Arts and Entertainment

A reggae giant boards a boat for a show

Clinton Fearon  - Courtesy Photo
Clinton Fearon
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The rhythmic groove of reggae music will be heard throughout Quartermaster Harbor on Saturday, thanks to a free concert that is being thrown by The Hardware Store Restaurant to celebrate its fifth anniversary of being in business.

The family-friendly concert, featuring reggae legend Clinton Fearon and his Boogie Brown Band, will be performed on a boat in Quartermaster, and the sound will be amplified to reach the shores, where Islanders are invited to come together on beaches, Jensen Point Park and private waterfront residences to enjoy the show.

According to restaurant owner Melinda Sontgerath, the show was inspired by the annual tradition of Islanders gathering at the waterfront to enjoy a Fourth of July fireworks display in the skies over Quartermaster.

Sontgerath said she came up with the idea for the concert after brainstorming about ways to celebrate the restaurant’s fifth anniversary milestone.

“After the fireworks, one our customers said, ‘wouldn’t this be cool?’” Sontgerath said.

Fearon has a solid fan base on the Island, having played several sold-out shows at Red Bicycle Bistro in recent years.

The Jamaican-born singer, songwriter and bassist was a member of the legendary reggae band, The Gladiators, for almost 20 years before moving to Seattle in the late 1980s. He was also a house musician for Coxsonne Dodd’s Studio One and Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark Studio, and composed bass lines for Yabby You, Jimmy Riley, Max Romeo, Junior Byles and many other well-known musicians.

Nowadays, Fearon’s Boogie Brown Band is a constant fixture on the Northwest music scene and beyond.

Sontgerath said she’s excited about the show and marking The Hardware Store Restaurant’s fifth anniversary.

“We thought Clinton’s music was a good fit for Vashon,” she said. “The five-year mark is a really big deal for us, and we’re so grateful for the support of the community to keep this business going, especially during some tough economic times. It’s been a fantastic run.”

The restaurant, housed in a landmark building that has long been the hub of downtown Vashon (see story page 13), is open seven days a week, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Sontgerath said she is committed to staying in business for many more years to come.

“It’s not about me — it’s about the restaurant being an important, fun place for people to gather,” Sontgerath said. “That has always been our context, and I hope that will continue for the next 100 years, no matter who is at the helm.”

Sontgerath added that she has her fingers crossed that she’ll find time to enjoy Fearon’s show on Saturday.

“We’re so busy that day, and we have a catering event,” she laughed. “So I’m praying to make it to the concert.”

Clinton Fearon will play a free concert on a boat in Quartermaster Harbor from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug 21. The concert is being presented by The Hardware Store Restaurant and is co-sponsored by Waterbrook Winery.

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