All roads lead to French's Camp in Piercy, California this week as reggae fans from as far away as Australia make pilgrimage to music's most beloved reggae festival, Reggae on the River. With its highly anticipated return to the natural beauty of French's Camp, in Southern Humboldt County, the festival will be celebrating this homecoming with some of reggae's hottest headliners: Tarrus Riley, Julian Marley and Morgan Heritage.
Tarrus Riley, the crown jewel of second generation roots reggae singers, embodies a rare blend of wisdom, maturity, and street cred that come out in his no-holds-barred lyrics and rich singing voice, which is fully complimented by the exquisitely performed saxaphone of Dean Fraser. Fraser's musical direction, song arrangements and subtly crafted harmonies played a major role in the high quality of their latest album, Mecoustic which will be seen and heard in songs like Pick Up the Pieces, Larger than Life and more. At times the harmonies have a doo-wop, vintage soul quality, at others a South African freedom feel, and overall a sacred gospel energy that works beautifully with Riley's singing. Riley's won awards from various institutions for Best Singer, Best Male Vocalist, Culture Artist, and Song of the Year. Fresh off the plane from their very well received European tour, his performance at ROTR is arguably the most anticipated of the festival season.
This special homecoming celebration just wouldn't feel right without a Marley on the bill, and ROTR 2013 is thrilled to welcome one of the most talented and elusive members of the Marley dynasty. Known for both his impressive musical and humanitarian work, Julian “JuJu” Marley and his Uprising Band, transcend musical genres and are setting a new global standard as spiritual, moral, and musical visionaries. “Reggae music is tailor-cut to uplift,” he was quoted as saying recently. He continued, “Spiritual uplifting with no divisions. That's what I do with my music.”
Sunday evening will be topping the festival off with Reggae music's most respected and successful family act, Morgan Heritage. They will be presenting work from their just released album Here Come the Kings. With their authentic rockaz style, Morgan Heritage has a long list of hit songs including Don't Haffi Dread [to be Rasta] and indeed they tout a large, cross-over appeal bridging culture and dancehall fans alike. With a batch of songs that feature their signature vocals mixed with a nice blend of traditional roots music and love songs, Morgan Heritage's Here Come the Kings feels like a celebration, perfect for Reggae on the River 2013.
Other highlights of the festival for reggae and world music fans include Chronnix and the Zinc Fences who killed it at last year's Reggae Salute in Jamaica and will be making his California debut at ROTR.
Nikulee Dube is back by popular demand with her fresh remaking of roots reggae and neo-soul with a distinct African flavor. J Boog and Hot Rain will kill it on Friday night with his island and reggae sound leading up to Tarrus Riley.
With over 13 CDs and 1000 appearances, Anthony B will no doubt give an electrifying performance with his messages of social conviction confronting political injustices and promoting spiritual consciousness. Junior Kelly will be bringing all reggae fans into the fold with his compelling blend of dancehall deejay and more traditional roots music. People are also excited about Blue King Brown whom Carlos Santana hailed as “the voice of the street and the band of the future,” Jamaica's Rootz Underground who push the boundaries of rock, jam, reggae and beyond with a killer stage performance and Prezident Bown, a champion of new roots and reality consciousness will rock the bowl with a dynamic performance grounded in Nyabinghi drumbeats. From Jamaican roots reggae, to the headliners, to global grooves, long live Reggae on the River.
The Mateel Community Center has decided to add one-day tickets for ROTR fans who want to come to the festival one or two days, without the camping option. The single day tickets will be available at the gate only, to those who arrive by the shuttle or by foot, as car parking is reserved for three- and four-day ticket holders who are camping.
ROTR three-day and four-day tickets are still available at most of the usual outlets but are going fast. The multi-day event tickets include camping and are priced at $190 for the main three-day festival taking place Friday, Aug. 2 - 4, and $250 for the four-day tickets that allow early access to the grounds and an extra evening of DJs and special guests on Thursday, Aug. 1. Single day tickets for Friday and Saturday are $75 each. Single day tickets for Sunday which ends at 8 p.m. are $55.
Stay tuned to the festival website at www.reggaeontheriver.com for more updates. Looking forward to the return of Reggae On The River to French's Camp located just north of the Humboldt County line near Piercy, CA. on Highway 101. For more information email email@example.com or call the Mateel office at 707-923-3368.