Monday, April 4, at The Bottleneck.

Toots and the Maytals 

Monday, April 4, at The Bottleneck.

Regarded as the seminal influence on the rock steady, ska and reggae scenes, Toots Hibbert is also living proof that sharing a spliff is a more sensible means of breaking down barriers than senseless bloodshed. The Clash showed its agreement by using its recording of Toot's 1969 Jamaican dance-hall hit "Pressure Drop" as the B-side of its sardonic 1979 single "English Civil War," making the connection between the bloody streets of Kingston and the growing racism within the UK. Thugs -- be it countrymen or cops -- are still thugs -- that was the sentiment echoing from Strummer and his crew as they issued the same warning Toots gave his fellow Jamaicans a decade earlier: I say when it drops, oh, you gonna feel it/Know that you were doing wrong. Bob Marley is remembered as reggae's prophet of peace, but Toots Hibbert remains its enduring spirit of cross-cultural kinship.

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