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Too much water for Roots

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

FOR a second Friday in a row, Mother Nature forced an abrupt ending to headliner's Levi Roots' set at Redbones Blues Cafe in New Kingston.

He however managed to see the silver lining behind the clouds: he did two tracks, one better than last week.

“I was hoping to do at least three,” Levi Roots told the Jamaica Observer immediately after his set.

The event — Music and Foods for Friends — billed as an opportunity to see both sides of the British-based entertainer and entrepreneur, also featured musician Della Manley and singer Keisha Patterson. The acts were backed by the Singers and Players band.

“It's a difficult one as we think of rain as a blessing. It's a hard pill to swallow... But I wanna come back in the guaranteed months of sunshine like July,” he said. “We had two weeks of great crowds and that was comforting.”

Levi Roots took the stage in the torrential downpour, much to the delight of fans who cheered him on.

The Clarendon-born act gave a spirited performance of the reggae-flavoured After Tonight and the bouncy Jam In the Streets.

Before the headliner's set, guests were treated to the laid-back, jazzy strains of Della Manley. Her performance included Bittersweet, Fade Away, Baltimore, and Moondance, which were well received.

Keisha Patterson with her powerful voice got the evening's only encore. The singer's set included Tell Me Something Good, Fever, and I Want To Run Away With You. The crowd demanded more and she delivered At Last.

Several members of the entertainment fraternity came out in support. Beenie Man, Nesbeth, King Sounds, music insider Copeland Forbes, and Lennie Salmon were spotted at the event.

Levi Roots (given name Keith Graham) migrated to Britain at 13. He gained widespread popularity after appearing on the British television show Dragons' Den in February 2007. The show allows entrepreneurs to present their business ideas with a view to seek funding from a panel of investors. The reggae singer received 50,000 following his presentation.

Sainsbury's, one of the largest supermarket chains in Britain, bought distribution rights from Levi Roots for sale of the Reggae Reggae brand of products in its more than 600 outlets in Britain.

As an entertainer, Levi Roots made his name as an underground roots reggae singer in the 1980s and 1990s and recorded three albums. He was nominated for a Best Reggae Act MOBO Award in 1998.

— Brian Bonitto