By Howard Campbell
LAUDERDALE LAKES – It’s been eight years since the reggae group, The Mighty Diamonds performed in South Florida. On Wednesday (June 27), the veteran roots-reggae trio breaks that drought with a show at The Garden (4340 N State Road 7) in Lauderdale Lakes.
The date is the latest on their North American tour, and kicks off the trek’s East Coast leg.
“Knowing that The Diamonds are celebrating their 49th anniversary is exciting, but to have it under the Dub Village brand means everything,” said Sandy Thompson, whose Spliffy Red, Green and Gold company is co-promoter of the show with Lance “Iron Storm” Sutherland.
The Mighty Diamonds kicked off their tour with a handful of shows on the West Coast, including Reggae In The Desert in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in northern California. Co-founder of the group, Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson, is pleased they are back on the North American trail for an extended period.
“The United States and Canada are very important markets for us, so it’s a big priority for us to get back out there with the fans,” he said.
Lead singer Donald “Tabby” Shaw, another co-founder, is also in the current lineup which is completed by Joseph “Capo” Williamson, a staple of the South Florida live show scene. Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson, who started The Mighty Diamonds in 1969 with Ferguson and Shaw, has been unable to tour since 2015 when he suffered a life-threatening stroke.
Formed in the historic community of Trench Town in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, The Mighty Diamonds were part of the roots-reggae explosion that took place in that country during the 1970s. Many of their songs including I Need A Roof, Africa, Shame And Pride and Right Time are classics.
Their biggest commercial hit, however, is the ganja (marijuana) anthem Pass The Kouchie which was released in 1981.
The Mighty Diamonds show at The Garden is part of a series co-ordinated by Dub Village, an initiative by Thompson that focuses on roots-reggae. It has promoted shows in Miami featuring Brigadier Jerry, Vaughn Benjamin (formerly of Midnite) and Sanchez.