Ziggy Marley

Live Shots

Phases and Stages
Photo By Gary Miller

Ziggy Marley

Stubb's, June 14 It's a decidedly un-irie sign when the namesake of his own band feels the need to record a solo album. Worse still, Ziggy Marley's new Dragonfly manages even less melody than the ever-dwindling flow found on almost a dozen LPs from his childhood group, the Melody Makers. It was Virgin Records that permanently affixed "Ziggy Marley & the" to Melody Makers on 1989's cannon classic Conscious Party, but it's probably fair to assume that the eldest son of reggae prophet Bob Marley had at least some latitude within the musical clan of reggae's first family. Actually, it's Ziggy's brother Stephen Marley who needs to strike out on his own. In the younger Melody Maker beats a killer hip-hop/reggae hybrid, which yet another Marley scion -- Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley -- captured on 2001's Grammy-winning (and terrific nonetheless) Halfway Tree. David Marley, meanwhile, aka "Ziggy," landed his peace-seeking Dragonfly on a healthy assemblage of graying Bohos and Izodstafarians outside at Stubb's. With Saturday night's full moon on the rise and not a leaf stirring even though bales of herb were being torched, Marley was the antithesis of his late father's band, the Wailers, the remnants of whom burn down Antone's annually. Backed by two singers and a sixpiece band that included veteran drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis and six-string bassist Christopher Meredith, Marley's opener "Melancholy Mood" set a mood from which his almost two-hour set never recovered. Even the incantation that precedes Conscious Party's haunting "Dreams of Home" and which Ziggy uses to bless his shows didn't absolve the evening. "Right now, I'd like to get out of my box," announced Marley one song later, and indeed, the new "I Get Out" demonstrated both anthemics and an all-too-familiar singing style: eyes closed during delivery, running in place in between -- the guitar mostly for show. And that One Voice. Bob's "Concrete Jungle" afterward was a perfect segue, as was going from Papa Marley's "Is This Love" into Ziggy's new Dragonfly-er "Rainbow in the Sky," which employs a portion of the former song's chord progression. Ziggy's lionizing "Yeeeaaahhh!!!" was another spine-tingling evocation of music history. Nevertheless, eight out of 11 tracks from the nominal Dragonfly, no Melody Makers faves, and an uninspired sampling of daddy's stash ("Jamming," encore "Redemption Song"), burned brown not green. Set closer "Good Old Days" was energetic, but first encore "Never Deny You," with Marley on the keyboards, was a miscue, and "Baby We've Got a Date (Rock It Baby)" never caught fire. Who the cap fit ...

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Full Service
Lockers (Record Review)

Bryan Rolli, June 24, 2016

Phases & Stages
Live Shots: Reggae Fest

Kevin Curtin, April 24, 2015

More by Raoul Hernandez
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

May 7, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 30, 2021

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle