16

SUNDAY

In the late ’80s, the albums of soca vocalist David Rudder were issued by a Warner Bros. subsidiary, and he was marketed as the Bob Marley of Trinidad. Dropped by the corporate empire in 1991, Rudder has subsequently issued musically and lyrically ambitious releases on his own label. Sold mainly through ethnic stores, they’ve sadly been ignored by the lazy American press. Rudder’s latest, Beloved, is an engrossing, multidimensional work. Its Carnival single, “High Mas,” features Rudder and his backing vocalists joyously singing a catchy gospel chorus over energetic, shuffling calypso beats. Adept at sociopolitical commentary, in “The Savagery” and “Destination Desperation,” Rudder, with traces of Gil Scott-Heron’s jazzy poet’s style, raps, scats, and singsongs biting lyrics about Trinidadian politicians and companies like Nike. At 8 p.m. at the Crossroads, 4103 Baltimore Ave., Bladensburg. $25. (301) 927-1056. (Steve Kiviat)