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Rice simmers for Samba Kings

Observer senior writer

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Anyone who has seen the Uprising Roots Band in action can attest to the frenetic movement of bass player Ruel “Pot A Rice” Ashburn. He once showed that energy on the football field.

Ashburn played two seasons (1996 and 1997) of daCosta Cup for Spalding High School in Clarendon. He played midfield and forward, and later turned out for Hill Star Strikers in the Manchester parish league.

Recording sessions and live shows will compete for his attention in the next month, as he plans to tune in to the World Cup. Brazil is the lanky musician's choice to win the 32-team tournament.

“The number one reason why I love Brazil is because of the glorious history it has through the passage of time in all World Cups. And it is home of one of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen… Pele,” he said.

Ashburn added that he followed Brazil's impressive qualifying campaign and warm-up matches. They were favourites for the last World Cup which they hosted but were eliminated by eventual winners, Germany in the semi-finals.

They have the quality to go all the way this time, Ashburn believes.

“Brazil have some of the top-class players — Neymar, Casemiro and Coutinho, just to name a few. The players that are going to shine at the World Cup are Neymar, Griezmann (of France) and Modric (of Croatia),” he predicted.

Most of Ashburn's time is spent with Uprising Roots and touring with artistes such as singer Samory I. However, he does find time to hit the football field.

“I still play and keep fit because, as you know, the temple of the Most High begins with the human body which houses our life and existence. So I always cherish the essence of life and support a healthy lifestyle,” he said.