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Midnite - "I A Now"

May 11, 2011
The Coach Hose, San Juan Capistrano
By: Ranking Kirk


Wednesday May 11th,  2011, I received my Midnite fix…….just 111 days since I last saw Midnite at the Key Club in Los Angeles on January 20th, 2011. We are blessed in Southern California with the many chances we have to see Midnite perform live and in person. We should not take it for granted, because once again Midnite brought its message to the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano.

If you are not familiar with Midnite, the band consists of Vaughn Benjamin (words & vocals), Ron Benjamin (bass & vocals), Christian Molina (drums), Edmund Fieulleteau (rhythm guitar), Edwin (Kenny) Byron (guitar), and  Ras L. (keyboards). The Benjamin brothers are the heart and soul of Midnite with their current line up of handpicked musicians of similar mind. Midnite as a band and Vaughn Benjamin is the vocalist and “the” Rastafarian roots soul messenger.

Midnite took the stage after Madtab.  Ron and band started the vibe for a few minutes before Vaughan made an entrance to applause, cheers and more, now with the stature of a roots legend, with his arsenal of  words, sound and power to back it up. My best attempt to name the songs played include: Foolish and The Wise (Ras Mek Peace), Earth Cycle Now A Rasta (Jubilees of Zion), In a now (In a Now), I Chant (Kayamagan), Kingdom???, True King Spirit (Ainshant Maps), Native Story (What makes a King), Ronnie laid down the bass line on this song Native Story, had a blast doing so, again and again with more zeal, finesse and spirit every time…..I listened to the recorded version later, and in this live set the bass line is something to cherish….Lianess (Scheme of Things), Love the Live You Live (Unpolished), Work out the Lion???.  I know I could have missed some of the songs, because Midnite thumps them into a fifteen plus minute vibe.

Not sure I should attempt to determine the set lists at all, Midnite’s music spans many collectives in which Vaughn orchestrates, from the Midnite band, I Grade, the Branch I and more…..the music is continues to flow……All music is recorded in the moment in the studio.  But when Midnite performs they create a new moment for that music, a moment you need to experience and feel. Different than a band playing a song note for note, Midnite expands these songs into something more than that recorded moment into a full experience of their roots music vibe and message. As of May 2011 with over 40 cd’s released under the Midnite name and over 580 tracks and more floating out there, the choice that Midnite has to perform a song from or mash up songs from is vast. Are there any roots reggae groups that can compete? Midnite delivered to the Coach House two hours and twenty minutes of roots on roots, a raw dose of bass thumping applied to the heart that rattled your soul. The crowd still wanted more……. 

Give Thanks



Rankingkirk is a Journalist, musician, and music researcher. Writing about  the music industry since the 80’s with articles and reviews published from the English Beat to the Rolling Stones. Rankingkirk is a follower of the Midnite roots message from over 30 live performances.

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