Like a wise owl, Pato Banton sounds off Friday at June Lake

Pato Banton bring his messages to the T-Bar Social Club at June Lake on Friday, Dec. 6.

Reggae great Pato Banton has a simple message: “Stay positive and never give in.”

Banton will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the T-Bar Social Club in the Eastern Sierra hamlet of June Lake. Tickets are $17 to $29 and are available at https://balancedrocksaloon.com/t-bar-social-club/ Concert guests must be 21 or older.

Banton, 58, was born Patrick Murray in Birmingham, England. His stepfather gave him the nickname Pato (the Jamaican equivalent of “wise owl”) and music promoters later tacked on Banton, slang for a righteous storyteller.

Pato Banton is one of most respected reggae artists to come out of the United Kingdom. He tirelessly has promoted peace and positivity, roots rock with a spiritual bent. Banton has been on the international scene since the 1980s and wrote on his website in recent years that his career is winding down.

“As I approach the final chapter of my musical journey on Planet Earth (Urantia), my only desire is to serve Divinity through Humanity. And to all my brothers and sisters who are striving to achieve their goals in this age of materiality and secularistic insanity, my message is Please Remember to Stay Positive and Never Give In.”

South Shore roots-rock band Weapon opened for Banton several years ago at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon. Bass player Todd Christensen had kind words for the reggae legend.

“I love his conscious reggae,” Christensen said. “He’s probably, in my mind, the pioneer of taking reggae and making it a little more alternative, helping create the reggae-rock genre.”

Banton notes on Facebook that one of his concerts “is an event not to be missed, and an experience not to be forgotten.”

“Positive vibrations with a beat to keep you on your dancing feet while Pato delivers a message that is food for the mind and soul. Many have considered his charismatic performance as live theatre where no show is alike and audience members become participants in the experience.”

Banton summed up his thoughts as the year comes to a close.

“As we approach 2020, it’s obvious that humanity is far from being civilized. So much pain, suffering and injustice makes us sad and angry at the same time. Our hopes and aspirations for a peaceful and loving world are far from becoming a reality. But that doesn’t mean that we all have to go with the flow of insanity that seems to be the norm of these times.

“Those of us that want better must be better. Must think, act, react and speak in a way that will set an example for those who are less thoughtful. And most importantly, we must remember to pray — pray for guidance and wisdom so that we are in harmony with God’s plans for a brighter future. Amen and be safe out there my family!”

Related story: T-Bar Social Club kindles music scene at June Lake.

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