and more. After Bob Marley’s death, in 1981, he...

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Music Royalty & Raging Fyah Figure Prominently at Reggae on the Mountain 2017

When: July, 2017 Where:  Topanga Canyon, CA. Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper Amazon.co.uk Widgets When Yellowman, the perennially provocative “King of Dancehall Music,” pointed at the assembled crowd at this year’s eighth annual Reggae on the Mountain (July 22-23) in California, “nobody move, nobody get hurt” – a historic refrain in music history, rang out – echoing throughout Topanga Canyon, raising the hair on both mountain and Rasta lions alike. MUSIC ROYALTY & RAGING FYAH FIGURE PROMINENTLY AT REGGAE ON THE MOUNTAIN 2017 Rising from jubilant, head-bobbing, booty-shaking revelers who were buoyed by benevolently cooler temperatures this...

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Reasoning, Rebel Music, and Raging Fyah: The Interview

“REASONING, REBEL MUSIC, AND RAGING FYAH: THE INTERVIEW” When: July, 2017 Where:  Los Angeles, California Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper Rarely in the annals of music history has a reggae band resonated with such resounding popularity worldwide as Raging Fyah, from Kingston, Jamaica. The fact that “Everlasting,” the band’s third album, was nominated for this year’s Grammy award for Best Reggae Album comes as no surprise to Raging Fyah’s loyal and growing fan base (“The Fyah Squad”); the only surprise is that they lost, and also, that in previous years, Raging Fyah’s first two albums, “Judgement Day”...

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20 Minutes with frontman Dan Kelly

“FORTUNATE YOUTH” When: March, 2017 Where:  Los Angeles, California Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper Fortunate Youth is a six-piece reggae band with roots in Hermosa Beach, California. Since 2009 it has toured heavily in the United States and overseas and its albums and individual songs consistently top the Billboard and iTunes Reggae charts. The band just opened up a nationwide tour to promote its newly released eponymous album; they’ll play 50 shows over 70 days hitting as many states as possible. “FORTUNATE YOUTH” On March 18 just hours before the band played to a sold-out crowd at...

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20 Minutes with Reggae Legend Don Carlos

“RASTA IS MORE LIKE A REBEL TO THE SYSTEM” When: April, 2017 Where:  San Diego, California Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2017 – Stephen Cooper With his signature sweet voice and a successful career spanning over four decades, Reggae Legend Don Carlos is unquestionably a legendary figure in reggae music. The worldwide appeal of Carlos’ unique style of conscious roots reggae music is well-documented; an often-cited example well-worth watching on YouTube is from a concert Carlos gave in 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya; a massive crowd of an estimated 150,000 joyous fans turned out despite a sweltering African sun to dance, to praise...

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Black Uhuru live in San Diego

When: September, 2016 Where:  Belly-Up Tavern, San Diego, CA. Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2016 – Stephen Cooper When legendary reggae band Black Uhuru began playing the hypnotically addictive, haunting, head-bobbing, foot-stomping beat of their world-famous song, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, at the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego (on the night of September 1st), a jovial, overly-sauced patron screamed out: “Black Uhuru is the best reggae band alive!” And, more than anything else, it was this proclamation that best summed up the feel good, get-on-your-feet-and-dance vibes then pulsing through the Belly Up’s joyful, equally exuberant, filled to capacity crowd –...

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25 Enlightening Minutes with Black Uhuru’s Duckie Simpson

“THEY DON’T RESPECT JAMAICANS” When: September, 2016 Where:  San Diego, California Reporter: Stephen Cooper Copyright:  2016 – Stephen Cooper Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, founder of the world’s top-selling reggae band after Bob Marley & The Wailers, has been in the music business for over fifty years; but, at 66 years young you’d never know it, because as anyone who has seen (and heard) Black Uhuru perform recently can attest, Duckie Simpson is an ageless, still spry, reggae icon; like fine wine, his artistic beauty and complete mastery of reggae music has only matured over the years, ripening and deepening in its richness...

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