Those rock 'n' roll veterans, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, knew exactly what they were doing when they decided to produce reggae artist Peter Tosh, even though Bob Marley (with whom Tosh founded the Wailers) and Toots and the Maytalls had failed to develop commercial audiences, Tosh is the future of reggae, at least as far as American audiences are concerned; it's reggae rock 'n' roll, and they like it.
Tosh, whose U.S. tour flashed through the Bayou last night, under the tutelage of the Glimmer Twins has learned to marry the hiccup rhythms and social-religious-economic themes of classic Jamaican reggae to a smooth melodic line that owes as much to Marvin Gaye as to Jimmy Cliff. It's not just the need for radio accessibility that made Tosh and the Twins choose the Motown standard, "You've Got to Walk" as Tosh's single -- in many ways, it is representative of Tosh's eclectic (some will call it commercialized) sound.
Tosh and his eight-piece band easily sold out two houses last night, even without the presence of Jagger (reported in town last night), who walked onto Tosh's "Saturday Night Live" appearance a few weeks ago. The audience was as fascinated by Tosh's moves as his music -- his dancing falls somewhere between Kabuki and Kung Fu.