Beres wraps up Never Ending TourFriday, August 30, 2019
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Beres Hammond closed his Never Ending Tour of the United States and Canada on Wednesday with a show celebrating his 64th birthday at Racket, a club in the trendy Miami district of Wynwood.
For most of the event, the raspy singer stood side stage as members of his Harmony House Band performed some of his biggest hit songs. Each took time to salute the “boss”.
Backup vocalists Dorette Wisdom, Denette Lewis, and Sherida Sharpe did justice to If There's A Song, I'll be There For You and Got to Get Away, while saxophonist Kemroy Bonfield gave a soulful renditions of I'm in Love and Irie and Mellow.
Romain Virgo, who was part of the Never Ending Tour, did a solid 15-miniute performance that included Double Trouble, one of the songs that made Hammond a dancehall force in the 1990s. He followed with I Feel Good, then went into his hits Mi Caan Sleep and Way Too Beautiful.
Virgo closed with Hammond's 1977 ballad, One Step Ahead, which he described as “a personal favourite”.
A dapper Hammond took the stage just before midnight with fans, artistes and friends. They included Chris Chin, president of VP Records, with whom he has had a 30-year professional relationship; singer Hopeton Lindo and Mervis Walsh, his long-serving manager.
He did a short set to close the evening.
Drink in hand, Hammond told the Jamaica Observer he has no regrets about his career which started in the early 1970s, and erupted 20 years later with a flurry of dancehall hits.
“Is like a life sentence but well served,” he joked. “Mi nah look nuh hit song, mi nah look nuh fame. All mi waan do is sing some chune.”
The Never Ending Tour started in late July in Danbury, Connecticut. It also made stops in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Newark, Huntington (New York), Richmond (Virginia), Washington DC, Norfolk (Virginia), Charlotte (North Carolina), Atlanta, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale.