Toots and the Maytals reflect on a fellow reggae innovator with their new track “A Song Call Marley.” The laid-back, horn-fueled track marks the 50th anniversary of their influential 1968 single “Do the Reggay,” often cited as the song that named the genre.
On “A Song Call Marley,” bandleader “Toots” Hibbert looks back at his early friendship with Wailers frontman Bob Marley. “We used to uplift each other with our words,” the songwriter said in a statement, echoing his lyrics on the cut. “I had known Bob for a long time, and we used to be very close.” He added, “He always loved my songs, and I’ve always loved his songs … his ideas … he’s a great guy.”
Hibbert wrote the lyrics and played bass and keyboard on the song, which the band debuted – along with their 1975 classic “Funky Kingston” – on The Tonight Show in July.
Toots and the Maytals launched a U.S. tour in late April. The trek wraps August 24th with a spot at the Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia, which will mark Hibbert’s first performance in the state since being struck in the head with a vodka bottle during a concert in Richmond.
The singer – who has 200 new tracks in the vaults – recently told Rolling Stone that he “suffered a lot” from physical and emotional damage after the incident, but he’s excited to return to the stage. “That’s where I want to be – that’s where I want my energy,” he said.