Soldiers of Jah Army, or SOJA, got their start in Arlington, Virginia in the late-1990s.
Jacob Hemphill (vocals, guitar) and Bob Jefferson (bass) met in first grade soon after Hemphill had returned from Africa, where his father was working as a defense contrator in Uganda. The lifelong friends teamed up with Eric Rogers (keyboard), Ryan Berty (drums) and Ken Brownell (percussion) in middle and high school, and the group recorded their self-titled album, Soldiers of Jah Army, in 2000. Patrick O’Shea replaced Rogers in 2003, shortly after the group released their first full-length album, Peace in a Time of War.
The band recently released their newest album, Strength to Survive, on Jan. 31, so hopefully they’ll perform some new hits at Bonnaroo.
Black Uhuru is one of the world’s best and most well-known reggae groups. The group got together in Jamaica in 1972 and was originally known as Uhuru, which is Swahili for “freedom.” While Garth Dennis, Don Carlos and Derrick “Duckie” Simpson were among the band’s original members, the line up has changed many times in the four decades the group has been performing. Other members include Jenifah Nyah, Andrew Bees, Delroy “Junior” Reid, Olafunke, Sandra “Puma” Jones, Michael Rose, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and Errol “Tarzan” Nelson.
While the group has been around forever, they reached their height in 1985, when Anthem won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, the first year the award was given.
Hello again, everyone! Sorry for the hiatus. I’m in the process of reformatting my blog and took everything down for awhile. I know it’s still pretty empty up here, but I have to sift through three months of material, which is taking a lot longer than I expected. I threw some of my better posts back up so that it wasn’t completely empty on my first day back. Expect some more material to appear in upcoming weeks, as well as a ton of new updates, because I’m finally back in business.
I’d like to say that tremendous things have happened since I last updated, but everything’s been pretty much the same. I’ve been working five days a week and relaxing on the weekends.
Addam was home this past Saturday and Sunday, which, if you know anything about the restaurant industry, is as close to a miracle as you can get, especially considering he’s asked for every weekend in December off. We’re having family come in from Ohio next month. His parents and uncle will be coming down the weekend after Thanksgiving, and his sister and her boyfriend, Ryan, are coming to Miami for a cruise the next week. They’re going to stay with us the weekends before and after. Super excited! It’s been so long since we’ve seen any of the fam, and I’ve never gotten to meet Emily’s fella.
Saturday was the Bayside Rocks Festival, so we went downtown to see if we could catch part of the show. We didn’t have money to get in, so we spent most of the day walking around the city and straining to hear any bits of Steel Pulse and Bunny Wailer that we could catch. Which wasn’t too much, but we still had fun.