The man of the night Ernie Smith. (Photo: Rory Daley)

Coveside Concerts continued its line of boutique events with Life Is Just for Living on Saturday, May 20, at Plantation Cove, St Ann.

The event was aimed at celebrating the musical contributions of reggae legend Ernie Smith.

"I'm happy with the traction the events are getting. It is building organically and it is growing, not exponentially, but meaningfully. We're connected with our tourist markets, for example. Tonight we had people from Norway, from Sweden, from Russia, a contingent of over 30 who came in from Canada, the Jamaican Diaspora, and our neighbouring Caribbean islands all represented here," Vonnie Koromanti, creative director – Coveside Concerts, told the Jamaica Observer.

She further explained the boutique event concept as one in which the focus is on quality and a more personal experience with the audience, something that appeared to be a hit with both those in attendance and the artistes themselves.

"What Coveside Concerts is about is a nexus of culture and tourism, and we want to show the best offerings of Jamaica like a Mr Ernie Smith," she said.

It was straight to the point with Duane Stephenson getting things going. His made a quick jaunt down memory lane with several of his familiar favourites such as Cool Runnings, Ghetto Pain, and Cottage in Negril, getting the crowd in the right mood for the rest of the night.

Pluto Shervington followed, keeping the energy flowing. His repertoire of classic hits ran deep with audience members rocking to Ram Goat Liver, the hilarious Your Honour, with I Man Born Ya pulling patrons out of their chairs to dance.

Gramps Morgan, the penultimate act, brought with him his blend of country and reggae in the form of Water In My Whiskey mixed in with his staples Down By The River and People Like You. Born into reggae royalty, Gramps Morgan expressed his pleasure being back in Jamaica to perform for the legendary Smith.

"It's a joy, it's always a joy to because there's no place like home. It's always a vibe in the land of reggae music, and I just want to help to preserve it. Just want to do my part to remind the people where we come from," he said.

Headliner Smith was the final act of the night, rounding out an enjoyable event. His set enthralled patrons from start to finish as he rifled through his massive catalogue of music. Unforgettable songs such as Ride on Sammy, Bend Down, Life is just for Living, and Duppy Gun Man had the audience camped out at the front of the stage dancing while trying to record the lively Smith on their cellphones.

Smith further strengthened his performance by bringing back the acts before him. Gramps Morgan, Pluto Shervington, and Duane Stephenson all seemed to revel in the opportunity to sing with the reggae icon that is Smith, while giving patrons that much more extra.

The night closed to much applause and a double encore demanded by the audience.

Gramps Morgan says he is always happy to be in Jamaica. (Photo: Rory Daley)
Duane Stephenson onstage during the Life Is Just For Living concert (Photo: Rory Daley)
The audience just couldn't get enough of Ernie Smith.(Photo: Rory Daley)
Pluto Shervington gets the crowd going. (Photo: Rory Daley)
BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

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