The weekend past was a mixed one as I succeeded in balancing my daddy chores with some hardcore liming on the Arrival Day holiday on Monday. Colin Murray of Carib Brewery successfully inveigled me to make only my second visit to Santa Rosa Park race course in Arima, where his company hosted customers and friends. It was the staging of the first of the 2010 "Triple Crown," with the Carib Brewery Ltd Guineas being the day's blue riband event. I must admit that it was an afternoon of good fun, blessed by fair weather, and complimented by sumptuous servings of food and premium liquor, with live entertainment by Carib Woodbrook Playboyz, JMC 3Veni, Soca Elvis, and Nalini Akal.
Even former Soca Monarch Ronnie Mc Intosh couldn't refuse an invitation by 3Veni leader Veerendra Persad to get up on stage to do a few of his golden oldies. As with all Carib promotional events, the Carib Girls were also in attendance–six gorgeous young women, elegantly attired, all making guests feel at home. Plain talk, bad manners, but this bevy of beauties is the best I have seen Carib present in recent times. I also had a chance to reminisce with former Miss T&T beauty pageant entrant Tricia Lee, one of the first ever Carib girls.
Not knowing A from Z in horse racing I stoically kept my money in my pocket throughout most of the evening. But tempted by my friends from Cheers Pub, one of St James most popular watering holes, including Steve Boland, Chin, Raj, Sean and Sabrina, I must confess I made a wager on the feature race. Call it beginner's luck, and thanks to our new prime minister, I won. Let me explain, there were 12 horses in the race, but just one was female. It didn't hurt that she was also the favourite. And so, my capriche worked, with woman emerging as boss one more time, and me thanking the owner of Grande Riviere, Neil Poon Tip, and jockey Brian Harding.
The Edge of fun and food
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised last weekend to see the amount of good times people are enjoying in the south land at Paria Suites and The Edge in La Romaine. The Edge has this Friday after-work lime that just keeps going and going, not stopping until the wee hours of Saturday morning, while neighbouring Paria Suites has this tremendous Saturday night offer going, of a rack of ribs for just $99. The hotel's restaurant, run by a most affable food and beverage manager in the person of Carol Cowie, has also begun a Sunday morning family breakfast, comprising of ten different dishes.
The back cover of Tambu the Journey with guitarist Junior Wharwood pictured second from right with members of Charlie's Roots. Photo: courtesy Nicholas St Bernard
This coming Sunday–June 6–marks the 19th year of the passing of a musical icon; Junior Louis Wharwood, guitarist/vocalist of Charlie's Roots, the nation's first soca band. Accompanied by fellow guitarist Tony Voisin, Junior served up some outstanding music for not just Roots but was one of the most sought after session and studio musicians in his time.Junior may be gone but he's certainly not forgotten.
Is Carnival time again in town
It's started–Carnival 2K11 is already bubbling with bandleaders beginning to swamp me with notices of the upcoming launches. It seems that first out of the blocks will be former King of Carnival Peter Samuel who is returning to the bandleader's chair with a presentation titled Skullduggery....the dance of deceit. On paper, and well advertised on Facebook, Peter Sam's band is being served by some music that can only described as "sensational," namely David Rudder & Charlie's Roots, and 3Canal. Yes, expect the return of soca's bedrock. The launch of Skullduggery is scheduled for July 4, America's Independence Day, at the recently re-opened Anchorage, Chaguaramas, at 5 pm.
As expected, the bandleaders are playing their cards close to their chests but I have managed to learn that triple-crown Band of the Year (Medium) champion Ronnie & Caro is launching its C2K11 presentation on August 28, followed by Pulse 8 on September 10. Because of its commitments to Caribana in Toronto, Canada, Tribe is said to be considering a date somewhere around July 24. It's well known that Legacy is always late out of the blocks and "Big Mike" Antoine said that he's contemplating a date before Miami Carnival this time, in October. Other tentative launch dates are Spice (July 7); Island People (August 13 or 20); and Godfrey Enile's Showtime (August 22).