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Road March is on
Posted By: News
Date: Friday, 30 January 2004, at 8:46 a.m.
by Peter Blood, Trinidad Guardian
This week, Iwer George submitted a brand new single in the 2004 Road March derby called "The Carnival Come Back Again," adding to what is already one of the most competitive races in years.
National Junior Monarch Patrice Roberts had the honour of being first out the gates when she released her CD at Christmas, with the contender "Sprinkle." Unfortunately, due to little airplay and with none of the soca bands playing this selection, it cannot be considered a contender.
In contrast, also launching his CD for Christmas, Shadow has been the most popular artiste this Carnival, with several of his songs enjoying heavy rotation on air and in fetes. In the Road March fray as well, this past double-winner is back with "De Hornerman Horning" and "Whop Cocoyea."
Last year Road March runner-up Destra is also back in contention, this time with two ditties, "Up in the Air" and "Bonnie & Clyde."
The women are particularly strong in calypso and soca this year, and in the Road March race as well, and among them are 2003 champion Fay Ann Lyons, and past champ Sanell Dempster.
Fay Ann is awesome and is keen on a repeat with "Freedom," and a collaborative effort with her father, SuperBlue, named "Clear the Road." Sanell's "Doh Do Me Dat" is also in the running.
Among the male stars, the fastest growing Road March contender is "Look the Band Coming" by Tobago-born Shurwayne Winchester. This ditty has found immense popularity among women, and is also theme song for television's daily On the Promenade morning programme.
A joint runner-up last year with Destra, Machel Montano returns with the zesty "Craziness," one of Carnival's most infectious songs.
Other strong contenders for Road March champion this year are "Carnival is Bout This" (Naya George); "On the Road" (Chris Garcia); "Warrior Cry," aka ‘Fire Brigade' (Bunji Garlin); and, "The Carnival Come Back Again" (Iwer George).
THE ROAD MARCH STAKES
1. Look the Band Coming - Shurwayne Winchester
2. Craziness - Machel Montano
3. Get on Bad - Onika Bostic and Bunji Garlin
4. Up in the Air - Destra
5. Clear the Road - Fay Ann Lyons and SuperBlue
6. Freedom - Fay Ann Lyons
7. Carnival is This - Naya George
8. Bonnie & Clyde - Destra
9. The Carnival Come Back Again - Iwer
10. Is Carnival - SuperBlue
Saucy Wow, the ultimate diva
SPEKTAKULA Promotions Int succeeded in producing the "Concert of the Month" on Wednesday night with the staging of Caribbean Divas, at Jean Pierre Complex. With almost every seat in the house occupied at the open-air venue, under a starry sky, patrons got a lot more than their money's worth.
Expert stage management by veteran Lennox Toussaint led to a production which built in intensity and excitement with every succeeding act. From opening act, Nikeisha Toussaint to a defiant Denise "Saucy Wow" Belfon, every female performer proved that the women are a formidable lot in Carnival this year.
Donna Pierre's review of the concert also appears in this paper so I won't venture to steal her thunder.
But I must say that Saucy Wow is in a class all by herself, while Destra is a class act and someone who has what it takes to move our soca music forward. A budding songwriter, Destra has one of this year's most original compositions in "Bonnie & Clyde."
I enjoyed every act, and was moved when Rose dug into her archives to unearth "Simon" and present it as though it was brand new. Of course, Singing Sandra is never anything less than regal and her "Peace" song is testimony of the positive, progressive side of this country's young people as this profound social commentary was written by the very popular Dawg-e-Slaughter.
Pure Energy's Michelle Sylvester is well on her way to stardom, once she continues getting the right material, like she has this year with "Go Ahead and Horn Meh" and "Dip Down Low."
Nicole Greaves, Onika Bostic, Lima Calbio, Alison Hinds and Sanell Dempster were all accomplished and polished in their performances and are worthy of being referred to as "ambassadors" to this "Land of Soca."
Horn for the horn men
I am sure that when he wrote Shadow didn't realise how prophetic his big hit this Carnival, "De Hornerman Horning," would be. In an extreme departure from what has been one of the main ingredients in calypso and soca music, horns have been excluded from the majority of recordings this year.
Some of calypso's greatest living "horn men," carrying the age old tradition of enhancing music through the years can only now rely on work in the calypso tents and in the few music bands on the fete circuit. Gone are the days when men like Errol Ince, Frankie Francis, Mitch, and even Brassorama posterboy de Original De Fosto Himself would have fete patrons and record collectors in awe with the mastery of "horn."
It pains me to the pit of my stomach every time I hear so many of this year's beautiful soca melodies, bereft of horns, the space for live horns replaced by a bloody synthesizer. What has gone wrong with our producers, arrangers and recording artistes? I am dying for the day when T&T soca would wake out of the slumber it seems to have been placed in by its protectors, opting for quick-fix, shake ‘n' bake methods to what has always been the sweetest music in the world.
When the final chapter is written on Carnival 2K4, one of its saddest entries would be that somebody really horn the horn man.
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