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An L.A. Times critic summed it up best when he described Ziggy Marley thus: "The power and passion behind his message showed that not only is Marley the name of reggae's past, it is the name of its future."

It was inevitable that the songs and music of Ziggy Marley would be compared to those of his father, the legendary Bob Marley. But those kind of comparisons often overshadow Ziggy Marley's own creative genius.Marley and his band, the Melody Makers, are making a serious bid to be considered on their own merits, not on those of the late-Bob Marley. A nationwide tour in support of the critically acclaimed "Conscious Party" is garnering rave reviews.

Marley and the Melody Makers (siblings Stephen, Sharon and Cedella) will be in concert Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Triad Ampitheatre.

So to what extent did Bob Marley's music influence his son?

"His music influenced me, but not to the extent that he himself did," Marley told one reviewer. "I want to be fulfilled in myself, rather than try to follow exactly in my father's footsteps. I'm a youth, and my ideas are different than a man of 40 years or so.

"But everything that's being said now is nothing new. We've been saying freedom for the longest time; we've been saying `Don't blow us up' for the longest time. People don't get it, so you have to keep coming back with it."

At age 19, Marley writes and sings with a maturity that belies his age. And he performs with such consciousness-raising emotion that Rolling Stone and Time magazines have labeled him nothing less than the most powerful new voice in reggae music.

Says Chris Frantz of the Talking Heads, "Ziggy makes reggae with deep cultural and spiritual roots. He is wise beyond his years. He is able to make the music of the Caribbean an international force once again."

"This is a new time and a new system," said Marley. "My father was like the Old Testament; I am like the New Testament. I am part of a new generation in time, people will realize that. In some ways it may be the same as Dad felt, and in other ways it is very different."

To those who have heard the music of Ziggy Marley, he is much, much more than the son of a famous father.

IT'S NO SECRET America has an ongoing love affair with the electric guitar. And chances are America is going to go crazy over Will Sexton.

With a trademark Texas passion, Sexton's brand of bluesy, hard-driving rock 'n' roll is raising eyebrows and rooftops across the nation, prompting critics to compare him to John Cougar Mellencamp.

Sexton's band, Will and the Kill, will be in concert Monday at the Zephyr Club.

Sexton, the brother of Charlie Sexton, has the makings of a major new talent. Not only is he adept at squeezing off potent guitar riffs, but he has knack for melodic rock 'n' roll that is certain to garner him some radio airplay.

The result is a rough 'n' rowdy brand of electric-guitar rock. No pretense. No frills. No compromises.

"I can't stand sterile-sounding records," he said. "There's got to be some of that R&B roots feel there or it doesn't work for me."

But there's more to Sexton's music than a catchy tune. One thing that sets his music apart is catchy word plays ("She's as faithful as a crosstown bus") and lyrical relevance.

"I like folk singer-type writing, but with loud guitars," he said. "I'm into really good Texas songwriters like butch Hancock, Jerry Jeff Walker and Townes Van Zandt; people who write songs that really mean something. I like writing things that are like folk tales, a little wilder than what most people experience."

Sexton's debut album "Will and the Kill" is on MCA Records.- Jerry Spangler