Dancehall, the classic style of DJ-driven reggae, is the focus of the Mighty Blood and Fire Sound System tour, scheduled to run through late April and early May in the U.S. and Canada.
Reggae expert Steve Barrow, author of The Rough Guide Reggae: 100 Essential CDs and co-author of Reggae: The Rough Guide, mans the turntables at these performances as three celebrated Jamaican toasters Trinity, Dillinger and Ranking Joe take turns improvising over the grooves he selects.
Trinity is known for such songs as "Rasta Determination" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Peace Treaty in a Western Kingston" (RealAudio excerpt), and in the past has teamed up with his friend Dillinger for tracks such as "Mop Head Screw Face," among others.
All three artists were associated with the dancehall style, which emerged in Jamaica during the early '70s, as vocalists rapped over instrumental performances on the flip sides of popular reggae singles.
Currently on tour in Europe, the trio are delivering long shows, with each artist performing for about an hour and Barrow following with several hours' worth of DJing on classic and contemporary reggae discs.
Blood and Fire Sound System (bloodandfire.com) is a label dedicated to reissuing classic reggae albums of the '70s.
Mighty Blood and Fire Sound System tour dates:
April 19; New York; Joe's Bar
April 20; Seattle; Bohemian Club
April 21; Eugene, Ore; WOW Hall
April 22; Portland, Ore.; Paris Theater
April 24; Vancouver, British Columbia; Sonar
April 25; Los Angeles; El Rey Theater
April 27; San Francisco; Justice League
April 28; San Diego; Brick by Brick
April 29; Austin, Texas, Flamingo Cantina
April 30; Boston; Bill's Bar
May 1; Fletcher, Vt.; Roots Foundation Party
May 3; Winooski, Vt.; Higher Ground
May 5; Toronto; Lee's Palace
May 6; Montreal; Rainbow Ites
May 7; Ottawa; Club Babylon