Dezarie Live and Dread: A live selections playlist | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Dezarie Live and Dread: A live selections playlist

Included here are twelve deadly live selections from Dezarie backed by Ron Benjamin and Midnite.  The selections are from two shows performed in northern California in 2009 and 2010.  The audio was brilliantly captured by our friend NomoTrouble, who has captured countless hours of Virgin Islands reggae performances over the past decade.  Big up NomoTrouble for his crucial works.


This is where roots reggae is at.  US reggae artists, particularly the Virgin Islands contingent, have flipped reggae on its head entirely over the past decade or so.  For more information on the VI reggae movement check this article by Ihi Tochi.  The fascinating article features in the 2017 edition of the Reggae Festival Guide, which can be downloaded for free HERE.

“Strengthen your mind, we living in serious times…”

Roots empress Dezarie has blessed the reggae community with the deliverance of her newest recording “Gracious Mama Africa”. Released on the Afrikan Roots Lab record label, this album emerges from the seeds planted on her amazing debut album of 2001 “FYA”.

Gracious Mama Africa transports the incredible voice of Dezarie to a whole new level – the highest heights. Her foundation is firmly established in songs such as “Travelers” and the title track. The brilliance and clarity of Dezarie’s voice is reverently unveiled on “Exhalt”. Gracious Mama Africa abounds with pleas for social justice and racial equality with selections like “Poverty”, “Strengthen Your Mind” and “Justice”.

But to this listener, the strength and power of Dezarie is most strikingly displayed in her condemnation of so-called civilization. “Gone Down”, “Not One Penny”, “Law Fe De Outlaw”, “Slew Dem An Done” and “Judgment Come” all deliver conscious punches that penetrate the soul.

“Do what you want, wheresoever you please. Bombing Vieques, yes your bombing the seas. Lock up anyone that was opposing. Speaking against the nonsense that you were doing. But babylon you gone down, you gone down. Babylon funeral, you gone down.” – Dezarie

After receiving Atlanta’s “Best New Female Reggae Artist” award in 2001, Dezarie returned to her native island of St. Croix. Since that time, she has been working closely with Midnite, the players of instruments for “Gracious Mama Africa”. Midnite’s trademark sound is fully displayed on this album. Momentous bass lines from Phillip Merchant, classic one-drop from Dion Hopkins and the bubbling of Ron Benjamin on keyboards prevail throughout, accentuated by Abijah’s charismatic guitar playing.

From the excellent overdubs of Dezarie’s voice to the flying symbols on “Slew Dem” it is evident that Ron Benjamin worked tirelessly in the production and mixing of this album. The fruits of this labour are eloquently displayed on Gracious Mama Africa which is sure to be one of the best roots albums of 2003.





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