It must have stirred up a nervous feeling in Winston Rodney, that day in 1969 when Bob Marley, reggae’s No. 1 man, passed by Rodney in rural St. Ann’s, Jamaica, and decided to stop and chat. They talked of the usual Rasta business—the faith, African roots, reggae. Rodney mentioned that he was interested in the music business. A week later, when he took Marley’s recommendation and went to audition at Studio One in big city Kingston, the producers there wanted to laugh at the country Rastaman. Instead, they took a chance that eventually led to classics such as “Marcus Garvey” and “Man in the Hills.” Thirty years later, Rodney, aka Burning Spear, is an award-winning, veteran artist (his latest, the rousing and reverent Calling Rastafari, won the 2000 Grammy for Best Reggae Album) who meshes his melodies with conscious messages. “[M]usic is not a game, yunno,” he said in a 1999 Vibe interview. “Music is, is…life.” Tonight, Burning Spear will ignite the soul of his audience; Baltimore’s Jah Works opens. At 8:45 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $22. (202) 393-0390. (Ayesha Morris)