New album features legends of reggae

Capo Benaiah (right) alongside other members of The Mighty Diamonds.

Capo Benaiah, who has been synonymous with the South Florida reggae scene for over 20 years, plans to release a new album early next year containing a collection of classic reggae songs.

“I have been working on this project now for about six years on and off from out of pocket, there is no sponsor or record company with no endorsement or grants,” said Benaiah. “So far, nine songs are recorded and I’m planning to record five more tracks to complete it.”

The upcoming album, Benaiah Sings The Legends of Reggae, will be the singer/guitarist’s fifth. One of the songs, Dennis Brown’s Things in Life, was released in 2018 and topped the South Florida Reggae Chart.

Some of the other songs Benaiah put his stamp on are Delroy Wilson’s How Can I Love Someone, John Holt’s version of the Shirley Bassey standard, Never Never Never, and Love Up Love Up, originally done by Sugar Minott.

The songs are personal favorites, some of which he tried new things with.

“I did do something different on the track Never Never Never which was a big hit for John Holt in England. I added some harmonies to the track,” he said.

Benaiah, whose real name is Joseph Williamson, plays guitar on some of the songs. He called on several experienced musicians to work on the project including drummers Sly Dunbar and Wilburn “Squiddly” Cole, bass guitarist Chris Meredith, keyboardist Robbie Lyn, and saxophonist Dean Fraser. 

Since 1985, Kingston-born Capo Benaiah has led the band Benaiah which has backed major reggae acts performing in South Florida. Throughout the 1970s, he played in different bands on the New York reggae scene including The Debonairs which backed Bob Marley at the Concourse Plaza in 1972.

In 2015, Benaiah was recruited to join The Mighty Diamonds. He replaced co-founder Bunny Diamonds who suffered a massive stroke.

 

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