Veteran reggae crooner Freddie McGregor once again proved his top billing in New York with a stellar performance that not just dazzled patrons but left some saying it ranks as one of his best in recent memory.
The ‘Big Ship Captain” created an immediate spark with his opening salvo “I See It In You” and thereafter effortlessly connected with fans – especially the ladies – as he crooned “If You Wanna Go,” “Push Come To Shove,” “Stop Loving You,” “Let Them Try,” “Born A Winner” and “Prophesy.” More hits flowed and the crowd – which had by now swelled to thousands – was loving the vibes. “Big Ship” was perfectly executed, garnering raptors applauds from patrons who sang along word for word. Current hit “True To My Roots,” which has charted in New York, Florida, Jamaica and Europe had to be pulled up to appeased an appreciative audience that was by now bursting at the seams. Other tracks from the newly minted album also warmed hearts and provided proof that despite Freddie’s longevity in the business, he still has the wear-it-all to delivered in a big way. The icing on the cake came when the veteran crooner was joined by Reggae Queen Marcia Griffiths, the two rousing the crowd with ‘United We Stand’ that Marcia first recorded with Bob Andy in the 60s and which was later re-recorded with McGregor for the album ‘Comin’ In Tough.’
“I am very happy I could have come here tonight and executed in such a big way for my New York fans” McGregor said moments after his performance. Early next year he will embark on a club tour in Europe to promote ‘True To My Roots.’ He then heads to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and the Ivory Coast for performances there before he returns to Europe for performances at the annual summer festivals.
Griffiths, who had performed a solo set earlier, charmed fans with “Feel Like Jumping,” “Melody Life,” “Electric Slide” and “Truly.” Midway her set he son Taff joined her for “All My Life.” Marcia, still looking young and vibrant, first gained international recognition with Bob Andy in 1970 with their cover of Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted and Black”, which sold 1/2 million copies in the UK and Europe. She later toured the world with Bob Marley and the Wailers as a member of the I-Threes before hitting the Billboard chart as a solo act with her monster hit ‘Electric Slide.’
The event billed Jamaica’s 50th anniversary Rocksteady concert, ‘Rewind To Rocksteady was presented by Irish & Chin at the Resort World Casino in Queens, NY and also featured British broadcaster/selector David Rodigan and Ninja Crown from the award winning Mighty Crown Sound.