by Bob Doran
Despite anything you may have heard, there was never a doubt that Reggae Rising will take place on the Dimmick Ranch on the first weekend in August 2009 (that's July 31-Aug. 2).
So, what's the deal? First, ticket prices are down. "Early bird" price is $99 for the weekend with a $7.50 service charge -- $1 from that goes to the County Line Foundation, a nonprofit set up by the Dimmick Ranch that will fund various yet unnamed community organizations. Once again, VIP upgrades are available as are an array of camping deals.
The line-up? Confirmed performers include German reggae star Gentleman with the Far East Band, The Original Wailers with Al Anderson and Junior Marvin, Marcia Griffiths from the I-Threes, British reggae faves Aswad, Prezident Brown and The Solid Foundation Band w/ some unnamed special guest, former Solid Foundation drummer Andrew Diamond with his own band, Jamaican expat singer/Nyabinghi drummer Ras Michael, and Bobby T and the Magic Voyagers, a blues/reggae band from Washington D.C.
If you've been keeping an eye on things, you know (via last week's press release from the Ranch) that Carol Bruno is not producing the show this time around. Rumors were flying about who is doing the booking. None that I heard or read was true. The booker is none other than Junior Murvin, guitarist for The Original Wailers. An educated guess says SoHum dancehall singer Luna Angel may end up on the show since Junior is her uncle.
Update: Word comes from the Ranch that Junior is not alone in booking the show, rather he's part of "an international team," whose other members remain unnamed. Also, ticket sales will go live as soon as they figure out the new-fangled shopping cart on the revamped website.