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Boothman breaks away in Newtown

Published: 
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Veteran guitarist and singer Michael Boothman will launch his new album— Break Away—tomorrow evening at Kaiso Blues Cafe, 85 Woodford Street, Newtown, at a concert titled The Man and His Music—Michael Boothman Live.

The popular artiste said listeners will be intrigued by his new music, which breaks away from the easy listening jazz style he is best known for.

Boothman said he’s always wanted to produce his own music, and having opened his studio in the last few years, he now has the opportunity to create more music. The CD is part of a rebranding exercise for the musician.

“I want to do a series of performances, beginning on the eighth, to get myself back out there, as the younger people may not be familiar with who I am.

Many people associate me with cool laid-back jazz music, not remembering that I was one of the catalysts in the evolution of soca music in the 70s.

So ever since that period I have been dreaming of having my own studio.”

Boothman said the album is inspired by the music he would have heard when he began going to watch Carnival with his parents.

“I went back to the days when the brass bands were live and raw in the streets without trucks. I used the music that broke up fights that happened in the fetes long ago. It was like the last song played when two bands clashed to see who would jam more, that was the main piece of music that you could play.

“I was influenced a lot by Ron Berridge. I was fortunate to play bass with South African singer Lauren Clarkson and I was influenced by the African rhythms, and so I have a song called Going South on the album which is African fusion. My keyboardist is Venezuelan so I did a Latin Fusion number called Fuse It Up and the main song of the album is a song called Jiganga, named after the strum of the guitar.”

Boothman said he’s waited to release the album until he had built up a certain amount of songs.

“I usually tell young artists who want to get out there and jump in, you have to have wares on your shelf meaning that you have to have a backlog of music, because if you make a hit and you have nothing to come after that you’ll be a one hit wonder. 

“You always have to have continuity, so fortunately for me I’m a songwriter, so I have tonnes of songs, rhythms and music to share with the world. My next project recording wise is the Kysofusion project which I’ve already started.

I decided to do a Mike Boothman project, which is Break Away, so I have different avenues in putting out the styles of music because you want to build a catalog of songs.”

Boothman said he put the album together with the assistance of longtime friend and producer Howard Lindeman, who has been a colleague since they worked on Boothman’s Heaven album in the 1970s. He also introduced Lindeman to some young musicians, including his son, who he has been mentoring since opening the studio.

Said the six-foot-plus musician: “When he came, those kids saw the difference between what they’re doing and what they call music because a lot of times it’s just digital noise that they put together. In a strong sense they’ve moved away from melody, lyrics and our essence, which is our style of music and our dialect.

“I’m bringing Howard back to do a workshop and we’re in negotiations with UTT before they go off for their vacation.

They have a lot of young people that really want to do it professionally. My whole life is giving back so whoever would listen, they could come by the studio and they are benefiting from being around.”

Boothman said he thinks audiences will appreciate and be proud of the new music, “because it is calypso music, not soca.

I really believe that our music is disrespected and disregarded and everyone is looking to take away the main elements of the music.

“I feel it’s time we pay real respect to our calypso music because calypso music is the mother beat of the Caribbean music, because it is the first recorded music in the world and we take it for granted.

“My input or my vision is to be able to take the music, treat it with respect and put it out there, let people hear it and make it and bring the people to the table.”

More info

The Man and His Music —Michael Boothman Live takes place on July 8 at Kaiso Blues Cafe, Port-of- Spain. It features the band Kysofusion with Boothman Simone Mendoza, Orville Roach, Clint DeCoteau, Johnathan Hensley and Ernesto Garcia.

Contact 682 9705 for more information

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