Tosh's spirit fills Union Theater
Showcase •Wisconsin State Journal Monday, Sept. 14,1981, Sec. 3, Page 3
Gospel concert brings audience to its feet By Susan Kepecs Written for the State Journal
Sunday night's concert of gospel music, part of the Urban League's Second Annual Jubilee Jazz Fest, was divine, no joke intended. It was surprising that there were some empty seats at the free concert, presented in the MATC auditorium. Urban League Executive Director James Graham opened the show with the hope that everyone would clap their hands and have a good time. Graham presented Madison musician Don Strachan with a plaque in recognition of his work with the Jazz Fest. Larry Drake and his ensemble, with the UW Gospel Choir, opened with the familiar hymn "Precious Lord." Right away, the organ built up to a crescendo. The Ebony Voices, from Graham's home town of Fort Wayne, Ind., were seated in the audience. Immediately, some women from the seated choir burst into rhythmic applause. "Take my hand — I wonder if you can feel it like I do — Lead me home," Drake sang. A woman from the Ebony Voices shouted "Yeah!" Drake announced a song written by the Commodores, a well-known soul group. "This song is called 'Jesus is Love,"cause he is. . . ." The women in the UW choir; onstage, sang and swayed, clapping doubletime. . The seated choir, The Ebony Voices, was on its feet, its members clapping their hands over their heads. The kids in the audience were bopping away. Everyone was on their feet, clapping. "You got to feel it," Drake advised. "I've got a message for the reporters who are here tonight," Graham said when he returned to the stage to introduce the second group, Fred Reed and Company of Milwaukee. "For those of you who are reading this in the paper, instead of being here with us — we got a church in here tonight!" Fred Reed has a powerful voice, and he moves with 'his music. "Through it all. . . mmmmmmmmm . . . I've learned!" He jumps, raising his hands. "To trust!" He jumps again. The choir behind him adds its voice. Reed waves his hands over his head.
"Trust in Jesus!" He punctuates with a thrust of his arms. "My savior!" "Yeah!" comes the response from the audience. The Fred Reed group has a nineyear old drummer, Etfc Larson, who has been playing since he was six. It also has, like the-other groups on the program, piano and organ. The Ebony Voices, of the Jerusalem Baptist Church, closed the program. "We're gonna clap our hands and stamp our feet 'til the spirit come down!" The large choir, in black and white robes, brought the house down with its closing number, "Lord, Make Us One." They sang with the hallmark of gospel, faith and devotion. The audience, on its feet, clapped in rhythm and let itself be transported into the realm of the music, as an audience is supposed to do at a gospel concert. For the ending, Graham took the mike and asked the audience to join hands. All of the evening's performers went up on stage. The concert was videotaped and will be shown on Cable 4| Monday at 7 pm.
Beverly Hillbillies making comeback HOLLYWOOD (AP) - The Hillbillies are coming, the Hillbillies are coming! Not Granny. Irene Ryan died in 1973. Not Jethro. Max Baer decided not to participate. But good ole Jed Clampett — Buddy Ebsen — and his nubile daughter EUy May — Donna Douglas — will appear in "The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies," a two-hour special on CBS television Oct. 6. Also Werner Klemperer, Ray Young as a substitute Jethro and Imogene Coca as Granny's Maw. Intellectual critics may be appalled, but the special could bring a return of the Beverly Hillbillies as a regular series.
By Michael St. John Music writer
The Bush Doctor! The Mystic Man! Peter Tosh, the Steve "those were the songs, thank you, good-night" Miller of reggae, and his hard-hitting band Word, Sound and Power, drew a standing-room only crowd of 1,300 at the Memorial Union Theater Sunday evening. With an introduction resembling the Charley Pride Show, Tosh and his back-up band took the stage and proceeded with an onslaught that left no doubt about the strength of their message. Beginning a half an hour late, The Rasta "vibrations" got through to the predominately undergrad-aged assembly with the help of Marshall guitar amplification and Ampeg SVTs adding excess poundage to the bass. A more appropriate tag would have been Power, Sound and Word (the latter being vaguely distinguishable from time to time). Still, there's a certain spirit that is embodied in reggae music, whether you share the implied spirituality of the Rastaman or not. That spirit had a few dancing in the aisle by the end of the second tune and by the time a more "fluid" (a more diplomatic term than ."commercialized") version of "Walk And Don't Look Back" was offered, the front of the theater was choked with happily swaying partiers. Only after an hour of the 90-minute concert had passed did Tosh address the audience at any length. By that point, Tosh and his seven musical brothers had escalated their funky rock treatment, and the pulse of those in attendance, to such a high pitch that urging them to "Get up, stand up" was a little like psyching, up the Badgers two minutes before they beat Michigan Saturday. When Tosh speaks about reggae music and his Rastafarian faith (which is closer to Orthodox Christianity than many realize), he sounds mystical, even cryptic. But when the band encored with "Legalize It," Tosh's anthem for free use of marijuana (a Rasta sacrament), he came off like a veteran showman with a dreadlock hairstyle. Many in the crowd had been acting like the herb was already as legal as mother's milk. The band was beginning to sound more and more like Deep Purple. Reggae and the Rastafari need a prime mover like Tosh. But rock 'n roll already has a Rolling Stones. Peter Tosh and Word, Sound and Power showed all the markings of becoming
a strong force in the music world. The current 55-city American tour should do as much for this group as entries into the mainstream of rock as anything. Bui Tosh promotes a spiritual way
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finds Homes taking a well-earned holiday which turns into a hunt for a murderer.
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