The King of Soulful Reggae brought down the house Sunday night. My lovely wife and I went to see Beres Hammond and Kenyatta Hill with Culture at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in fine style with some excellent lovers rock. The deep, smooth, sultry, sweet voice of Beres Hammond was pure niceness and sweetness. The House of Blues makes for an excellent venue with great lighting, sound, and balcony seating and with Beres Hammond center stage, it all combines and creates musical magic.
The evening began with roots and dancehall reggae sets from DJ Infernal setting the mood with great selections and flawless mixes. The live music started when the band the Harmony House Musicians took the stage and displayed their superb musicianship. Kenyatta Hill brought the music of his father, Joseph Hill, to the stage. With the Harmony House Musicians laying down thundering drums and bass, Hill and the singers from Culture brought the best of 1970s and 1980s roots reggae to the metroplex.
Culture played some of their greatest hits, including the legendary song “Two Sevens Clash.” Kenyatta Hill performed a spirited version of “This Train,” which he called his favorite song from his father’s extensive catalog. The rollicking version of “This Train” fused the fervor of gospel with the easiness of reggae. The set list included the roots reggae singles “Zion Gate,” “Jah Rastafari,” and “See Them a Come.” Culture also played their ganja anthem “The International Herb.”
Culture’s set alone would have made for an excellent reggae show. But with Beres Hammond headlining the show it became extraordinarily spectacular. Beres Hammond might have the greatest voice on any living human being. The Harmony House Musicians and the Harmony House Singers warmed up the stage for Beres, playing an instrumental version of the Beatles’ classic “Norwegian Wood” and then the singers performed a sweet version of “Come Over.”
Beres took the stage to raucous applause and ladies screaming. The legendary reggae crooner played dancehall favorites, including “Thanks Fe Mi Pride & Joy,” “Come Down Father,” “Sweetness,” “Can You Play Some More,” “One Dance,” “She Loves Me Now,” “Tempted To Touch,” “Putting Up Resistance,” and “Pull It Up.” The three female singers that make up the Harmony House Singers wrapped their vocals around the lush voice of Mr. Beres Hammond. Beres made his lovely voice most noticeable on acapella versions of songs, like a wonderful take on “No Disturb Sign.” The most inspiring and beautiful tracks performed that night were “Rockaway” and “I Feel Good.” And finally I must mention “our song”–that is the song that is very special to my wife and I–“They Gonna Talk.” “Ay, some things were meant to be” Beres sang “So why not let it be…And stop worrying about it…Long as we know what’s in our hearts…We know our inner thoughts…Ay, no reason for concern no….”