• 70 Brunswick Street • Stratford, ON
Doors Open: 6:00PM
| Show Starts: 9:00PM
| Ages 19+
Featuring: The Human Rights
Event type: Ages 19+
The Human Rights
Saturday, April 15, 2023 | Revival House, Stratford
The Human Rights
When it comes to Reggae in Canada, few bands do it better—while remaining true to its founding principles—than Toronto’s The Human Rights. Since forming in 2007 around one of the scene’s true lions, Friendlyness (previously of Culture Shock, Truth And Rights and Big Sugar), The Human Rights have developed a modern, high energy sound that blends Roots Reggae with jazz, funk and R&B influences, courtesy of a blazing three-piece horn section and the soulful lead vocals of JUNO nominee Tréson.
On their new album Reggae Strong, The Human Rights more than live up to its title following an extended break since releasing their 2016 self-titled album and the 2018 single “I Need You.” Recorded with producer and former band member Patric McGroarty, and mixed and mastered by renowned Canadian reggae artist Dubmatix, Reggae Strong finds The Human Rights coming as close as they have yet to achieving a truly Canadian Reggae sound, with a little assistance from Toronto’s Ras Yunchie, Caddy Cad, Isax, and Carol Brown.
That sound is on full display with the album’s first single “Peace Gun,” a song whose deep groove and powerful lyrics convey a timely message about the current state of the world. That theme is carried on through the title track, which magnificently shows the contrast between Friendly and Tré’s voices. However, the latter gets to shine on his own with the catchy and danceable “Tell Me That You Love Me,” while other tracks such as the cover version of Sly & Robbie’s “Red Hot” (itself being a cover version of Karl “Cannonball” Bryan’s “Red Ash”) pay tribute to Toronto Reggae history.
In keeping with that theme, The Human Rights have also dedicated Reggae Strong to their keyboardist Bernie Pitters, whose face graces the back of the record, and also the inside as part of the mural on Reggae Lane in Toronto’s Eglinton West neighbourhood. As Friendlyness explains, “Bernie is a godfather of the Canadian Reggae scene. He came to Canada in the ‘70s and studied organ with Jackie Mittoo. He toured with Toots and the Maytals for 10 years and thought of Toots as a father figure. He also played with countless Jamaican artists when they came to Toronto, including Gregory Isaacs, Johnny Osbourne, and John Holt. Along with Jay Douglas, Leroy Sibbles, Glenn Washington, Carol Brown, JoJo Bennet and others, Bernie really made Toronto an important part of the international Reggae community.”
It’s fair to say The Human Rights can count themselves among that company now too, having performed at major Toronto venues including Roy Thomson Hall, the Sound Academy and Harbourfront Centre, as well as major events across Canada such as the Calgary Reggae Festival. Further, their songs have become staples on Reggae radio shows everywhere, and on CBC programs like Big City, Small World, while fans of the Trailer Park Boys will know them for their version of the Trailer Park Boys theme song featured in the movie Don’t Legalize It.
With Reggae Strong, The Human Rights have created their finest album to date, while once again proving Reggae’s ability to unite and inspire everyone struggling to get through tough times.
The Human Rights are:
Friendlyness: Lead Vocal
Tréson: Lead Vocal
Bernie Pitters: Keyboards
Eric Woolston: Drums
Tyler Wagler: Bass
Graham Campbell: Pick Guitar
James Taylor: Lead Guitar
Ben Macdonald: Tenor Sax
Tom Richards: Trombone
The Human Rights return to Revival House, Stratford on Saturday, April 15, 2023!
Cutoff is Saturday, April 15, 2023 11:59 am EDT unless it sells out earlier.