Israel Vibration plays Thursday at Miners Foundry
The Miners Foundry Cultural Center, in association with Jah Mikey One, Good Vibes Security, and Git Split Records, presents iconic reggae group Israel Vibration along with the premier Jamaican session band Roots Radics in a local stop on the Play It Real Tour on Thursday, Oct. 15.
This all ages show features a celebration of music, food, drink, and vendors. Jah Mikey One and DJ Redlocks will provide pre-show music.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; the show is at 8 p.m.
With a musical career spanning four decades, Israel Vibration is a rare relict from the golden heyday of roots reggae. The vocal trio comprised of Cecil “Skeleton” Spence, Albert “Apple Gabriel” Craig, and Lascelle “Wiss” Bulgin overcame adversity, illness, and poverty to become one of the finest roots groups in Jamaica’s history.
As children, all three had been afflicted by polio and first became acquainted at Kingston’s Mona Rehabilitation Clinic. They found themselves with little to keep occupied so they started singing harmonies. During this time they also met a Rasta elder named Baba Douse. He taught them about Rastafari and of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia along with Jah and the Rasta’s culture. The three were shifted around to other centers until 1969 when they were finally and permanently expelled from the institutions.
While living on the streets Apple, Skelly and Wiss had only their music. They began performing in 1975 and by late 1980 they made the move over to Bob Marley’s recording studio, Tuff Gong. They were one of the first reggae artists to record at Tuff Gong studios preceding the Melody Makers and Nadine Sutherland. Backed by the Wailers band, Israel Vibration recorded the legendary album “Unconquered People.” (1980) The album featured ten tracks, among them were, “Give I Grace”, “Friday Evening”, “Mr. Taxman”, “Survive”, “Top Control”, “We A Da Rasta”, “Unconquered People”, “Possibility”, “Dwellers of Darkness”, and “Practice What Jah Teach.”
The group relocated to New York in 1982 to seek professional health care, but struggled to break through there and they split up. They each attempted to launch solo careers, with Bulgin releasing the Mr Sunshine album in 1985, but by 1987 they decided to relaunch Israel Vibration. Having all been turned down when they approached Gary “Dr. Dread” Himmelfarb, founder of RAS Records, during their solo period, they received a positive response when they approached him as a group. They were flown to Washington, D.C. to record a new album at the Lion and Fox Recording Studios backed by the Roots Radics. Strength of my Life was the group’s fourth album. The band stayed with RAS into the 21st century, releasing more than a dozen albums for the label.
Their most notable reggae hits and all time classics include “Why Worry”, “The Same Song”, “Cool & Calm”, “Strength Of My Life”, “Red Eyes”, “Vulture” and “Greedy Dog”.
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