Toots And The Maytals Returns After Three Year Hiatus

Reggae and ska legends Toots & The Maytals will play a number of shows along the West Coast of North America and in New York this June. Prior to these shows, frontman Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has been rehabilitating from injuries suffered at a May 2013 performance, where an audience member struck his forehead with a vodka bottle.

Photo: John Davisson
The Hangout Beach, Music & Arts Fest., Gulf Shores, Ala.

The tour will move from four shows in California, up to a performance in Seattle, Wash., another two in British Columbia and one more in Portland, Ore., before wrapping up in Jamaica, New York, at . The nine shows are all within 11 days, including a number of festivals, so it promises to be a busy period for the rude boys.

The man who injured Hibbert at a show in Richmond, Va., was ordered to serve six months in jail despite an appeal from Toots himself not to incarcerate the guilty party.  Although he showed sympathy for his assailant, Hibbert shared that the extent of the injuries was severe, and kept him off the touring circuit for three years.

“I continue to suffer from extreme anxiety, memory loss, headaches, dizziness and most sadly of all, a fear of crowds and performing,” the Richmond Times Dispatch reports him writing for the trial. “I am not able to write songs as I did before or remember the lyrics of songs that I wrote and have performed for decades.”

Toots, 73, and his bandmates have been performing internationally for over 50 years, having formed the band in 1963. While the band may not be the most recognizable name outside of reggae audiences, its work has been highly influential in Jamaica, where it currently holds the record for domestic number one hits with 31 according to the band’s fan website.

Abroad, the likes of Sublime, the Clash and Amy Winehouse have recorded covers of the band’s songs, some of which have appeared on the artists’ studio albums.

Here are the upcoming dates, for those who want to skank with the legends:
June 15 — San Diego, Calif., Observatory North Park
June 16 — Santa Ana, Calif., The Observatory
June 17 — Los Angeles, Calif., The Fonda
June 18 — Boonville, Calif., Mendocino County Fairgrounds (Sierra Nevada World Music Festival)
June 20 — Seattle, Wash., The Showbox
June 22 — Victoria, BC, Various Venues (Victoria Ska Festival)
June 23 — Vancouver, BC, Commodore Ballroom
June 24 — Portland, Ore., Revolution Hall
June 26 — Jamaica, N.Y., Roy Wilkins Park (Groovin’ In The Park)

Tickets to most shows go on sale April 15. More information is available at the band’s official Facebook page.