Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

22 October 2013

U.S. Virgin Islands

While conscious reggae music has enjoyed a revival in creativity, popularity, & appeal since the mid 90s, many reggae fans lament the small number of female voices. Here to help fill that void  is Dezarie, from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Her angelic voice & powerful songwriting have gained her notice throughout the Caribbean & here in the U.S. In the summer of 2001, three of Dezarie's songs were released on the Nemozian Rasta CD, the first collaboration project between the Midnite Band & I Grade Productions. These songs received significant radio play in the Virgin Islands, Washington D.C., & Atlanta. Dezarie was named Best New Artist at the 2001 Atlanta Reggae Music Awards.

Dezarie's long-awaited debut CD, Fya, features thirteen new songs along with two from the Nemozian Rasta disc. The roots riddims on the album were arranged & performed by I Grade Productions (guitarist/producer Laurent "Tippy" Alfred, bassist Kenyatta Itola) & the Midnite Band.

The all-live instrumentation on Fya harkens back to the classic Jamaican roots sound of the 1970s, solid roots drum rhythms, heavy bass lines, with crisp bubbles & skanks. The musicians on Fya include the I Grade Productions duo mentioned above along with the core members of the Midnite Band: songwriter Vaughn Benjamin; keyboardist Ronnie Benjamin; bassist/drummer Phil Merchant; & drummer Dion "Bosie" Hopkins. Fya also features the rhythm & lead guitar playing of Tuff Lion (who has performed & recorded with some of the top bands in reggae including the Abyssinians, Junior Marvin, & Midnite).

Dezarie – Fya, I Grade Records IGLP002, 2001.
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Side A –

Don't Cry                   
Most High                  
Love Yourself                        
Flesh & Bone

Side B –
All Ova                      
Walk Wid Me                        
Sing Out                     
Iron Sharpen Iron

bonus tracks (from the extended CD release IGCD002, 2001) –

Jah Throne
Mind Yu Own
Fya Dub

Dezarie followed up this amazing release with 2003's massive release, Gracious Mama Africa on the Afrikan Roots Lab label. She toured extensively in support of the album, culminating in a performance at 2004s Sierra Nevada World Music Festival. Dezarie is quickly becoming known as one of the foremost female roots singers in the world.

Again working closely with the I Grade production team & with contributions from the Midnite players of instruments, Gracious Mama Africa maintains that Midnite trademark sound: momentous bass lines, classic one-drops, bubbling keyboards, & sharp lead & rhythm guitar playing. (lead guitar – Abijah Hicks)

Dezarie is the only sister in the reggae field to come with such a combination of vocal beauty, lyrical fire, & musical thunder. The lyrics forge new directions in Dezarie’s songwriting development. If you liked Fya, check this one.

Dezarie - Gracious Mama Africa, African Roots Lab 000, 2003.

Tracklist –

Gone Down
Not One Penny
Strengthen Your Mind
Law fe de Outlaw
Gracious Mama Africa
Mother & Child
Slew Dem & Done
Judgement Come



  1. Fya
    Gracious Mama Africa

  2. Thank you for introducing me to this terrific reggae vocalist (and backing band). It's so good to hear some contemporary bands doing authentic roots music. Appreciate the shares (I would have never heard this otherwise).

    1. Sorry it took so long to reply, I somehow missed your comment.

      Many of the artists I featured as I traveled around the globe were totally new to me. I would discover their music & be so moved, it was exhilarating.

      Glad I could pass some of that feeling along to you.