Front Page
February 10, 2006

Patrons who attended the St.Vincent & the Grenadines Blues Fest 2006 got exceedingly more than their money’s worth on Friday February 3 and Saturday 4 at Buccama on the Bay.

The first night saw spectacular performances from the local acts such as the duet of Sean Sutherland and Jomoro Thomas through their beautiful fusion of pan and piano.

Although Soca artiste Skarpyon did not get a hyped reaction from the audience, he still delivered with his vocal skills.{{more}}

Also showing his versatility from Soca to Blues was the “Don” Bomani who was dressed in immaculate white and was similarly flawless in his renditions of some Oldie Goldies as well as his own songs to which he gave a “bluesy” flavour.

Although celebrating only their first anniversary, the band “Akcess” gave a smashing performance from their debut album “Cheers to You” which seemed to toast the best of soothing blues music.

On the second night, local talent the steel orchestra Rhythmix hit superb notes that took the audience on a musical high while Son J & Friends with their inspirational lyrics, well blended voices and their outstanding young singer who isn’t even in his teens captivated the audience with his rendition of the James Blunt song “You’re Beautiful.”

Xpressionz also thrilled the crowd with their excellent selection of songs and well blended voices and diverted from the programmed way of “just standing behind their microphone and singing.” The female vocalists seemed to put inhibitions aside giving a little shake and really expressed themselves as they stepped up and took the front stage.

Bequia musicians Tropicana II were also hot to trot with their blues band style “honky tonk” musical renditions. Their female saxophonist literally blew the house down while the vocalists added to the spice of the evening.

There was nothing cold or wet about the regional and international acts but on both evenings umbrellas seemed to pop up and down because of the rain which never dampened the spirits of the entertainers or audience.

Friday night saw the Caribbean’s version of Kenny G in St. Lucia’s Rob Zi Taylor.

Instead of the long curly locks for which the American saxophonist is known, Rob Zi wore blond dread locks and showed that he is just as talented on the clarinet and the microphone as he is on the saxophone.

On Saturday Cuban female band Canela had the small local Cuban community flocking to the front doing the salsa and meringue.

Soon after, the fellas rushed to get a closer look at the ladies of Canela who teased their ears with Spanish music and their eyes with some sensuous dance moves.

Some of the males in attendance seemed to be straining to get a closer look despite the presence of their female companions.

But the international acts seemed to bring everything to a peak, first it was Rockin’ Dopsie JR known for his music on BET’s Comic View.

He brought the flavour of the deep southern state of New Orleans with the harmonica, accordion and a unique metallic washboard as he pranced about the stage.

His big cow boy hat and rear-end-shaking, high-energy moves pumped up the crowd as he performed the music of artistes such as Ray Charles, James Browne and Marvin Gay.

Later that evening, it seemed almost like a female wrestling match as young women pushed and shoved others out of the way, just to get in closer range at the front of the stage for the Rythmn and Blues male quartet 112.

Females screamed at the top of their lungs and at one point one audience member even threw money at the group in a desperate attempt to attract attention.

The star-struck, love-crazed girls screamed louder as one of the members tore off his vest and threw it into the audience to reveal his bare, rock-hard chest. He again sent the ladies into higher frenzy when he gave out roses, which led to some fierce pant tugging from the overwhelmed young girls, whenever he got too close to them at the edge of the stage.

On Saturday evening, the more mature ladies seemingly were just as excited and flew high “On the Wings of Love” with a smashing performance by Jeffery Osbourne.

The 64-year-old former LTD group member who seemed as fit as a fiddle serenaded the ladies and gave them a brief caress of their outstretched hands.

Jeffrey, wanting to get closer to his fans, eventually ventured into the audience to find the person who could best sing the famous hook line from his song, “Can You Woo Woo Woo.”

Brave patrons gave their own versions, but it was Jeffrey’s original touch that stayed in the hearts of the hundreds in attendance.

Over all, the locals acts all seemed to get high praises for stepping up their presentations in both dress code and performance and delivery. This made it difficult at times to differentiate the local from the international.

But the real winners of Blues Fest were the patrons who screamed in ecstasy, whether it was the young ladies who adored 112, the more mature females who screamed for Jeffrey Osbourne or the men both young and old who screamed for Canela.