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Ras Michael keeps the order

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ALMOST 50 years after forming the Sons of Negus, Rasta elder and Nyahbinghi drummer Ras Michael says the traditional sounds he patented is still in demand. In fact, he believes with Jamaican music saturated with negatives, roots music is needed more than ever.

“People want spirituality, because yuh have Satanic messages coming from all angles,” said the 75-year-old.

Ras Michael used his performance at the three-day Richmond Folk Festival in Virginia in October, as a gauge. He said there was rapturous reception to his set which was built around classic 'binghi' songs like New Name and None A Jah Jah Children.

It shows, he said, there is still a place for the 'churchical' music he and trailblazing drummers like Oswald “Count Ossie” Williams recorded during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“I deliver the spiritual order wha' di Father gi mi. Di Father sing through me, me's jus' a soundbox,” he said.

The Richmond Folk Festival featured an array of traditional artistes including legendary soul/gospel singer Mavis Staples and Jarlath Henderson of Ireland who does Gaelic music.

— Howard Campbell