February 11, 2019

It’s been a chilly and gray January and February here in the Valley of the Sun, and I was looking for some music to play while working that would fill the background with the sounds of sunnier and warmer climes. Sure, I already had my incredible and legendary “Tropical Breezes” collection, but I wanted something a little looser and fancy free, and stumbled upon the idea of creating a subset of “Breezes” that would be something you’d hear if you were on a beach in sunny south Florida or the Caribbean and kickin’ back with a boat drink or a cooler of Red Stripes. Hence my new music collection, “Caribbean Beach Party”!

It was just like making a tropical drink – a few parts this, a few parts that, with a little of the unknown in between. I started with the basic essentials: all the Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and steel drum music that was already part of “Tropical Breezes”. So far, so good (in fact, it was the mellow side of JB and steel drum music that formed the basis of the old Dish Network Tropical Breezes channel that gave me the idea of the music collection to begin with. So here is what I started with in terms of artists:

Jimmy Buffett
Kenny Chesney
Alfred St. John Trinidad & Tobago Steelband
Bob Lyons (steel drum artist)
Bob Marley & the Wailers
Doug Walker (steel drum artist)
Greg McDonald (steel drum artist)
Jamaican Steel Band
Jason Roseman (steel drum artist)
Kent Arnsberger (steel drum artist)
Larry Hall (steel drum artist)
Raggae Beat
Robert Symons (steel drum artist)
Steel Tropics
Tropics Steel Drum Band

Which, BTW, would be sufficient in and of its own to warm the bones of the most rugged seafaring Gloucester fisherman running out a winter nor’easter on the Grand Banks. But I knew that after a time – given the fact these artists and their songs were already familiar – it would get a little stale. Enter the music of Danny Morgan and Eric Stone.

I was introduced to the music of both these musicians not from hearing them live, but, interestingly enough, through the Wayne Stinnett‘s Jesse McDermitt series of Caribbean action adventure books. It would be harsh (not to mention, insulting) to call them Jimmy Buffett wannabees; as artists they appear to be known pretty much to the South Florida crowd with their own vibe and muse that makes their sound more regional than national. This is no criticism in any way – in both cases they’re good at what they do, and they make music perfect for poolside, barside, and boat cruising anywhere you want to put it. It’s hard to characterize their music, but I call it “island time”, with Stone’s music having a bit more of a nautical flavor.

Here a couple of samples by Danny and Eric to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

So after adding The contents of Morgan’s Captiva Moon, Beach Life, and It’s Always Summer, and Stone’s Boatsongs #1, #2, and #3, I found a couple of other steel bands that warranted inclusion: the Pirates of the Caribbean Steel Band (great name, huh?) and the Island Caribbean Steel Drum Band. Sufficiently steel, but just a little different enough from the others to warrant their inclusion and enhance the collection.

I’m telling ya, folks, you can’t go wrong with this collection! Just six payments of $29.95… just kidding. I’m guessing all or most of this stuff is available on iTunes and Amazon Music, and I guarantee it won’t be a waste of your time. Sitting by the pool or blaring it on your boat, it will be purrrrrrfect for the summer months that – believe it or not – are just around the corner.

Now pass me one of those Red Stripes, will ya?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 21:46 | Comments Off on New Music Collection: Caribbean Beach Party!
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