Club Viva, November 16, 1999
This past Wednesday night the legendary Meditations rolled back through
town and once again showed why they're one of the best in the business.
They played at a small club (Club Viva) and it was really great to see
them in such an intimate setting. The show began late, at a little after
11:00, with the Easy Star Band laying down some solid rhythms. From left
to right it was Kongo on keyboards, Errol on drums, Leroy on bass, and
this time around, Gene on guitar. They also had their soundman, Donovan,
with them again. They played a couple of tunes, including Small Axe and
sounded good. Barna Rebel then came on for a tune, a cover of Dennis
Brown's Westbound Train. (Barna Rebel has been in St. Louis for awhile
now and is an awesome guy to have in town. He's aka Barnabus, the
legendary producer, engineer, etc. at Channel One and beyond...)
It was around 11:30 now and finally the Meditations took the stage.
Starting off with Book Of History, they played til 1:15 with one break
and they sounded great. Each vocalist has a unique style, but Ansel
Cridland just has one of the coolest voices in the history of reggae (or
in any genre). I was standing 3 feet away and it was a memorable evening
having these guys right in front of me. Ansel started off in the middle
with like 30 minutes of his tunes, then they switched and Winston Watson
took center stage and sang for about 20 minutes, then the same with
Danny Clarke. All sounded great. And the whole time I was checking out
their harmonies and they were right on. Man, they can sing...
From the latest on Easy Star (highly recommended, btw) they sang:
African Connection, Ghetto Is A College, Blackman Redemption, Living On
The Edge, Educated Fools (which was the 3rd or 4th song and totally blew
me away!), One Of Us, Moses, Enemies Away, Jah Music (A scorcher!) and
Rudeboy Corner (at the end with a couple of false starts. Excellent!).
Some other tracks were, Woman Is Like a Shadow, Wake Up, Miracles,
Jungle Feelings, Nice Time (Marley), Babylon Trap Them, Being A Dread Is
No Crime, Fly Natty Dread (at the end and it was killer!), Jailhouse,
Seniorita and Tricked. I remember they did a medley with Tricked in
there, so they cut it off early and that was a drag, 'cos they were
really jammin to that one.
At the end they also did their Curtis Mayfield cover, which again just
showcased their fantastic vocal talents...you can tell they really love
The tour just began, so do yourself a favor and check em out if they
come to - or near - your area. The Meditations still definitely have
Reporting from where the Rams and Blues are kickin...and we're always
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