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Another great Reggae Wednesday

BY KARYL WALKER

Friday, February 15, 2013


THE Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) produced another strong Reggae Wednesday show at Emancipation Park, with most of its acts delivering top-drawer performances.


Freddie McGregor was in good nick and even though some of the attendees begun trickling out of the venue during a band change, those who stayed put were given a treat.


McGregor, the first president of JaRIA, reminded patrons that in these times of austerity, To Be Poor Is a Crime. As he belted out his hits, even two police officers who warned organisers that they had exceeded their 11:00 pm cut-off time, were seen rocking to the music.


JaRIA was given a two-hour extension and when a female member of the audience shouted for McGregor to "sing all of your songs" he complied and left his audience satisfied, ending with Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely.


Junior Reid, who performed before McGregor, was also a hit with Foreign Mind, Fit You Haffi Fit, This Is Why I'm Hot and Babylon Release The Chain.


George Nooks delivered renditions of Al Green's God Is Standing By, Little Roy's Tribal War and Culture's Zion Gate. He also scored well with his original, Fortyleg Dread, which he recorded in 1977 as Prince Mohammed.


Pam Hall's a capella version of Hard To Be a Woman was the perfect segue for her renditions of Bob Marley's Running Away and Dennis Brown's Revolution. She did a ska medley before exiting.


Singers Mikey Spice and AJ Brown also did well, but special mention must be made of poet Mel Cooke.


Cooke, a journalist who recently released a CD of poetry, did biting social commentary and came across well with pieces like Real Dance, The Anthem, Blame the Bleacher and Playing With Children (Parenting).


The diminutive Cherry Natural, who has been a poet for over a decade, percussionist Bongo Herman, singer Nature, the Kurfew Band, Samantha Strachan, Micah Shemiah, Majah Bless and Dominic Young, all gave commendable performances.


The Reggae Wednesday shows are part of JaRIA's Reggae Month activities.