2018-06-14 / Music Scene

SPOTLIGHT on Music

Roots Reaction Casts Reggae Spell
By Mark Gorman


Matt Maloney, Mervin Brathwaite, Roger Vaughan, Tom Perrotti, and Angel Rosario Matt Maloney, Mervin Brathwaite, Roger Vaughan, Tom Perrotti, and Angel Rosario Local reggae band Roots Reaction lives and breathes reggae and loves sharing it with everyone.

Founded by drummer Mervin Brathwaite, Roots Reaction includes Angel Rosario on keyboards, Roger Vaughan on bass, Matt Maloney on percussion and Tom Perrotti on guitar.

Although Brathwaite and Rosario both hail from Charlotte Amalie, U.S. Virgin Islands, they didn’t meet until they arrived in Newport. Mervin was the last drummer in the old local reggae band, Man On The Street, and then started One On One, which morphed into Roots Reaction 25 years ago.

“We play reggae at Thanksgiving, at Christmas and on birthdays. We grew up with it. It’s just part of our culture,” Rosario said, responding to the question of why the musicians are so passionate about reggae music.

“As Bob Marley said, it’s the music of the heartbeat. The lyrics are down to earth and it’s loaded with great melodic hooks,” Perrotti said.

Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week. Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week. On most summer Saturday nights, you can wander down to the outdoor bar at SaltWater, at Newport Harbor Hotel, and hear Roots Reaction cast their reggae spell over the appreciative crowd. The band plays a roots-style reggae and features a wide variety of classic songs, with a special nod to Marley.

Perrotti summed up the band’s love affair with their steady outdoor gig at SaltWater this way: “We don’t have to pack our bags, get on a plane and rent a room in some resort town. We’re here, on the deck overlooking Newport Harbor. We love meeting the tourists and they love dancing to the band,” he said.

The harbor, a beautiful summer night and some honest reggae music is a perfect recipe for a memorable experience. For more information, visit Roots Reaction Reggae Band on Facebook.

To Go

WHEN: Saturday, June 16 and Wednesday, July 4, 6-10 p..m.

WHERE: SaltWater, Newport Harbor Hotel

ADMISSION: Free

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