By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Pato Banton and the Now Generation bring back their deep-rooted reggae sounds of positivity to the North Olympic Peninsula.
“Life is a beautiful experience. You have to grab it and see the positives,” Banton said in a telephone interview from Crescent City, Calif.
His name, in Jamaican patois, translates to “wise owl.”
“He's definitely got that wisdom. His songs are really complex and spiritual and intense,” said Cody Coughenour, co-sponsor of this appearance by Banton.
“He's a fabulous guy and a tremendous musician.”
This is the fourth time in five years Banton is playing the Peninsula.
“Every show's better than the last,” said Brian Coughenour, Cody's father who first brought Banton to the Peninsula in 2009.
Banton and the Now Generation play the ballroom of Elks Naval Lodge, 131 E. First St., at 7 p.m. today.
Port Angeles spinster DJ O.B.1 opens.
Tickets are $20 and are available at Coog's Budget CDs, 111 W. Front St., or on www.brownpapertickets.com.
A native of Birmingham, England, Banton has been playing reggae since he was a young boy and says the lessons of a life on the road have influenced his sound and his lyrics.
“Everything you touch, everything you see leaves a mark on you,” he said. “It's up to you what you want to do with that.”
For Banton, it was toiling for decades in the underground world of reggae.
“Reggae's never been a money-maker,” he said. “It's always in the underground, and that's why it's so important to maintain that original inspiration and use it to spread love and harmony.”
He appeared on several records in the 1980s, recording with acclaimed acts like The Beat and UB40.
Now, he's happy to bring his sounds to the world, touring a ferocious schedule to the places he loves the most, including the Peninsula.
“It's a wonderful place,” Banton said of the Peninsula. “There's tremendous energy there, a tremendous feeling I get every time I get there.”