November 3, 2021
ONE of reggae’s finest singers, John Holt, was known to thrill audiences for hours when he hit the stage. On October 23, two of his sons and grandchildren emulated him during A Tribute to Reggae Legend John Holt, a concert held at The Garden in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Promoted by his son Junior Holt and grandson Bamm Holt, the event also featured Brian Holt, another of the legendary artiste’s sons, and Brianna, Brian’s daughter. Headliners were Freddie McGregor and his son Chino, all backed by the Code Red Band.
“The response was very, very pleasing. A lot of people come out. To see the amount of people an’ fans jamming to Grandpa’s songs was wonderful,” Bamm Holt told the Jamaica Observer.
Brianna opened the show with renditions of Riding For A Fall and I Know I be Lonely, while her father performed Stealing, Stealing; Carpenter; and Up Park Camp. Bamm and Junior Holt shared the stage for Police in Helicopter, Stick by Me, Hooligans, and Tribal War, before Junior went solo on Sweetie Come Brush Me and Help Me Make it Through The Night.
Junior Holt and Chino McGregor then did Wildfire, a big hit in 1985 for John Holt and Dennis Brown.
The four Holts shared the stage for On The Beach and Strange Things.
There was a brief set from The Real McKoy and a cameo by Everton Blender. Chino McGregor performed a full set, which set the pace for his father, whose hour-long show comprised signature songs such as Push Come to Shove, Prophesy, Just Don’t Want to be Lonely, and Big Ship.
John Holt died in October 2014 at age 67. Arguably reggae’s most influential vocalists, he made a name with rock steady trio The Paragons and as a solo act.
Determined interest in his music has never waned. Bamm and Junior Holt have rerecorded some of his biggest hits, including Police in Helicopter and Tribal War. They also launched the philanthropic Volts of Holt Foundation.