The flack that religiously oriented music gets from secular camps generally lies within acceptance and "mass appeal" parameters. So it's strikingly refreshing when a rambunctious teenager discovers the meaning of his parents' G-d in the wilderness and sets out to mix that with his past rebellions. Matisyahu's reggae might not be the most innovative, but it is extremely well-executed and delivered (thanks in part to the excellent, classically trained jazz musicians backing him). And moreover, it's steeped in the positive message inherent in reggae and piety. Where others seem senseless, Matisyahu's work is engaging danceable even in that manner that reggae gets even the most casual of listeners moving. Elements of dub, traditional ska, hip-hop, and chazan are woven into a solid tapestry for his vocal dexterity to flow on. With a new album, Youth, in tow, Matis is making spiritual forefathers like Bob Marley and Reb Shlomo very proud.
Matisyahu performs at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre, 1806 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach. Also appearing will be Balkan Beat Box. Tickets cost $28 in advance, $33 the day of the show. Call 954-946-2402.