BY ROBIN CAUDELL
---- — BURLINGTON — Time is not counted from daylight but from the witching hour.
So, almost, goes the tagline of Midnite, a St. Croix roots-reggae band that thumps the Queen City from its midwinter slumbers Monday night at Club Metronome. Special guest is DJ Big Dog.
Midnite — brothers Vaughn (lead vocals) and Ron Benjamin (vocals/keys/bass), Christian Molina (drums), Edmund Fieulleteau (guitar), Edwin Byron (guitar) and Ras L (keys) — lyrically and rhythmically deconstruct 21st-century Babylon at the altar of Jah Rastafari.
The Benjamins are the sons of a professional musician in their native Virgin Islands.
“One of the important things I know from my youth days, he (father) would say, ‘Go on stage, don’t pretend to be anyone else. Just be yourself,’” Vaughn said. “That’s your real truth. It’s very important to be your real truth so you don’t attract energies that are different from your real truth. The laws of magnetism, karmic lives, are involved also.”
Vaughn is a seeker of truth among the laws of nature.
“You come to the true realization … understand more your place and responsibility and obligation and such to posterity and legacy and future and so forth; life isn’t just one present tense.”
Vaughn, astrologically lion-hearted, is the youngest of four children. He’s proud to play with his own flesh and blood.
“My brother plays in the band. He guides me, adjusts the fine tuning of our sound. He’s a player of multiple instruments. We’re together in the band. Jah’s being good to us,” he said.
The band is at work on a new CD project.
“Melody and lyrics, I make together. When I go to studio, I don’t go with a song whatsoever, with no music. We make the music right on the spot. That’s how the albums are being made. Of course, sometimes I can feel the vibration, I will answer. Everything is by vibrations, by true-ness, the feeling,” he said.
A student of the Old Testament, Vaughn is mystical deep and a frequent praiser of His Majesty Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia, Africa.
Soul order, self control, excellence and self application are worthy assets for all the world, Vaughn said.
All the universe, all places of higher learning recognize Awash Valley (think Australopithecus afarensis, “Lucy”) in Ethiopia as the origin of life and culture, he added.
“(It’s) all interrelated, and
“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war, and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained.”
Midnite’s articulation of truth resonates with those who are culturally and ethnically different.
“We’re all 98.6 degrees,” Vaughn said. “If you’re in an igloo in Siberia or Alaska or in equatorial heat, you’re still 98.6. The world has that magnetic attraction to the sun because they’re designed that way. You can appreciate my words, you still have that feeling inside. You still have the heat in your veins that make people love the sun. That’s part of the mystery. We’re all more similar than we think. We’re all carbon bodies.”
Energetically and spiritually, Midnite seeks to lift its audiences higher and higher.
“Life comes one day at a time, and two days never come at a time,” Vaughn said. “You maximize the strength of one day. That’s the philosophy, you know.”
Email Robin Caudell:
rcaudell@pressrepublicanIF YOU GO WHAT: Midnite, a St. Croix, Virgin Islands, roots-reggae band, with special guest, DJ Big Dog. WHEN: 9 p.m. Monday. WHERE: Club Metronome, 188 Main St., Burlington. ADMISSION: $25 advance, $30 day of show. CONTACT: (802) 658-4771