Give me some advice on caribbean music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Guss, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. I would like to get to know a bit more about caribbean based music. First i need to know what everybody else really thinks of it. Is it accesible? Could i find it in a local music store or best buy? Where DO you find it? Who is a good artist to look for?
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I don't know about "caribbean music" in general, but when I lived in the Virgin Islands in 1996-1997, calypso was the big rage. Unfortunately, it consisted of a repetitious drum machine pattern put into hyper-overdrive tempo. It sounded terrible to me. All I ever heard there was calypso and every tune from the Bob Marley "Legends" greatest hits CD.
  3. ha. that is a very good cd. I lost my copy. sad sad. I also lost my copy of the wallflowers's "bringing down the horse". man i suck
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    There's also Soca-

    SOul + CAlypso

    Soul/R&B changes with a Calypso/Latin feel.
    I'm surprised we aren't hearing more of this since Ska & Reggae seem to be so popular(still).

    Someone once hipped me to a group called Bloque. They were described by Tower Records' online store as "Pyscho-Carribean Funk". That seemed to work for me.
  5. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I don't know if you are including Cuban in your Caribbean category, but I'd suggest Cachao for some great cuban bass work. Great composer, musician, and bass player.
  6. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    For watered down caribbean/soft-rock/sea shanties/vacation music, you can't go wrong with Jimmy Buffet.
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Caribbean music takes into account many styles, not just Jamaican reggae such as that of Bob Marley or many others such as Steel Pulse.

    Trinidadian steel drum music would be one that is often heard. Actually, it isn't so much a style as a manner of playing Caribbean music such as calypso. Calypso originated in Trinidad. There is now even a very current form called "rapso" which is calypso and rap. Harry Belafonte made a vastly popular calyspso album back in the late fifties. His song"Banana Boat" is one I typically think of when i think of calypso.

    Haiti has some interesting music and it is sung in Creole, the language of Haiti.

    The Bahama Islands have some interesting music. I especially like the percussive style played at Bahamian Junkanoo festivals. I lived in Kenya many years ago and I was struck when I first heard Bahamian music how similar the Kenyan popular music was to the Bhamian. Of course, I am referring the Kenyan modern popular musc, not Kenyan tribal music.

    Then you have the merengue of The Dominican Republic. That country also has other styles such as bachata. There is even a rap form of merengue, popularized by Los Ilegales.

    Salsa comes from Cuba, but many countries that border on the Carribean play a form of it. Cuba has a large variety of musical styles...everything from rhumba, mambo, cha, cha, cha and many more.

    Puerto Rico has music styles worth checking into also, not just Ricky Martin. They had a rich tradition of music long before he was even born.

    When I think of the Caribbean, I also consider Venezuela and Colombia. When I lived in Venezuela, salsa, soca, merengue were all very well liked, but both Venezuela and Colombia have a rich tradition of folkloric music too.

    Lastly, as another poster said above, even Jimmy Buffet has a kind of Key West/Caribbean style of music. I do consider him when thinking of Caribbean style because Key Westers actually call themselves the "northernmost island of the Caribbean" and they certainly have a point.

    Here in South Florida when a band plays so-called Caribbean music, their sets usually include an amalgam of selections from all the styles mentioned above.
  8. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Is it still known as the Conch Republic?
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    As has been said, the Caribbean is a big place and has many distinctive musics - it's almost like saying - what do you think of European music...? :meh:
  10. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    Actually Salsa is more North American than anything else. It was "invented" by Puerto Rican and Cuban transplants in NYC back in the 50's, when the traditional music of those peoples met and mingled with jazz, which was pop music in those days (damn shame isn't it, that it isn't still?).

    I am a fan of a lot of these musics, based on past history, but my favorites are the Cuban ones. Irakere and Los Van Van are two of my favorites (although Irakere sounds a bit dated now).
  11. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Thsi might be a bit of a streach, but, some country has an island vibe to it, like the bass line in Garth brooks "Two Pina Colladas" and some of Kenny Chesneys stuff also has that island vibe going on. If its Callyipso or not, I dunno. But IMO its still worth looking into.
  12. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Yes, it is still known as the Conch Republic and even has its own official Conch Republic flag. The name resulted from the time Key West "seceded" from the union, declared itself an independent republic, then immediately asked the United States government for foreign aid!

    The secession only lasted a day or two--if that long--but Conch Republic "independence day" is still celebrated each year. This year the celebration of 22 years since the secession actually lasted an entire week.

    By the way--the official slogan of the Conch Republic is: "We seceded where others failed."

    Key West loves an excuse for festivities. Last weekend it was the Chicken Days fiesta to celebrate and honor the "gypsy chickens" who run at will all over Key West, even through restaurants and stop traffic in streets. Zany Key West! No other place quite like it in all the world. Of course, I was there for the festivities, but somehow missed them.
  13. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    In fact Jimmy Buffet's recent album "License to Chill" has collaborations with such Nashville luminaries as Kenny Chesny, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and Martina McBride. (I never thought I'd see the day, but the album worked very well and sold very well.)

  14. If it wasn't for the 7 or so Cruise Ships that purge at the port every day Key West would be the perfect place to live for me. I think the street sign at the Southern most point should read "Duval Street, have we got a T-shirt for you". It's pretty amazing how people there still manage to keep up that perfect mount of eccentricity while being inundated by so much commercialism.

    As for Cuban music I would say that since the revolution the new music on the island itself has actually regressed back towards its original forms of African and Spanish mix, I have always thought of it as Tribal Flamenco. Some of the best from the big band era of the 40s and 50s, which are still standards in the Exile community here in Miami are unfortunately unavailable, as they have never been remade onto CDs and many of the original recordings are not very good.
    Sadly it is easier to find most new Cuban music outside of the US, even though I live in a Cuban community I have to hit European sites to look for anything current simply because it is not PC here to carry it even in independent Latin music stores.
    My personal favorite of the old time stuff is Benny More; he was the Frank Sinatra of Cuba back in the 50s.
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Ive only heard the song with Jimmy & Kenny. I'm not a big Buffet fan, but I'll have to check out this album anyway. It sounds like it might be good.