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Day-By-Day inna Paradise -day 4- Festival

Posted by Daniel 
Day-By-Day inna Paradise -day 4- Festival
January 14, 2006 06:31AM
When I awoke on the fourth morning in Paradise, I soon learned that sound check would not be at 8:00 as planned, which allowed me to spend some much needed time with my coffee cup. When I finally did get to the venue, the stage was built but the sound was still not in place,

so I drove into town with Ronnie Benjamin Sr. and his wife to get some food. When I returned to Cramer’s Park at about 4:00, they were still finalizing the sound which provided me a chance to do a brief interview with Mossiah.

The venue has a really nice grassy area for the audience, with the beautiful beach just behind.

Did i mention there was a beach?

At first I was a bit taken aback by all the police and black security shirts, but those were quickly alleviated when the police at the gate greeted me with ‘blessings’.

Because the sound was late in arriving, things got started 2 ½ hours late. At 6:30 MC Bogle came out and introduced the Red-Eye Band followed by the first artist: Asher.

He was joined on stage at one point by OC, whom I have never heard of.

The next artist to perform was Mossiah, who did a song called “Bun Dem” that has been in my head ever since.

Volcano was the next performer who came in hot like lava with some scorching lyrics.

Jah Rubal (aka Daddy Locks) was up next.

I should mention that for virtually all of the 6 hours of music that preceded Midnite’s set, Vaughn could be seen at the side of the stage taking it all in. Ancient King came forward with his ‘conquering sound’.

NiyoRah was the next artist to grace the stage.

My favorite artist out of the 3+ hours that I Grade put in on that stage was Abja… pure vibes.

Army was up next and had the crowd swaying with his sweet voice.

Nothing but friendly peaceful vibes throughout the place. I was well pleased when Mada Nile was announced.

Her debut album is really nice, and to keep the empress vibes Sistah Joyce was called on the stage.

It was 10:00 by the time things had been set up for the Afrikan Roots Lab portion of the festival. The festival was originally scheduled to end at midnight with Ronnie Benjamin Sr. closing out the night’s music. Because the ‘elder’ crowd had come out primarily to see Ronnie Benjamin Sr. sing, and because neither Ikahba, Dezarie nor Midnite had come on yet, the schedule was changed to accommodate and Ronnie came out and did a wonderful hour long set.

His sons joined in on vocals, with Ryan, Jerry and Dean Pond kicking in on the instruments.

The set was a pure joy to witness with Ronnie’ voice still in top form and he sang all of my favorite songs, which tend to be the lyrically ‘edgy’ ones.

Ikahba was up next, and his stage presence was much stronger than on his visit to California last spring.

He sang for about 45 minutes, and Mash joined him to sing Skylarkin’.

By far the highlight of the festival for me, musically speaking, came with the emergence of Dezarie. As she wailed out the rasta ballad “Hail Jah”, goose bumps could be felt throughout the crowd.

Following a livication “Greetings in the name of the feminine aspect of the godhead, and His Imperial Majesty I Haile Selassie the First”, she ripped an hour off the clock in what seemed like 5 minutes, blessing the crowd with songs that included Gone Down, Sing Out/Africa Chant, Real Love, Strengthen Your Mind, Concern, Poverty, Jah Words are the Truth, Set The Flame, and a song that is sure to have a big impact in 2006: We Need.

We need, we need, we need, we need
We want government
Loyal specimen
We want hospital
With herb medicine
We want doctrine
Preserve tradition
We want discipline
With self governance
We want the old thing
Bring back the old thing
The touch the sole thing
The ancient riddim
For the people
By the people
We need…..

Dean Pond was the festival’s sound engineer and played drums for all the Afrikan Roots Lab artists except Midnite.

Then Sly took over the sticks and Midnite closed the night out with a 2 ½ hour set.

Ron, Jerry and Ryan ended up playing non-stop for more than 6 hours! Vaughn spent a fair amount of the set singing from the audience.

He later would call Xkaliba onto the stage who sang “United States of Ethiopia”.

At about 3:30, Vaughn closed the night out with an acapella version of “Stand Up”. He thanked all those distant voyagers, pointed out the love within the audience, the rasta message coming from all the Virgin Island artists taking the stage, and the fact that their was not a single incident during the entire festival. Nuff respect the the VIPD!!

The first WRIP was absolutely amazing from start to finish. Hard to believe it all got done in less than 6 week’s time. I never got a final number, but estimate that there were some 2,500 in attendance. Nuff sponsors were on board including Tempo, the caribbean off-shoot of MTV that was there to film the event. Much as I hate corporations, I’ve gotta say that Tempo seems to be genuinely interested in promoting and exposing caribbean cultures, and I gotta big them up for that. They went out of their way to present more than just the music at the festival, doing interviews with artists and pieces about the island of St. Croix.

I managed to get reactions from about a dozen artists following their set at WRIP, and will be broadcasting those on this weekend’s program....
Re: Day-By-Day inna Paradise -day 4- Festival
January 14, 2006 05:57PM
That reminds me, I gotta signup for Tempo with Directv. The problem, which is not really a problem, is that you have to have a new International dish installed to replace your existing dish...As I recall, they only charge $25 or so for a tech to come out and make the switch...A Tempo subscription is about $10 a month, well worth it for me for sure.
Re: Day-By-Day inna Paradise -day 4- Festival
January 14, 2006 09:17PM
love to see these vibrations daniel! look how lovely people can gather and congregate and share vibes...no ill nuthing....just music!

raspek, to all VI artist, all crew
Re: Day-By-Day inna Paradise -day 4- Festival
January 15, 2006 07:24PM
thanks so much for the recap of your wonderful trip, and the pics are so nice.. well done and yes you did mention the beach at the venue, that is where i am hoping to be found next year :-) much happiness for you and your blessed travels...sweet reggae music and beautiful people~

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