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NOVEMBER 17

“I wanna be just like those old Rastamen,” Jamaican Everton Blender wails on “Just Wanna Be,” from A Piece of the Blender: The Singles, and he often is. With sweetly crooned platitudes about “Jah the ever-living father” and the evils of “Babylon,” Blender’s moralistic message-songs evoke images of countless God-praising roots-reggae singers from the last 20 years. But the man born Everton Williams is no mere traditionalist. Seemingly articulating the reason for the singer’s nom de plume, several cuts combine Blender’s straightforward melodies with the modern cadences of reggae-rapper President Brown. These, as well as a number of other tracks, flaunt both challenging, upbeat programmed riddims and classic horn blasts. While savvy Jamaican producer-of-the-moment Richard Bell deserves some credit for these fusions, it’s Blender’s smooth but never syrupy sob that holds everything together. Blender headlines the “Fathers of Africa Tour,” which also features dub poet Yasus Afari, dancehall DJ Determine, and vocalists Dele Mandela and Sister P. At 8 p.m. at the Bayou, 3135 K St. NW. $14. (202) 333-2897. (Steve Kiviat)