Monday, July 16, 2007
In 1969, Winston Rodney had a chance meeting with Bob Marley on a country road in St Ann's, Jamaica. This encounter led to the beginning of Rodney's musical career as the singer for Burning Spear. The name of the band eventually became synonymous with Winston, who adopted the name as his own. Only later would he start his own record label using the same title. The true history of the name, however, lies in the nickname of Jomo Kenyatta, a freedom fighter who was jailed by the colonial British government in Africa. Kenyatta was to rise into such popularity that he stole the presidency of Kenya for a time.
The album Marcus Garvey, released in 1975, was a pivotal album in shedding light to the belief system of the Rasta- both spiritual and political. Rodney was very much influenced by the writings of Marley, Garvey, Kenyatta, and MLK, who all supported a stronger black race through self-reliance. This attitude speaks itself in Rodney's decision to manage and promote his act on his own terms and not allow his career to lie in the hands of any other manager.
After 37 years, Burning Spear is still a musical force to be reckoned with; the bongo playing of Rodney, accompanied by the versatile horn section of the band hasn't allowed its message or its music to be diluted by the current trends of the reggae scene or the record industry and the mixture they provide is a potent one, indeed!
Listen to the LP.