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Jimmy Cliff Plays His Hits and Tells the Stories Behind Them

September 27th, 2013

Jimmy Cliff—and, really, the whole reggae genre—became known across the globe with the release of the Jamaican crime drama The Harder They Come in 1973. The reggae legend has remained busy ever since, crisscrossing the globe and winning over crowds with his deep catalog of songs, like “Trapped,” “Vietnam” and “The Harder They Come.” In 2012, Cliff (above, playing “Many Rivers to Cross” on Later … with Jools Holland) released his first new album in eight years, Rebirth (stream it below), which earned near universal acclaim. Rolling Stone called it “the strongest case for the vitality of West Indian roots music that anyone has made in decades.” The golden-voiced singer is currently out on the road with his Many Rivers Crossed tour, appearing with a stripped-down band and not only performing his classic hits, but also telling the stories behind them. So do yourself a favor, and go see him tomorrow night at Webster Hall.