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July 1, 2016

City Island Music welcomes the Reggae Thunder band to the Philly music scene!

Appropriately launching their premier performance on International Reggae Day, Reggae Thunder dazzled us with the best of reggae anthems on a beautiful summer evening. Desmond Decker, Peter Tosh, UB40, Ben E. King, Bunny Wailer, a handful of Bob Marley, and reggae-infused arrangements of The Police and Cyndi Lauper songs, had the Rose Tree Amphitheater rising-up and grooving.

So, how good is this new band? Mix two members from the legendary Philly Gumbo band with a seasoned reggae keyboardist, add to that the acclaimed talents of Pauline and Robb McCall…and you have a reggae supergroup! You can say that these musicians are more like “been around the block” than "new kids on the block" and their technically proficient and soulful performance reflected that.

We have regarded Pauline’s strong and smooth vocals previously, as she performed with her other band Brown Sugar, but this was our first time seeing Robb’s amazing guitar finesse! As a team, the McCalls are very enthusiastic, occasionally rousing the amphitheater to cheers and dance. The gumbo rhythm duo, Bert and Cornelius dominated the downbeat, each occasionally breaking out with an improvised jam. Kirk on the keyboards (played with Yellowman, Delfonics, and Black Uhuru - how impressive is that!) brilliantly blended the chords to layer each song’s foundation.

The finale of their two hour, two set, twenty song performance was a rousing “Get Up Stand Up”. In the spirit of the song, Pauline joined the audience at the front of the stage in dancing revelry. Great musicians make for great times!

Learn more about Reggae Thunder on their website:

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