More Meditations

By Howard Campbell Observer senior writer

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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DESPITE the changes reggae has gone through in the last 40 years, Ansel Cridland of veteran group The Meditations never strays from the music’s roots.


He revisited the blueprint for that classic feel on Jah Always Find A Way, the group’s 10th album and first since 2004’s Stand in Love.


"My goal was to capture that original sound of the ‘70s and ‘80s, a time when the music was live. And in terms of content, I am a Rastaman, so I always stay true to the culture and give the youths of today strength and awareness," Cridland told the
Jamaica Observer from his home in New York.



Jah Always Find A Way was released late last year. In October, the Meditations went on a month-long tour of the United States to promote it.


Cridland is the only original member in the current line-up, which also includes Laury Webb and Drayton Chandell.


He said getting airplay for new songs is not like the old days.


"Well, things have changed. The industry as a whole is now focused on money, more than the love of the music. Getting airplay is more of a money thing these days," he said. "There was a time when your record was getting played, based on the quality and how it connects with the people. The way things is structured these days you can’t even get a chance to know if a song connects with you or not, and some great artistes will never be heard, ‘cause of this money thing."


The original Meditations (which also included Danny Clarke and Winston Watson) had no problem getting on the airwaves with
Woman is Like A Shadow, their first hit song.


Recorded at Channel One Studio in 1974, Woman is Like a Shadow soared to number one in Jamaica when released two years later.


The trio had other hits such as Woman Piabba, but also made a mark as harmony singers. They can be heard on Bob Marley’s Blackman Redemption and Punky Reggae Party as well as Bongo Man A Come by Jimmy Cliff.


Sly Dunbar, who played drums on Woman Is Like A Shadow, worked on Jah Always Find A Way. Bassist Lloyd Parks and keyboardist Ansel Collins, Channel One stalwarts keyboardist Sidney Mills of Steel Pulse, guitarists Dwight Pinkney and Willie Lindo, and bassist Derrick Barnett also played on the set.


The Meditations are scheduled to kick off the second leg of their Jah Always Find A Way tour on Saturday in St Louis, Missouri.

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