Third World mourns the passing of "Bunny Rugs"
It was a somber start to 2014 for Third World, as William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke died on February 2 after battling cancer. He was just 65 years old.
To honor Clarke, the veteran reggae band released "Under the Magic Sun," an album dedicated to the memory of its late frontman. The project contains originals and covers of vintage classics, and bowed on June 10 under the Cleopatra Records label. It features four lead vocalists – a first for the band in its history.
"This project is by far the most interesting project I, personally, and Third World collectively, have done for many years," Stephen 'Cat' Core told the Jamaica Observer. "Revisiting these great songs was a pleasure and I am honoured and sincerely believe we will be successful with this Cleopatra Records project."
Bass guitarist Richard 'Richie' Daley also talked about the new album and Clarke's death, saying "We are very passionate about 'livicating' (dedicating) this album to our dear brother Bunny Rugs. He was recording with us during the beginning of the project, but took ill mid-stream. We know he would be proud of this collection of Billboard classics."
Ahead of the album's release, Third World held a tribute concert to Rugs on May 23rd. It was dubbed "Under the Magic Sun at the New Bourbon Beach" in Negril. The band is now out on tour, with dates booked through August. Among the more noted dates, they'll play the 20th Annual Peoples' Festival for Peace Tribute in Wilmington, Delaware on July 26th.
About Third World (Created July 5, 2013)
They are one of the longest-tenured raggae bands of all time, and enjoy a popularity that extends well beyond the borders of the island nation of Jamaica. But what is Third World? Read on to get a glimpse into the band that rode the wave across the pond to dominate both the American and British charts in the 1980's.
Third World, as it stands, was originally formed all the way back in 1973 by keyboardist Michael "Ibo" Cooper and guitarist/cellist Steven "Cat" Coore. Both were already well known in the reggae scene, having been part of the original lineup of Inner Circle. But when they branched out to create their own band, they swiped Inner Circle bassist Richard Daley, then recruited percussionist Irvin Jarrett, drummer Carl Barovier and lead singer Milton Hamilton to make up the original incarnation of the band.
Though Third World has undergone numerous lineup changes through the years, they've come a long way since the debut single "Railroad Track" in 1974. That includes 20 studio albums, starting with an eponymous debut in 1976 all the way to their latest project "Patriot" in 2010. And along the way they've been able to continue their mainstream success by performing with the likes of Stevie Wonder and recording commercial tunes like "Sense of Purpose," "Reggae Ambassador" and "Forbidden Love."
Their longevity never in question, Third World is still going strong. They have tour dates booked in places like the Cayman Islands, Victoria Beach, Canada and Pauillac, France this summer.
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date city state venue 2/4/2015 Philadelphia PA World Cafe Live 2/6/2015 Washington DC 9:30 Club 4/30/2015 New Orleans LA New Orleans City Park 6/23/2015 San Luis Obispo CA SLO Brewing Co. 6/26/2015 Solana Beach CA Belly Up Tavern 6/27/2015 San Jaun Capistrano CA The Coach House Concert Hall 6/28/2015 Hermosa Beach CA Saint Rocke 7/2/2015 Vancouver BC Commodore Ballroom 7/3/2015 Victoria BC Sugar Nightclub
date city state venue 7/17/2014 Newark NJ New Jersey Performing Arts Center 7/29/2014 Fairfax CA 19 Broadway Bar & Nightclub 7/30/2014 Santa Cruz CA Moe's Alley 7/31/2014 Piercy CA Frenchs Camp 7/31/2014 Fresno CA Fulton 55 8/3/2014 San Francisco CA The Independent 8/5/2014 Solana Beach CA Belly Up Tavern 8/6/2014 San Luis Obispo CA SLO Brewing Co. 8/7/2014 Santa Barbara CA Soho Restaurant and Music Club 8/8/2014 Hermosa Beach CA Saint Rocke 8/9/2014 San Jaun Capistrano CA The Coach House Concert Hall 8/10/2014 Agoura Hills CA Canyon Club 8/13/2014 Portland OR Alhambra Theatre 8/15/2014 Seattle WA Neumos 8/17/2014 Atlanta GA The Tabernacle 8/21/2014 Wakefield RI Ocean Mist 8/22/2014 Woodstock NY Bearsville Theater 8/26/2014 Washington DC Howard Theatre 10/2/2014 Colorado Springs CO Armstrong Hall 10/5/2014 Aspen CO Belly Up Aspen 10/8/2014 Missoula MT Top Hat Lounge 10/10/2014 Jackson WY Pink Garter Theatre
date city state venue 6/27/2013 Noblesville IN Klipsch Music Center 6/28/2013 Columbus OH Alrosa Villa 8/5/2013 Toronto ON Nathan Phillips Square
date city state venue 11/30/2012 Newark NJ New Jersey Performing Arts Center