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Michael St. George’s “Fight Your Fears or Die”

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Fight Your Fears or Die, the latest project from Canada-based dub poet Michael St. George, is set for release at the Poetry Society of Jamaica’s closing fellowship for 2014, on November 25th at the Edna Manley College Amphitheatre.

With extensive years of poetry and observation feeding the tones, rhythms, spirit and message, the 2014 release is an incisive excavation of fear and hope at the interface of real change.
Owen Blakka Ellis said of the release, that St. George’s “evocative and commanding vocals accentuated by an arresting array of musical compositions, is a distinctive, delightful and dynamic work that immediately demands attention. The 12-track collection of poetic songs and musical poetry is chock-full of rhythmic vibes and rich verses that invite the listener to dance, dream, speak out loud and sing along.”

The production values are world class, and the pieces are varied in style, tone and tempo. The album presents a marvelously melodious marriage between inspirational yet rebellious spoken word/dub poetry and sometimes blues-infused, sometimes rocking and wailing but always authentic and unquestionably absorbing reggae music. It speaks to challenges, personal and professional—family, friends, foes, engagements, passions and lessons learnt.

This album addresses that inner light, which shines through all of us, recognizing its vitality, thus sharing that unique gift with others. An understanding that if you do not take on the challenges, the fears, societal and otherwise which threaten this light, you die. Though it may not be instant, it will be incremental. This album reminds us all to fight our fears and to let no one take our light away; for it is our gift to the world.

Fight Your Fears or Die asks tough questions, and presents strong statements as expected; the slippery legacy of Martin Luther King in Dream Martin; ways that might seem to have gone astray; ancestral remembering of Africa; the contradictions of immigration and action-halting acknowledgements in One Suitcase. Wherever he goes, St.George’s language pierces into the rubbles of realities that break into the most innocent of lives.

There’s no dumbing down in this album. With signature grace, St. George shines a light with a whole new set of sounds that brings perspective, a deeper tenderness, and a sense of Something Else shining in from just beyond the present state of things. The Message (The MSG) is that there’s something else beyond the rubble and the fear.

The album will be available for sale at the Fellowship, which will feature a guest performance by St. George as well as an Open Mic & Discussion Segment & Featured Works. The Poetry Society of Jamaica’s Monthly Fellowships are hosted on the last Tuesday of each month at the Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts, beginning at 7:30pm and are free and open to the public.

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