Ziggy Marley follows in father’s tradition with ‘Love is My Religion’ | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ziggy Marley follows in father’s tradition with ‘Love is My Religion’

Tim Parsons
Ziggy Marley

Bob Marley’s oldest son, whose voice eerily sounds like his father’s, a year ago released his second solo album, “Love is My Religion.”

David “Ziggy” Marley’s “Love is My Religion” continues the spiritual message given by Bob Marley and the Wailers. Marley wrote, produced and played all of the instruments on each of the songs.

Marley’s earlier band, the Melody Makers, had eight albums.

The son of one of music’s most celebrated and followed artists, Ziggy Marley said his father was the inspiration behind the album’s strongest tract “Keep on Dreaming.”

“It’s about communication with my father in my dreams,” he said. “We can understand dreams if we are in the right mind. If we are connected enough we can be in a place of love. There can be a communication in dreams. It’s not just fantasy. There are visions.”

The song “Still the Storms” brings memories both lyrically and musically of Bob Marley’s “Exodus.”

“There is a little ‘Exodus’ vibe to it,” Marley agreed. “That song is about analogies and metaphors.”

Woven in the beautiful sound is an angry message. Like his father before him, Marley uses songs to deliver particular stances on issues as old as slavery and those who wield power over the masses.

In his book, “Catch a Fire,” Timothy White described the Rasta way as “principled passivity.” Marley’s words, however, are more direct than his song.

“The path of the hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) took almost the same path as the slave ships. There has not been a redemption. There has not even been an acknowledgment of the atrocities. For you it may seem like it happened a long time ago but not for me.

“I find it relevant the hurricanes came by the same path as the slave ships. The cries of Africa are not being heard by anyone. There is genocide today in Africa. It is being neglected by the international community.”

On “Be Free” Marley sings about the politics of fear and oppression.

“America uses fear to ignite its base,” he said.

“No, I am not just talking about what is happening in the U.S. It is happening in Europe and in the Middle East. Terrorists are using fear saying you have to kill Americans because they are trying to kill you. Religion is the same thing. They scare you with religion by saying you are going to hell.”

Marley said nobody can claim to be righteous.

“No one is innocent from all this trouble in the world. Everyone is shedding blood and no one can take the high road. If you are not dealing with love, you are wrong. All of us are prisoners and we’re fighting to be free. Freedom is love.”

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Hailing from the Island of St Croix, Midnite is one of the most promising roots reggae bands of the millennium. They are vanguards of conscious reggae whose profound and innovative lyrics are sincere and deeply rooted. Their CD recordings and live performances will have reggae and non-reggae listeners open to the messages they bring.

Lead singer Vaughn Benjamin’s voice seems an amalgamation of many great voices in reggae – soulful, chanting, edgy. Vaughn’s potent lyrical style and his brother Ron’s exquisite keyboards and musical directorship form the nucleus of this musical quintet, which includes fellow St. Croix players Dion Hopkins (drums), Philip Merchant (bass) and Abijah (guitar). Midnite weaves the cultural lyrics of “old school” roots music with modern day experiences to create a unique listening encounter. Reggae – naked and raw is an apt description for Midnite’s musical style, in which they forgo the frills of extensive remixes, overdubbing and other musical refinements.

Midnite explodes in live performances with sets that often exceed three hours. Their vigorous, weighty sound, driven by the punchy bass lines creates a vibe that penetrates straight to the heart. These epic musical communions have earned Midnite an enormous following throughout the roots community. This is especially true in St. Croix, Puerto Rico, Brazil, St. Louis and here on the West Coast where they have toured extensively.

Midnite has just released two brand new studio albums “Ainshant Maps” on their Afrikan Roots Lab record label and “Scheme A Things” on the Rastafaria label. Midnite has also collaborated with I-Grade Records for four releases: “Nemozian Rasta,” “Assini,” “Vijan” and the recently released “Let Live.” Several members of the band have also released a quintet of albums under the name Midnite Branch I: “Cipheraw,” “Geoman,” “He Is Jah,” “Project III” and “Full Cup.”

By breaking all the rules, Midnite is setting a new standard. Armed with a firm foundation in Jah Rastafari, their natural talents, and a strong and uncompromising musical vision, Midnite champions a unique sound that is on the cutting edge of modern roots music.

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