What: Sly & Robbie and The Taxi Gang featuring Bitty McLean, Cherine Anderson, Peter G & Reggae Angels

When: 9 p.m. Sunday

Where: Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, Bend

Cost: $25 plus fees in advance, $30 at the door

Contact: volcanictheatre.com or 541-323-1881

As a kid learning to play drums in Jamaica, Sly Dunbar took equal inspiration from local reggae musicians and the American R&B sounds coming out of labels such as Motown.

That mix of influences helps explain why Dunbar and longtime musical partner, bassist Robbie Shakespeare — AKA production team and rhythm section extraordinaire Sly & Robbie — broke out of Jamaica and into the international spotlight in the ’80s, working with artists such as Grace Jones, Bob Dylan, Serge Gainsbourg, Mick Jagger and countless others over the years. It also explains, in part, the philosophy behind the duo’s long-running Taxi record label, which launched in the 1980s, and the many permutations of the label’s house band.

“I think that Motown was the ultimate record company, you know, what they did for the artists,” Dunbar said recently from his home in Jamaica. “So we always said, if we’re gonna make a revue tour with the band that played on the record backing these artists, it would be a nice thing. And that’s come to pass, since we’ve done it over and over again.”

And that is what fans can expect again from the current tour, which will see the famed “Riddim Twins” return to Bend for a show at Volcanic Theatre Pub on Sunday. The show, which is billed as a birthday tribute to reggae kingpin Bob Marley (whose birthday was Feb. 6), will feature Sly & Robbie playing with The Taxi Gang and backing singers and longtime collaborators Bitty McLean, Cherine Anderson and Peter G & Reggae Angels.

In addition to bearing similarities to the Motown Revue package concert tours of the 1960s, the tour could also be compared to Reggae Sunsplash. The Jamaican festival, which launched on the island in 1978, has toured the U.S. and world since the mid-’80s in multiple configurations, with Sly & Robbie often taking part.

“Each singer has a different personality; each singer’s songs (are) different,” Dunbar said. “That’s why we always say there’s many faces of reggae — a lot of people don’t know. The playing style will change for each person because the riddim and the beat that you’re gonna play is gonna be different from Bitty McLean to … Cherine to Peter. A lot of people think reggae … does one rhythm, but we say no, no.”

The tour also allows Sly & Robbie to continue to foster the careers of Anderson and McLean. Since teaming up in the mid-’70s, Sly & Robbie have been nothing if not prolific in the studio and on the road — Dunbar’s guess that the duo has played on a million records may sound like hyperbole, but it’s not far off. He said the duo relishes the chance to work long term with an artist, as they have for the past decade-plus with British-Jamaican singer and former UB40 engineer McLean.

“For me, it’s ultimate when you can really work with an artist, especially for years, and you go on tour and enjoy the music that you make together,” Dunbar said. “To play (it) back live, for me, it’s fun especially when it’s like a Motown Revue, where all the artists go onstage, go on tour, and then the backing band will be the folks who played on the record. … So then, you get the chance to play by the record like you played on it, live. So it’s great.”

Sly & Robbie are the mentors now, but when they joined Peter Tosh’s band in 1975, the roles were reversed. Tosh, who formed the original Wailers alongside Marley and Bunny Wailer in the ’60s, brought the duo on the road in the late ’70s, where they honed their signature style.

“What Peter really did for us (is) he gave us the freedom to play both live and … in the recording studio,” Dunbar said. “I think that’s what makes us also move so good together. He gave us the freedom; he didn’t put any strap on us and say play this, play that. So that was why it came over like that, that sort of free — he didn’t say anything. He reminded me of Bob Dylan. When we did the Bob Dylan album (1983’s “Infidels”), he just came in and played with us, (we) played with him and we recorded. It’s like free music, you know?”

But the connection between Dunbar and Shakespeare was immediate from the moment the two musicians met, Dunbar said. Though the two played in separate bands at the time, Dunbar recalled talking to Shakespeare about music at Randy’s Records store in Kingston, a popular meeting place for musicians.

“He would come over and listen to my band, and I would go over and listen to his band,” Dunbar said.

The duo first collaborated in The Aggrovators, the session band started by Jamaican producer Bunny Lee, before teaming again in another session band, The Revolutionaries.

“And then, Robbie asked if I wanted to join him in Peter Tosh Band, and I said, ‘Yeah, man, no problem, man,’” Dunbar said. “When we joined Peter Tosh, that’s where the magic really started gelling together, because we were spending more time together.”

The Rolling Stones signed Tosh to its eponymous record label in the late ’70s, and a subsequent tour with the British band helped Sly & Robbie land their earliest international production gigs with Gwen Guthrie and Grace Jones.

“I think that was where the fireworks turned up, and a lot of people (were) taking notes,” Dunbar said. “… Peter was the one who really took us as a team, a rhythm section, into America, and introduced us back to the world.”

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