A Weh Dem A Go Do Wid It
Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus
August 13 - 2003

Track list
  1. Nyabinghi Medley
  2. Haile Selassie is the Chapel
  3. All Things Bright and Beautiful
  4. Sweet Jamaica (Rainbow People)
  5. Jamaican History (Version)
  6. Music History (Version)
  7. Sweet Jamaica Dub
  8. No Smoke Without Fire
  9. No Smoke Without Fire (Dub)
  10. A Weh Dem a Go Do Wid It?
  11. A Weh Dem…(Dub)
  12. Cry Moon
  13. Cry Moon (Dub)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4/5
Michael George Henry, better known as Ras Michael, was born in 1943 and raised in the rasta community at St. Mary's, Jamaica. At a young age he mastered the traditional art of hand-drumming and in the mid 60s he formed The Sons Of Negus Churchical Host, a group of singers and drummers chosen from among his fellow brethren. After regularly performing at Rasta gatherings (also called grounations) he financed a number of recordings such as "Lion of Judah", "Ethiopian National Anthem" and "Salvation", which he issued on his own Zion Disc label. Around 1966 he was invited to perform -in exchange of studio time- with Jackie Mittoo and The Soul Vendors on sides such as "Drum Song" and "A darker shade of black", issued by producer Coxsone Dodd.
The impact of Rastafarianism on the mainstream Jamaican music remained nominal, with major producers obstinate in their belief that the music by groups suchs as The Sons Of Negus lacked commercial potential. However, in 1974 producer Lloyd Charmers invited them to Federal Studios to record an album's worth of material. Supported by an amalgam of leading session players, the cut four (!) extended tracks, using traditional Rasta chant as its basic, but mixed with the sounds of reggae, pop and funk. The album, entitled "Dadawah - Peace & Love" brought the group under the attention of Tommy Cowan, who financed the follow up album "Nyanbinghi". This set differed greatly from their previous album, presenting the group without additional accompaniment-their sound completely unhindered by instrumental embellishment, thus referring to the sound of his former Zion Disc singles. The album "Nyahbinghi" is a spell-binding collection of work, which established the group as major recording artists in Jamaica. Tommy Cowan also released the album "New Name" in 1975, which is a collection of tunes the band recorded between 1972 and 1975.
Even today we can hear influence to great effect on singles by Anthony B, Beenie Man, Capleton, Shabba Ranks & Buju Banton to name but a few.
"A Weh Dem A Go Do Wid It" is a fine new album that sees Ras Michael’s roots/Nyabinghi mix further evolving into a creature which still pulses with beauty and vitality. By incorporating into his Sons (and Daughters) of Negus a female vocalist and more pronounced use of synthesizers he delivers an album with a kind of 'crossover' feeling, which isn't exactly our cup of tea.
He has employed the best studio musicians around such as Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Robert Lynn and Johnny “Dizzy” Moore Lyrically Ras Michael has stepped up his righteous message of unity even further at a time when it is most needed; “Do the colors of the rainbow fight amongst themselves? What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” asks Michael. The lyrical themes that Michael adeptly weaves through the album, are endless in scope; Wealth & Power, History & Music are all given credence in both form and content: from Rastaman Chant through Sweet Jamaica (History) and beyond. The medley Nyabinghi Medley incorporates the following three tunes "Rastaman Chant", "Dry Bone", "Jah Ark is Movering". While some songs shimmer with the sparse elegance of Nyabinghi, others skank roots reggae style, and other songs here incorporate these two elements perfectly. He also uses Studio One riddims like "Real Rock" on the track No Smoke Without Fire.

Buy the CD