Social commentary carried off the top prizes in this year’s TSTT Employee Calypso Competition, held recently at the Nelson Exchange Carpark, while fun-filled melodies describing the company’s race...
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Kees rides a wave of success
Two soca singers I am extremely proud of are Kees Dieffenthaller and Nadia Batson. They have been able to rise above the cesspool of filth engulfing soca these days. Kees is riding a wave of success and no one, yes no one, should begrudge him. His new album Wotless (a Carnival release) is testimony to the man’s hard work, a reward for the hungry years. I really do hope fans of Kees support this 13-track CD that’s chockfull of soca goodies and filled with delight like my grandma’s sweetbread. This rising star has made my life miserable, because I can’t choose a favourite song. I like all. It’s challenging when a soca star album is so filled with variety and class that it makes my job difficult. Of course the album gets full marks for presentation. It’s really beautiful and impressive. Lee Aleong please take a bow! Photographer Laura Ferreira also take a bow! You guys are H-O-T! Holy Moses! This CD is a knockout!
Thirteen songs come tumbling at you with machine gun rapidity. You don’t have a chance to think about the next wine. Wotless leads the way, followed by Ah Ting, Waistline Roll, We Coming Down, Addicted, Cock It Back, Come Gyal, Where Yuh From Heaven, Melee, Fete Hard, plus the mixes of Heaven and Melee.
Songwriting skill of Kes, Nadia, Klase Gonsalves, Kerwin Dubois align in perfect harmony; as well as John Michael Alibocas (Makamillion) who come on the song Cock It Back. Don’t talk about the band of brothers, Hans Dieffenthaller (drums); Jon Diffenthaller (guitar); Riad Boochoon (bass); Mario Callender (Keyboards); Robert Persaud (Samples); and Keithson Cruickshank (Keyboards/Background vocals). Of course there are people in the background of this successful group, Madmen Productions, Precision Productions and Question Mark Entertainment. Guys keep the faith. Now hear this, Kees is the executive producer. Way to go guy! I always say Kees and Kes the Band ship will come in big time. Guys just keep working hard, remembering the hungry years. Never forget them. Go out and buy this CD, it’s a steal! Bless.
Kizzie sizzles like Sunday callaloo
She’s as beautiful as her singing. Her name too, could flash in the lights as a movie star. I’m talking about Kizzie Ruiz, that luscious and delicious calypso gal. I’ve watched the development of Kizzie’s and Karene (Asche) as youths, and I could go to sleep knowing that calypso is in good hands. Both have blossomed into stars and are shining brightly. But, let’s talk about Kizzie today. She has a big chance to do well if she made Saturday’s cut in Skinner Park and makes it to the Dimanche Gras National Calypso Monarch final on Carnival Sunday night. I see no reason why she shouldn’t. Her songs, Anti Corruption Cure also called “Macco Dem,” and De Engine Stall, are two biting socio-political commentaries. Holy Moses, don’t talk about creativity and lyrical construction. Kizzie, the 2010 NACC Calypso Queen, thrilled us last year with Aide Haiti. This pocket dynamo is sizzling like a pot of callaloo on a Sunday fire. And don’t doubt me, she’s all fired up to meet any calypso challenges head-on.
All the best, Kizzie. Now Kizzie escapes a bullpistle on her petit frame. I give here “a bligh” this time. At least she could give me a sleeve on her CDs giving credit to the songwriter(s) ect. Readers will know there is no compromise with Mr Muzik and credits. Kizzie you really don’t know how close you came to getting lashed. The name that pops up everywhere Junior “Ibo” Joseph does arranging duties on De Engine Stall. K Cameron composes beautifully as songwriter. However, I am still in the dark over Macco Dem, her anti-corruption song. Kizzie can’t complain as both songs have been receiving generous airplay.
Wild nostalgic ride from Gemini Brass
Say “Gemin Brass,” and one time you mind flashes back to that glorious period of the late sixties/early seventies when brass bands ruled the roost. Today brass bands are scarce like low food prices. However, there’s something to cheer about, the Best of Gemini Brass, a CD that’s worth waiting for. And mind you a double CD to boot. Any disc jockey worth his salt, whether retro or contemporary, should have this 16-track CD. Oh my gosh, it sweeter than a pig tail oil down, as Danny Ming (leader, guitarist and songwriter) and the boys take you on a wild, nostalgic ride. Executive producer Henry Antione deserves some kudos for pulling from the archives this stunning pelau of music. Back in the day bands were afraid of Gemini Brass when they clashed, either in fetes or Brassorama. Musicians used to be shaking in the shoes. Gemini Brass toured the Caribbean and North America extensively. The band was formed in Belmont in 1965.
The selection of vocalist Eddie Charles of Traffik fame is excellent and blends well with the music. All the oldies are there, Lady love, I Believe In you, I Just want to love you, Higher and Higher, Get up on Something, Woman Woman (Cro Cro), Her Majesty (Calypso Rose) and others. Eddie does a magnificent job on two Shadow (Winston Bailey) oldies, Carnival Scenery and Without Love. Look man, buy this CD recorded at Sound Canada, Don Mills, Ontario and Studio Six, Montreal, Quebec.
As usual, this double CD get full marks for presentation.
• It’s now on sale at all record shops, Crosby’s (St James and San Fernando); Charlie Records, 1265 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, USA, NY 11216; or Super Events in Canada. It is also available at Email: H.Antoine@EFSNET.CA for enquiries.