By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – This Friday, May 18th, is set to be a special date for fans of reggae in Rio de Janeiro, as legendary Jamaican group, The Congos, will be rocking Circo Voador in Lapa, along with support from New York ska outfit, The Slackers.
Combining the vocal talents of Roydel Johnson as tenor vocalist, Cedric Myton as falsetto and Watty Burnett as baritone, the group was first established in Jamaica to sing on the single ‘At the Feast’ for legendary producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.
Following on the success of the single, Perry produced an entire album of theirs, the now legendary ‘Heart of the Congos,’ in 1977, which has since been called possibly the best album of Perry’s illustrious career by the book ‘Reggae: The Rough Guide.’
Their stop in Rio is part of a South American tour that also encompasses Clube Português in Florianópolis on May 19th, Cultural in Juiz de Fora on May 20th, and Jamboree in São Paulo on May 26th. They will be sure to please the crowd with roots classics such as ‘Fisherman,’ ‘Congo Man,’ and ‘Solid Foundation.’
Singer Cedric Myton, seventy years of age, recently spoke to O Globo about the similarities between Rio de Janeiro and his base of Kingston, Jamaica. “Rio has many similarities with Kingston,” he stated.
“For example, they are two cities bathed by the same sea and are also incubators of songs created from the people for the people. The only difference is that I have a few million saved in Jamaica (laughs), but the energy is the same.”
Supporting the group will be The Slackers, themselves a legendary ska ensemble hailing from New York and signed to Hellcat Records. They’re touring in support of their first album released after five years, eponymously titled, ‘The Slackers.’ They have been described as “the sound of New York” by none other than The New York Times.