Music built on dreams of unification |

Music built on dreams of unification

Andrew Harley

Israel Vibration jams at State Bridge in Bond tonight By Andrew HarleyDaily A&E WriterWhat can one person do? How much does one vote count? It depends on what one means. To reggae legends Israel Vibration, one means, We all gonna sing the same song. It means power lies in the gathering of people who share dreams and respect.State Bridge Lodge marks the spot where Israel Vibration will host a celebratory gathering for lovers of peaceful interactions and parable-driven reggae music.Though these beloved musicians have consistently cultivated a strong following, they have always managed to remain humble.Israel Vibration has been prominent on the international reggae scene since the mid 1970s. Having released more than a dozen albums, the group has occasionally broken through the periphery into the iris of reggaes most popular acts.Cecil Skelly Spence, Albert Apple Craig and Lacelle Wiss Bulgin battled polio during their childhoods in at the Mona Rehabilitation Clinic a therapy center for relatively poor families on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica.In the face of a crippling disease, the trio found the strength to fight polio and pursue music. They played the piano and any other instruments they could get their hands on at the clinic, and they diligently studied the religion of Rastafari and the prophecies and teachings of Emperor Haile Salassie I of Ethiopia.As the boys knowledge of the religion grew, they began preaching to other patients at the clinic. They were eventually cast out of the facility, and they found themselves homeless, depending on the generosity of others. So, they sang harmonies, switching the lead while the other two created a distinct vibrating sound with their voices. And, since the trio had recently become members of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, they became Israel Vibration.The group released their first LP, Same Song, in 1976, which garnered international recognition not to mention Bob Marleys attention. Marley often asked the group to play with him in Kingston, which led to the group releasing their next album, Unconquered People, on Marleys Tuff Gong label with instrumental work by the Wailers.The group disbanded in 1983 due to poor management, among many other factors. They reformed around 1988 after approaching Doctor Dread from RAS records for advice. Doctor Dread discouraged their aspirations to pursue solo careers by reminding them that unity is strength.So, Israel Vibration released Strength of My Life.Today, Skelly, Apple and Wiss still have the strength to dance as they always have with their crutches. They are backed by the Roots Radics band, and have recently returned to the forefront of reggae music with constant tours through Europe and America.Israel Vibrations most recent album, Fighting Soldiers, came out less than two years ago.Israel Vibration and special guests perform at State Bridge tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22, and can be purchased at Harley can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 610, or at

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