January 25, 2023
Singer Junior Holt had high expectations ahead of his debut performance on Rebel Salute. He was pleased with his set which took place on January 21, closing night of the two-day festival at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann.
Holt did a lively 20-minute stint which comprised classic songs from the catalogue of his father, John Holt, the legendary vocalist who died in 2014.
“Mi get a real, real good reception from the crowd. It was a good vibes, good vibes,” Holt told the Jamaica Observer.
Interestingly, Holt’s performance followed Christopher Ellis, son of Alton Ellis, who like John Holt are two of reggae’s most influential singers. They were dominant during the rocksteady era from 1965-68.
Ali Baba, Stealing, Stealing, Sweetie Come Brush Me, Love I Can Feel, Stick by Me, and Police in Helicopter are the songs Junior Holt performed. Ellis, who is from England, also did songs that made his father (who died in 2008) famous.
The Westmoreland-born Holt and his son Bamm Holt are committed to maintaining interest in the legacy of John Holt, who first made his name as a member of harmony trio The Paragons, before going solo in the late 1960s.
They have covered several of his songs with contemporary rhythms to attract new fans. This year, their plans include the John Holt Birthday Bash in Negril in July and the release of Voltz of Holt Volume 2, an album of original songs.
Rebel Salute, which celebrated its 29th anniversary, was being held before a live audience since 2020 due to COVID-19. It was staged virtually in 2021 and cancelled last year.
As usual, it attracted a mix of roots-reggae, dancehall and acts from the vintage rocksteady/reggae eras of the 1960s and 1970s.
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