Tarrus Riley Takes Revolution Live Tonight

Revolution Live becomes the church of Tarrus Riley tonight, as the Rastafarian reggae singer brings his wonderfully eclectic mix of roots, soul, and rocksteady to Fort Lauderdale.

The son of Jamaican legend Jimmy Riley, Tarrus has evolved from his Bronx and Florida beginnings as a dancehall DJ to a bona fide superstar across the Caribbean. His arsenal of feel-good tunes, socially conscious musings, and a voice that straddles multiple genres with ease has gained converts stateside too. It’s an altar worth gracing.

While Riley’s sound is steeped in the old school, this is not mere pastiche. There are elements of Gregory Isaacs, Black Uhuru, and Toots and the Maytals in there, but with idiosyncratic twists. Songs such as “Getty Getty” and “Start a New” may come across like lovers’ rock standards; however, Riley’s socially conscious lyrics encourage empowerment and optimism. He’s won oodles of awards in Jamaica, including "most admired song in the past 15 years" for the 2007 hit “She’s Royal.”

Riley’s last album, Love Situation, gave him his first number one on the Billboard reggae chart last year and is a more-than-worthy tribute to the rocksteady sound. The live experience has garnered some stellar reviews. It’s a wave he is riding down to Fort Lauderdale this weekend, and it’s one you ought to catch.

And if that weren’t enough, eminent Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser is also on the bill.

Tarrus Riley With Dean Fraser and the Blak Soil Band, 11 p.m. Friday, August 7, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. 954-449-1025,
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Steve Brennan