Reggae Rising captured the true essence of Roots Reggae and Dancehall

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Photos By: Maria Mendoza
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Rearing its determined head from a cloud of controversy, Reggae Rising was a complete success. The sold out inaugural event, held August 3rd, 4th and 5th on the spectacular grounds of Humboldt County's Dimmick Ranch in Piercy, California offered up intimate servings of major reggae headliners, joined by solid 'up and coming' acts.

With 12,000 people on site and mellow vibes permeating the scene, Reggae Rising pumped positive energy for 3 days straight. Capturing the true essence of reggae, the festival featured the absolute best in all aspects of the genre. The huge roster of reggae giants like: Tanya Stephens, Morgan Heritage, Horace Andy and Ziggy Marley, made this traditional "reggae pilgrimage" parallel to none.

'Captain of The Big Ship', Freddie McGregor, sang each one of his songs with tremendous feeling and passion. He sang, "Revolution" as a tribute to Dennis Brown. Sly & Robbie and The Taxi Gang, featuring Horace Andy & Cherine Anderson, put on a great performance, as did 25 year reggae biz veteran, Richie Stephens. Full of energy, Stephens performed some dancehall classics, paying tribute to Dennis Brown and Bob Marley. His James Brown dance moves and oldies repertoire, turned the Reggae Rising Crowd into a Reggae Rising Choir as they sang along to his melodic tunes.

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Amazed by Morgan Heritage's performance, the crowd was engaged the whole time. They introduced new artist, Laza, to a tumultuous applause and featured singer, Irie Love. Tanya Stephens had fans dancing and singing along with her as she sang hits like, "To The Limit" and "To The Rescue." She blew the crowd away with her tune, "It's A Pity."

Ziggy Marley caused a sea of people to absolutely roar, as he took to the stage. Bringing out patrons' emotions, his set went late into the night. Brothers Damian and Stephen were similarly greeted when they performed. Playing drums and singing, Stephen's "You're Gonna Leave" and "Inna di Red" were well received. The crowd loved his rendition of Dad's, "Buffalo Soldier," and danced along to "Got Music." Damian brought mad energy to the stage, getting people to take out their cell phones and lighters and unearthing massive audience response. Dedicating "There For You" to all the people who have helped him in his life, Damian got the audience to participate while performing, "In 2 Deep." Erupting like a volcano, Reggae Rising went into an uproar when Stephen joined Damian on stage to do a tribute to their dad, with songs like, "Could You Be Loved."

Other reggae icons like, Steel Pulse continue to send crowds into ballistic mode, and at Reggae Rising Festival there was no exception. Rocking the audience from stage front with their heavy guitar playing, the British based veterans got great response especially for the old time favorite tune, "Rollerskates."

Partying on the Eel River in beautiful Northern California to the shock out reggae vibes will always be a super experience. Reggae Rising Festival 2007 was living proof that there is power in the rhythms and they spell Peace, Unity and Love.
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