Junior Toots brings original reggae to Whiskey Dick’s
Original reggae music from Jamaica with Junior Toots from Toots and the Maytals is coming to Whiskey Dicks Saloon on Sunday, July 14.
Born at St. Mary’s parrish in Jamaica, Junior Toots — whose given name is Clayton Hibbert — was born on December 7, 1971, to Gloria Tate and one of Reggae Music’s Founding Fathers, Toots Hibbert. Like so many other great Reggae singers, Junior Toots began singing as a youth in his hometown church. As his father toured extensively, young Clayton lived with his grandparents in the mystical mountains of St. Mary’s countryside, where he learned the importance of man’s relation to God and nature, and responsibility for other living beings.
As he grew older, he ventured into Kingston to take up residence with his father. While in Kingston, he was witness to the harsh realities of city survival, which would prove influential on his music in coming years. After experiencing the daylong rehearsals of the Maytals, young Junior Toots was struck with an insatiable longing to entertain. Already beginning to develop his voice, his attendance at these rehearsals provided him with a classroom few musicians can say they have attended. Through the Maytals’ hard work Junior Toots was shown how to polish his craft and he masterfully integrated this knowledge.
In the early 80’s he migrated to Connecticut to live with his mother, where he worked and ran varsity track for Greenwich High School. During this time he was also choreographing and teaching dance lessons for Paula Appleby, which broadcast daily on MTV with hostess “Downtown” Julie Brown. This led to performing locally at The Cafe and various events.
During that time Junior Toots further developed the Toots Vocal Style, performing hip-hop and rapping. Equipped with his father’s characteristic features and trademark legendary voice, his first release was a 1989 dub plate single entitled “Praise Jah.” Four EP’s soon followed including: “Harder and Harder,” “Dangerous Living,” “Poor People Feel it” and “Nothing to Gain,” produced by Mahroon for Wild Lyfe fe Muzik. In 1997, Junior Toots went on to record with Everton Blender, Mickey Spice and Jack Radics on the acclaimed Reggae Mood Swingz compilation. In the late 1990s Junior Toots won Home Jams, an award given from FM 92.3 the Beat, that gave him the opportunity to open for Biggie Small and Nate Dogg.
From 1997 until 2004, Junior Toots went on tour with Toots and the Maytals, opening shows with his original tunes “Holding Firm,” “Jah Give Us Victory,” and other hits from the album “Black Christ Redemption for the Poor,” released in 2001. He continued touring off and on with Toots and the Maytals, as well as working on compilations with various musicians in California, USA, and recording reggae/hip hop flava singles with Toots in Jamaica.
After years of touring, Junior Toots decided to take time to develop and define his own style and launch his solo career. This began with the album “Voice of Jah Living Roots” in 2005, released with KCA Production, and the same year “Dangerous with Wisdom.”
s, which introduces his powerful roots message of righteousness and goodness with upbeat dancehall style original rhythms. The same year, he released the single “Dangerous with Wisdom,” which is still blowing up on the underground, and the single “Jah is Real,” which went number one on KLRN in Miami, Florida.
Recently, he has begun touring on the West Coast and in December released his most recent album, “Junior Toots Crown of Fire.” The next album is already in the works and will be out in the next couple of months. After years of training and then finding his own artistic expression, Junior Toots is on the scene.