Missing Link - Roots Rock Reggae Group Members of Missing Link Amid all the clamour of the resurgence of roots reggae, or 'conscious' music as part of the local mainstream, the question may legitimately be asked, what of gospel reggae? The layman may argue that gospel reggae music has not had as strong a presence as one can recall it having even a few years earlier. The members of the multi-faceted gospel reggae group The Missing Link may not agree with this assertion but they definitely see a place for themselves within that mainstream, just on their terms. 'We are unapologetically spreading the message of Jesus,' says convenor and noted guitarist/teacher Fitzroy Bennett. 'We're not calling this mere inspirational or conscious. We're bringing Jesus to the world and that's the link that's in our title.' Comprising instrumentalists and singers, the group is in fact culled from several other prominent Christian music ministries, including Martin's Heritage, Fellowship Tabernacle and Covenant. American-based evangelist Noel Scarlett was the catalyst for the formation, linking through a relative to Bennett who in turn drew several of his friends and musical affiliates. The group is now preparing to spread the message nationally beginning with back-to-back concerts in Windsor Lawn, St Ann and the Emmanuel Apostolic Church in St Catherine (Portmore) on September 23 and 24 respectively. An interesting note of these shows is that the bill includes renowned DJs Brigadier Jerry and Charlie Chaplin. The duo, which have rocked countless dances since their late 1970s/early 1980s heyday are reputed for conscious lyrics but not for an unapologetically Christian message as Missing Link is proffering. Bennett insists however, this occasion will be different. 'You will be in for a surprise' is all he will offer on that score. The shows also feature DJ Bless, the former Prodigal Son. Beyond the two shows, the members hope to take their act across the island and eventually across the region. They also have completed an as-yet untitled praise and worship collection. Recorded over a three-month period, the set's eight songs (mixing originals and standards) were an inspiration to produce, Bennett said. 'It was great. Everyone bonded together and treated each other like family and we all learned from each other and laughed with each other.' The camaraderie is obvious and indeed unanimous throughout, reflecting the background of the group members, several of whom have played together regularly over an extended period. They took care with the record, he says, to ensure that the production and musicianship were of the highest standard. 'We're ministering for the Lord, so rather than come off with any ordinary thing; we want Him to have the glory through our excellence.' Regarding the absence of gospel artistes from mainstream music, Bennett says he doesn't see it, but offers that more Christian artistes are ministering overseas and more extensively than before. The key concern, he adds, is to reach the lost - where-ever they are - with the message of life through Christ rather than to concentrate solely on record sales or visibility. He says he is mindful of the great expense attendant with recording as well as maintaining a touring ensemble in any genre. But he remains confident that the cause will be provided for, and even that any line of demarcation between 'mainstream' and 'Christian' will fade out. 'We believe that we will come to the place where there will be one diverse musical offering, that is praising Jesus, with no thought as to whether it's Reggae or jazz or traditional or otherwise.'