Many know the local legend that is Tony Miles, the one-man reggae band with his self-crafted cigar box guitar built for shredding and a powerful voice that transports you with relaxing ease to the tropical islands of the Caribbean Sea, coconut drink in hand.
These commanding and adroit vocals are part of an engaging stage presence that captivate audiences. The funk rhythms almost charm listeners into dance moves.
Miles developed his musical skills early on. An East Coast-born luminary, his musical journey has been touched by the greats – like his own cousins, Billy G. Woodruff and Ritzy Lee. He picked things up from the American doo-wop groups, The Del-Vikings and The Drifters. He has played alongside reggae music’s first wide-reaching pioneers like Jimmy Cliff and none other than Bob Marley himself.
Miles opened for Marley and the Wailers’ final performance in September 1980 in Pittsburgh, just months before Marley passed.
Soon after, he left to bring his funky reggae beats to the Monterey Peninsula and helped pave the way for what is now the Cali Roots Festival, now going on its 11th year and an institution unto itself. Simply put, the local music scene would not be the same without Miles’ influence.
Monterey’s godfather of roots reggae regularly fills a couple of small, off-the-beaten-path Seaside spots-turned-music-venues with good vibes. He plays at the Sportsman in Seaside on the second Friday of every month at 9pm, and on the first and third Friday of every month from 5-7pm at The Reef dispensary – comfortable venues for a man with a voice blessed by the best.
TONY MILES ONE MAN REGGAE BAND 5pm Friday, Dec. 20. The Reef, 1900 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. No cover. (21+). 900-7333, montereybayreef.com