Capo Benaiah presents “Vision With Faith”
Throughout his career, Joseph “Capo Benaiah” Williamson has backed some of the legends of reggae music — The Wailers, Dennis Brown and The Mighty Diamonds. He has also released solo albums featuring top musicians.
The dreadlocked singer/musician gets substantial support from elite musicians on “Vision With Faith,” a 15-song album released in February by his Sphinx Records in tandem with VP Records. It is the singer/guitarist’s sixth album and hears him working with saxophonist Dean Fraser, who also produced his previous three albums.
Benaiah is a mainstay of the South Florida reggae scene, and for seven years was a member of The Mighty Diamonds. He replaced Bunny Diamond in 2015 after the vocalist suffered a massive stroke.
“All my albums have a message going on, but this album has a better quality when it comes to mixing. The musicianship was done totally in Jamaica, apart from two tracks which were done here (South Florida). Those are “Things in Life” and “How Can I Love Someone,”” he disclosed. “As far as production is concerned, I feel I have a better production, good quality singing, and instrumentation.”
“Things in Life,” originally done by Dennis Brown and “How Can I Love Someone,” made popular by Delroy Wilson, are among five cover songs on “Vision With Faith.” Keyboardists Tyrone Downie and Robbie Lyn, drummer Kirk Bennett, and guitarist Mitchum “Khan” Chin are some of the musicians who played on the album.
Benaiah, an experienced musician, played guitar on several of the songs.
“Vision With Faith” was released one month before the announcement by Judge Diamond, co-founder of The Mighty Diamonds, that he had recruited new members to record, tour and carry on the group’s legacy following the deaths last year of Bunny and lead singer Tabby Diamond.
Benaiah’s last show with the group was at the Calibud Festival in Los Angeles in February, 2020 just before the rise of Covid-19. He described “good times” while with the trio, but did not give reasons for his departure.
Born in Kingston, Benaiah has lived in the United States for over 50 years. While in New York City, he played in bands such as the Buccaneers and Debonairs; he was on the bandstand with the latter when they backed The Wailers at Concourse Plaza in 1972.
Moving to South Florida in the mid-1980s, he formed the Benaiah band which performed throughout that region. He also recorded albums with producers Karl Pitterson (“Time Eternal”) and Geoffrey Chung (“Children of Israel” and “We Nah Give Up!”).
(Photos courtesy of Joseph Benaiah)
Jah No Mek No Fool