Toots and The Maytals have returned to spreading their music live on a 31-date tour of North America. This journey will be the group's first major tour since lead singer Toots Hibbert was injured in the United States during a concert five years ago.
The group kicked off the 2018 tour with shows throughout the summer in San Bernardino, California, with a performance at Kaya Fest, followed by a gig at The Marquee in Tempe, Arizona, the next day. In the United States they will do shows in 14 states at several festivals, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Finger Lakes Grassroots Fest and LOCKN' plus the District of Columbia, and two in Canada (Toronto and Montreal).
Ironically, the final show will be in Arrington, Virginia. Hibbert was well into a set at the Dominion Riverrock event in that state when he was floored by a vodka bottle thrown by 19-year-old William Connor Lewis.
Lewis was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to assault and battery. The injury prevented Hibbert from touring for over three years.
He filed a US$20-million lawsuit against Venture Richmond and Sports Backers, promoters of Dominion Riverrock, claiming their negligence caused the incident. No details of the suit have been released.
Prior to that, Toots and The Maytals were the top touring reggae band. The veteran act were on the road for as long as six months annually, performing mainly in Europe and North America as well as at private functions.
Thanks to groundbreaking songs like Monkey Man, 54-46, Pomps And Pride, Funky Kingston, Daddy and Country Road, Hibbert and his band have established a brand similar to Jimmy Cliff and Burning Spear. He has recorded and toured with Ben Harper, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards, Dave Matthews, James Blunt and Sheryl Crow. He won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2005 for True Love.