Amala's View

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You are involved

I've watched from afar, the campaigning that went on for months now comes to a heated close in two Caribbean nations. Interestingly enough there are more similarities than differences. Similarities between countries and similarities to times gone by. We like to say the more things, the more they stay the same. As the voting day draws nigh, know with certainty that you are involved, know that your vote makes a difference and know beyond anything that it is a right you must exercise. For to abstain from voting, if you're in a position to, really casts a long shadow on the future of your nation from a time such as now when you have a voice. Do you want that shadow to be behind you in your children's time? Vote. Remember you are involved.

Martin Carter lived in a turbulent political time and this piece is as true today as it was in the early 1950s when he penned it.

You are involved

This I have learnt:
today a speck
tomorrow a hero
hero or monster
you are consumed

Like a jig
shakes the loom
like a web
is spun the pattern
all are involved
all are consumed.

Martin Carter

Friday, November 04, 2011

What are the essentials?

Or more appropriately, who are The Essentials? On a cool fall evening in November, I found out when I went to Croton Reservoir Tavern on 40th Street in one of the busiest cities this side of the Atlantic. The poster on the invitation showed a photo of Michel Aubertin and Phil Grajko sitting on a couch separated by Phil's guitar. Let me just say the photo, does not let on what I heard! Truth be told, I knew what to expect from Michel, he was the lead singer in a band I managed from St Lucia. Michel is right up there with the best vocalists. Phil, though shocked me! First off I didn't expect him to be a singing guitartist, let alone be a reggae singing guitarist!
Music is truly a feeling! If it is not in your soul, you can't share it. Michel and Phil met over an essential just after Michel's honeymoon. As they sat on the roof of a Manhattan building, Michel opined that this city was just people on top of people on top of people! Yeah, it is a lot of people. Phil disappeared and Highrises was born. They let us hear it along with The Essentials, Canopy and one that I really liked called One.
The audience was truly engaged and involved, singing along to Bob Marley covers and the skatting of a former Burning Spear member who lends his vocals and percussion skills well.
By the end of their set, everyone was irie. This five-piece band is tightly knit and know where they want to be - in your music player and on your stage. The band is called Morning Sun & The Essentials and I have learnt that the essentials are three things that you can't live without - good herb, good music and good love. Consider yourself officially in the know! Blessed love.

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