by Jeff Taylor
Back on July 11, 1967, Jim Hendrix opened for The Monkees at the Old Old Charlotte Coliseum. It was the third time he had opened for the band, having played a couple nights before in Jacksonville and Miami. He would go on to play in Greensboro and four shows in Queens before leaving the Monkees tour.
The news accounts say that Hendrix was booed off the stage in Charlotte, surely a low-light in Queen City music history.
Jump forward 40 years. Van Halen is kicking off it first tour as Van Halen in 20 years in Charlotte. And the just-announced opening act for that September 27 show is —— Ky-Mani Marley.
Who you say?
The only child of reggae master Bob Marley and table tennis champion Anita Belnavis, Ky-Mani Marley was born in Falmouth, Jamaica, and moved to Miami when he was nine years old.
His first album, 1996’s “Like Father Like Son,” found the young emerging artist covering songs penned by his father. After collaborating with Pras, of the Fugees, on a radicalized cover of Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” in 1997, Ky-Mani went on to record his first Top 10 Reggae album, “The Journey,” in 2000. With his unique blend of world music, hip-hop, blues, rock, roots reggae and dancehall electronica, Ky-Mani Marley had forged his own unmistakable sound. His next album, “Many More Roads,” reached #8 on the Billboard Top Reggae Albums chart and earned Ky-Mani his first Best Reggae Album Grammy nomination. …
While on the Van Halen/David Lee Roth tour, Ky-Mani Marley will showcase songs from “Radio,” the artist’s first full-length studio album since 2001’s Grammy-nominated “Many More Roads.” The much-anticipated “Radio” will be available Tuesday, September 25. …
Produced by Ky-Mani Marley, “Radio” includes the tracks “One Time,” “I’m Back” featuring Young Buck, and contributions from guest artists Mya and Gail Gotti. Among the album’s key tracks are two mixes of Ky-Mani’s apocalyptic and prophetic anti-war anthem of peace, “The March.”
Comparisons have already been made to the Monkees-Hendrix pairing.