If you have a bad case of the winter blues and need to escape (if only mentally) to warmer climes, the Manhattan will be the place to be tonight in downtown Moncton. With previous appearances at prestigious festivals such as Evolve and Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival under their belts, Toronto band The House Of David Gang is bringing their third annual Bob Marley tribute to the club. The show gets underway at 10 p.m.
Since forming more than a decade and a half ago, The House of David Gang is one of Canada’s top roots-reggae collectives, bringing the timeless Jamaican reggae sound of the 1970s and ’80s into the 21st century. Though the show is being billed as a tribute to Bob Marley, the group also plays select tracks from other reggae heavyweights including Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
“Bob Marley really was a light of the route for all races. He was such a unique person,” House of David Gang leader and native Jamaican King Selah starts from his Toronto home. “His message was always universal love for people and equality for all.
Asked what brought the various members of the House of David Gang together all those years ago, King Selah notes that it wasn’t as much musical compatibility as much as it was like-mindedness.
“The talent is definitely there amongst all band members but if you don’t really share the same focus, I don’t think you could really work together to get things done.”
King Selah encourages anyone considering attending the show tonight to bring a non-perishable food item, all of which will be collected for donation to one of Metro Moncton’s food banks. And in the spirit of giving, the band will in turn reduce your ticket price by $5 in exchange for the food item.
“By bringing a food item to the show, you are not only getting to help pay tribute to a musical legend but it is just a big part of the event to be able to give something back to the community.”
He elaborates on his last thought, stating, “Music itself is a positive thing and it’s the people who come out to support you that help make what we do worth it.”
While Marley fans attending the show can expect to hear some of the legend’s best-known and best-loved songs, King Selah says that the group will also be pulling out a few lesser-known nuggets from Marley’s catalogue to keep everyone on their toes.
Asked if anyone from Bob Marley’s estate has ever contacted them to give the group their blessing, King Selah confirms that it has not yet happened yet but he is confident that their tribute would be seen as a positive.
“I think that Bob Marley’s family would be proud to know that we are honouring his legend and music by playing it. If I were to write a song and someone else decides they like it enough to sing it, that is one of the biggest honours that I can think of.”
Article published in February 11, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript