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Reggae beats fill Watkins Park during summer concert

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Published on: Tuesday, July 02, 2013

By Sarah Hainesworth

Despite thunderstorm warnings Thursday, reggae lovers of all ages packed Watkins Park for a summer concert featuring Anthem Reggae.

The Connecticut-based band kept the crowd dancing with reggae renditions of “I Believe I Can Fly” and “The Girl is Mine” as well as some upbeat originals.

Band leader, Coozie Mellers, said a little rain couldn’t stop Anthem Reggae from doing what they love.

“We took the chance. We were already in Atlantic City. Even though there was a high chance of rain, we put it in the Lord’s hands and it worked out for us,” Mellers said.

Most of the members of Anthem were born in Jamaica and are related — except for lead singer Robert Ellington.

“Nobody in my family sings,” said Ellington, who attributed his talent to singing at church as a young boy.

Mellers also started at a young age.

“I started playing when I was 17 years old,” he said. “I was the original bass player for the band.”

Since then, Mellers has learned to play quite a few instruments.

“As a musician, you’ve got to be rounded,” he said. “I play as many instruments as possible.”

Anthem frequently plays at Seacrets in Ocean City and tours outside of Maryland and Connecticut.

“We have toured in Guam, Japan and Korea,” Mellers said.

The 20-year-old band has also been featured on Conan O’Brien’s show.

Largo resident Gerard Cooper has attended the summer concerts at Watkins Park for the last three years.

“I loved it,” said Cooper. “It’s the best after work to relax, and it’s always a nice mix of music and people. That’s what I really like.”

William Murray, of Upper Marlboro, agreed.

“I thought it was fantastic. It’s enjoyable,” Murray said. “I saw so many kids running around. They had a ball. It’s a family affair. That’s exactly what we need.”

When asked if the band will return to Prince George’s County, Mellers said, “I would love to come back as soon as possible.”

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