Recently, I attended the US Embassy’s Independence celebration and was pleasantly surprised by the music of the featured group for the evening, Brass Soul; needless to say, a rather unique Bajan appellation!
They played mainly R&B with a few soft rock tunes for good measure, so to speak. I was aware of their existence after seeing commercials in the newspapers but until that night I had never had the opportunity to see and hear them.
Their repertoire was quite attractive and I guess in these days of being saturated with “oldie goldies”, a live performance of the said range of music was to my mind quite satisfying. As I stood watching and listening, several people came up to me and either asked or wondered if it was a foreign band or not! When I responded that I knew some of them, so they must be local, they expressed surprise! “Of course, nothing good can’t be Bajan can it?”
Yes, they are good at what they do and with the three lead singers known for their vocal ability, no wonder! They are: the vivacious Keisha Christian, the supremely talented Carol George and a former vocalist with English-based top band of the early 70s, The Foundations, Clem Maloney! This trio work well together.
Some of the musicians I already knew, like old schoolmate Robert Foster formerly of The Merrymen but most of them were “foreign” to me. They all seemed well acquainted with their respective instruments; my favourite being the guitarist who did some solid solos!!
However, I guess what caused some members of the audience to be curious as to their origin was the fact that it was a healthy blend of black and white Bajans. I guess we are not used to this.
I have no idea what their mission statement is, or if it is just guys/gals enjoying some serious jamming, but what they are producing is quite appealing and in a genre that has no competition at this time in Barbados. Their appeal was such that the current US Ambassador to Barbados jammed the Temptations’ My Girl with them; he continues to show that he is a “regular guy”!
I do promise that the next time I see them advertised to appear anywhere within my reach, I shall make an evening of it as they made my evening on July 3!
— William “Smokey” Burke