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Reggae legends The Mighty Diamonds appearing at Freebird Live April 20

The Mighty Diamonds, the powerhouse roots reggae group of the 1970’s and 1980’s, comes to Jacksonville as part of Freebird Live’s annual 420 Party on Tuesday, April 20.

The Mighty Diamonds "Right Time" Album
courtesy of Virgin Records 1976

A product of the Kingston, Jamaica ghetto of Trenchtown, which also gave rise to Bob Marley, The Mighty Diamonds were formed in 1969. As devout followers of the tenets of Rastafari, they infuse elements of their spiritual beliefs throughout their music, while at the same time bringing touches of romance and political protest to their lyrics. The result is a unique, accessible style that appeals to many. The group consists of founder and harmony singer Pat “Lloyd” Ferguson, known as Judge Diamond or simply Judge, lead singer Donald Shaw, aka Tabby Diamond, or the Prophet, and harmony singer Fitzroy Simpson, known as Bunny Diamond, or the Jester.

Their first hit was 1973’s “Shame and Pride” produced at Byron Lee’s DynamicSound studio. Their biggest success came when they moved to the Channel One label and recorded “Country Living”, “Hey Girl”, and their greatest track to date, “Right Time”. They released their first album, also entitled Right Time in 1976, which brought them success in the Caribbean as well as in Britain. One of their most popular tracks, “Pass the Kouchie”, was covered in 1982 by the group Musical Youth, who changed the tune to “Pass the Dutchie”, which became a hit in Britain and in the U.S. Their last studio albums were recorded in the early 90’s, but they still maintain an extensive touring schedule, including regular appearances at the annual Reggae Sunsplash Festival.

The Mighty Diamonds appear at 8 p.m. on April 20. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show. They can be purchased in person, online through Freebird Live’s website, or by phone at 1-800-594-TIXX (8499). Freebird Live is located at 200 North First Street at 2nd Avenue in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Their phone number is (904) 249-BIRD (2173).

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