Show Review: Taj Weekes & Adowa, Tribal Momentum – Yacht Club 8/12/11

Classes are starting soon, so the summer residents of Iowa City are running out of days to relax in the glory of a half-deserted town. On Friday night at the Yacht Club (11 S. Linn St), there was a wonderful opportunity to hear some unconventional music and unwind.

Iowa City’s Tribal Momentum makes music that mixes polyrhthymic beats, a driving horn, and bluesy rock. Imagine if the Black Keys had a smooth sax guy and a wild conga player, and you get an inkling of what these guys bring to a show. When sung by Gabriel’s raw and pleading voice, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” becomes a funky dirge. Their sound is well-focused for a group with such varied influences. They have a primal energy that fuels their music, and propels them out of the ordinary into something really interesting and fresh.

Taj Weekes & Adowa play socially conscious roots reggae. Taj’s voice is a smooth tenor, more Jimmy Cliff than Bob Marley. His sound was formed by his family’s musical traditions on St. Lucia, a Caribbean nation in the Lesser Antilles. Taj’s lyrics tell tales of struggling for freedom and respect, while the bass and drums drive a tight groove. The band plays smooth and enchanting reggae, which both educates and chills out the audience.

As demonstrated by all the funky shops, restaurants, and people around town, Iowa City has multicultural tastes. Our local bands are interesting, and our clubs bring in acts from far-flung places to meet those tastes. St. Lucia is 2600 miles away from IC, so that qualifies as far-flung in my atlas. Taj Weekes & Adowa brought some of the culture of St. Lucia all the way to Iowa, and Tribal Momentum showed off a bit of Iowa City’s own crazy culture.

More on Tribal Momentum at LV Live, with photos

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.