Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Mighty Sparrow

"Slinger Francisco, better known as The Mighty Sparrow, affectionately dubbed, The Birdie is the unrivaled Calypso King of the World, with a career that spans over 40 years and counting. This artist par excellence has earned his rightful place as "King of the Calypso World" by defeating every other competitor/pretender to his throne. He has entertained audiences across the globe, including, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, to name but a few.

Sparrow's roots are in Gran Roi, a rural fishing village in Grenada. He was born to a poor working class family. They migrated to his adopted homeland, Trinidad, when he was just one year old. He attended the New Town Boys School where he was selected to sing in the boys. choir of St. Patrick's Catholic Church. This was his initial involvement in music. The harmonics of the Gregorian Chants and the Plainsongs of the church that were embedded in him would later affect the depth and intensity of his compositions. His vocal abilities also reflect his childhood role as the head choirboy who sang baritone and tenor in Latin in the church."

"Maria", an early song from The Mighty Sparrow from the LP "Sparrow:Calypso King" made in the 50's.

Discover more about The Mighty Sparrow HERE.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Eddie Minnis

Found this cassette on the EM label some years ago in a charity shop. A curios mixture of reggae and soul with a pinch of humour thrown in for good measure.
Four tracks here are Finance Man, Johhny, Peter and Tarzan Or Robinhood.

"Bahamian Artist Eddie Minnis was born on October 14th 1947. He was educated at St. John's College and government high school in Nassau. He graduated from McGill University, Montreal Canada, in 1971 with a B.Sc.. Degree in Architecture.

Eddie is a self-taught artist. He has worked in a number of mediums including ink, watercolours and pastels, but now specializes in oil painting with the palette knife. Eddies paintings are strikingly three- dimensional in appearance and vibrate with the bright colour and light of the Bahamas. Mr. Minnis held one man shows in 1969, 1972, 1976 and 1986.

He has participated in numerous group shows, both locally and abroad. His paintings are in private collections in many parts of the world including the USA, Britain, Australia, Canada and Korea.

Minnis created a satirical cartoon "Pot Luck" in 1970 which appeared in the Nassau Guardian for 7 years and in the Tribune from April 1977 until October 1981.

Since 1971 this artist has also carved another name for himself as a singer-songwriter. He now has 11 calypso albums to his credit - "Der Real Ting", "Expressions of Love", "Nicole and Shan an...", "Island Life", "Mind your own Business", "Junkanoo Jam", "Guilty", "Hey Mon", "Discovery", the "Greatest Hits" Album and now the "Tropical Waves".

He is married to former Sherry Thompson and they have three children: Nicole, Roshanne and Ward who are also artists."

Monday, June 01, 2009

Big Al Davies

While we wait for Big Al's new CD to emerge lets remind ourselves of a great track from his first CD "Feztastic". Animation by my son Archie Leigh-Jones made when he was 14.