Rootsy voodoo rock from Port-au-Prince
If the history of Haitian music ever gets committed to print, at least a whole chapter will be devoted to RAM. They’re nothing short of an institution. Formed in 1990 by the Haitian-Americanmusician/hotelier Richard Morse, for the last 30-oddyears they’ve enjoyeda weekly residency at the Olofsson Hotel in Port-au-Prince, the Morse-run establishment thatwas the inspiration for HotelTrianonin Graham Greene’s Haiti-set The Comedians. Morsehimself fronts RAM, a high-energy, highly percussive outfit specialising in rootsy voodoo rock and whoaren’t afraid to spike their songs with sharp criticism of the government of the day. That Thursday evening residency, a must-visit for any visitor to Port-au-Prince, has been far from the limit of their ambitions. They’ve flown the flag for Haitian music right across the globe, in the process representing a cultural constant for a nation that seen more than its fair share of turmoil in recent decades.