Reggae artist Pato Banton brings positive message to Ghost Ranch
January 30, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Pato Banton started out in the music business at 9 years old as a lookout for neighborhood parties featuring his stepfather, a Jamaican-born disc jockey.
"Our house was the party house for the community, and I grew up being a part of that lifestyle," Banton said during a phone interview Friday.
From his security post as a child living in Birmingham, England, Banton moved on to work with sound equipment, eventually becoming the main DJ for his stepfather's setup. One day, he decided to write his own songs, and during the past two decades, that decision has taken him on the road with the Marley family and other reggae mainstays.
Banton is set to appear Sunday at Ghost Ranch Saloon; local musician DJ Also Starring also is on the bill. Tickets to the show are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
Banton comes to Colorado with an eight-piece band featuring a three-part horn section. The group will play some of Banton's older hits, as well as selections from his most recent record, "Destination Paradise."
That record is an extension of the positive direction Banton has been going in for the past several years. After scoring hits with popular bands including UB40, The English Beat and Sting, Banton has followed a path to preaching the positive.
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"People call me Mr. Positivity, because … I have a way, I guess, of looking at situations and seeing what good can come out of any of life's situations, or ways that we can move forward positively from negative situations," Banton said.
"One of my main messages is for people to consider what they can do to improve themselves, to improve their home life and their social life, and what people can do to improve their environment and their community," he said.
Traveling with a relatively new band, The Now Generation, Banton said his current tour is "a labor of love," and he shared his excitement to be "traveling across America right now and just bringing a positive vibration to the people." Banton appeared in Steamboat in 2007 as part of the Free Summer Concert Series.
Banton attributes the evolution in his message to maturity, life experience and acquiring knowledge, he said.
"I've always been a positive person, but I think over time my message has become less political and more social and spiritual," he said.