Tour news: Raggamuffin, Billy Bragg, Fat Freddy's Drop

Damian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, will headline next year's Raggamuffin festival.
Damian Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley, will headline next year's Raggamuffin festival.

Damian Marley, the youngest son of reggae legend Bob Marley, will headline next year's Raggamuffin reggae festival.

Known as Jr Gong, a reference to his father's nickname Tuff Gong, Marley blasted on to the reggae scene with the hard-hitting Welcome to Jamrock, which lamented the harsh realities of life in Jamaica.

The song, which calls for the Jamaican Government to stop the violence, from the album of the same name, went on to win a Grammy.

Marley's older brother Ziggy performed at Raggamuffin in 2009. The festival is at Rotorua International Stadium on January 31 and February 1.

Joining Marley is family band the Morgan Heritage, formed by Jamaican-born, US-based reggae artist Denroy Morgan's five children.

Known as the "Rolling Stones of Reggae", Morgan Heritage recently reformed after a five-year break to release new album Here Come the Kings.

Also returning to Raggamuffin is reggae rapper Shaggy who is known for hits It Wasn't Me and Boombastic. He releases his 11th album later this year, which has been produced by prolific and pioneering Jamaican duo Sly & Robbie.

Leading the local Raggamuffin line-up are Tiki Taane, heavy rock-meets-reggae band Sons of Zion, Auckland-based Soljah, who mix heavy, distorted riffs with jazz harmonies, and scene stalwarts House of Shem.

A new album - and tour - to Bragg about

He played a sold-out tour of New Zealand last year, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie, but this year Billy Bragg is heading back our way to play songs from his acclaimed new album, Tooth & Nail (along with a few tunes from the vaults too, we suspect).

Bragg has been in the business for 36 years, but with Tooth & Nail he's found renewed inspiration, recording it in just five days in a basement studio with Grammy-winning producer Joe Henry and musicians including Greg Leisz (Bon Iver), Patrick Warren (Lana Del Rey), and Jay Bellerose (Regina Spektor).

"It's the follow-up to Mermaid Avenue that I never made," he says. Bragg will be bringing a full band to present the songs at Auckland's Powerstation on Tuesday, March 25, and Wellington's Opera House on Sunday, March 23.

And though they're only just playing the final shows of their Blackbird album release tour in Auckland this weekend, Fat Freddy's Drop are already announcing their next New Zealand shows.

This summer they'll be playing seven dates across various holiday hotspots, starting at The Bedford Marquee in Christchurch on Friday, December 6, before heading to Coroglen Tavern in the Coromandel on Sunday, December 29, then Mt Maunganui's Brewers Field on December, 30, Waihi Beach Hotel for New Year's Eve, Matakana Country Estate on January 2, Riwaka Hotel on January 3 and the Lower Hutt Station Village Complex on January 5.

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- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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