<bgsound src="//www.theorangesky.com/music/alone.mp3"> Alone by Orange Sky (Trinidad)

Alternative Artists in the Caribbean

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Antigua/Barbados/Bermuda/Cayman Islands/Cuba/Curacao/Dominican Republic/Guyana/Martinique/St. Kitts/St. Lucia/St. Maarten/St. Vincent and the Grenadines/Trinidad

TRINIDAD

There are only a few bands featured in this section but the scene in Trinidad is proliferating rapidly. They also have the most organized, visible, accessible and documented scene especially in terms of its world wide web orientation, that I have seen thus far. Currently there are 20 plus bands (many of them extremely talented) :- hard-rockers Incert Coin, Tripped and Falling and Xen to name a few. There are soo many that I've decided to profile a minute section. The best place to go is Band-field which has up to date info on all of them (see link below).

ORANGE SKY

I first heard of ‘Orange Sky’ when they visited Jamaica to participate in a Caribbean music showcase. ‘Orange Sky’s guestbook section led me to the discovery of the ‘Band_Field’ site and I realized to my delight that there was a developed, supported underground scene with over 20 bands. This four-membered band mix reggae and rock to come up with their own unique sound. Seriously they are one of the best Caribbean bands that I have come across and have limitless potential- they can definitely make it. They describe their music as ‘rightly melodic is driven at times by an amazingly high energy that can carry you through variations of moods and tempo’. The members of the band are Nigel Rojas (lead guitar and vocals), Nicholas Rojas (bass), Adam Murray (guitar), Stewart Abraham (Bass), Obasi Springer (drums), and Richard Hall (keyboards). The band was originally called ‘Orange Peel Grove’ and was formed in 1992. They have recorded a demo at Eddie Grant’s ‘Ice Records’ in Barbados. They have recorded three albums already, first LP entitled’ Trials and Tribulations’. They have been constantly promoting themselves in America and earning rave reviews. They plan to release a new album early 2005. I can't wait. The might even tour America or Canada if I'm lucky. Click to visit their official website where their many songs can be downloaded. Here is a recent article from Caribbean beat on the band

HIGH SOCIETY

This is the site of the guitarist, Justin Lee of the now defunct reggae-ska-punk rock group. Even though they are not together anymore, I really enjoy listening to this brilliant and energetic band. They are very dynamic and manage to fuse their different styles almost seamlessly. They have done covers of 50's rock 'n' roll ('Something Else'), Peter Tosh ('Legalise It') and Bob Marley ('Redemption Song'). Plus they have their startling originals like 'Matador' which combines dancehall reggae with this Spanish-styled music. All these songs can be checked out on the music section. Justin also has his own songs posted. He has his own band in Montreal called 'Justin and the Justin times', ironically. He is an extremely versatile and talented musician. Watch out for him in the future.

INCERT COIN

This is the official site of one of the most popular bands in Trinidad right now. I would describe their music as hard rock, heavy metal rock in the vein of Tool, Nirvana, Metallica and Filter. They have already produced 3 albums, have opened for Lit,and were featured prominently on farmclub.com. Incert coin consists of the engimatic but humble James Amow(Vocals), Scott Johnstone(Guitar), Bernard Abreu(Percussion), Dion Howe(Guitar) and Orlando Pyle(Bass).

COBOLIZED

This is the official site of the 4 -membered group which has released their 10 track debut entitled 'The Satori of Purusha'. The site has profiles, pictures and song downloads.

St. Somewhere - A self proclaimed Caribbean Rock quartet. The band comprises of Americans and Quincy Yeates, a Trinidadian steel drummer. They have released 3 studio albums and a demo in 2003. There are pictures, gig info and biography at their site.

WTNT - This is a wicked site that broadcasts Trini rock live (depending on the schedule). I am really impressed with the bands that are played here, like Tripped and Falling 'In Tears and Bad Endings' and Xen! This is a good way to sample Trini's good stuff.

Band-Field - This is the most up to date site about the Trini rock scene. It has media, articles, reviews, gig listings,latest news and announcements.

Punk International/Trinidad - This article briefly profiles the rock scene in Trinidad.

Diapason - concise information on Trinidad bands; including biography, discography etc. The site is not updated often, though.

There are also other sites on alternative music in Trinidad at Triniscene.com and Tribalnation.com.

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GUYANA

Along with the featured bands there are others that have been recently formed. This scene has been booming for some time. Many have come and gone. Special thanks to Jude of Struck Root for providing some info.

BRUTUS

This 4 piece hard rock outfit has an official website with audio, info and nuff other tings. However, the only sections that are working right now are the bio and pics scetions. One can go to those sections to find out about the evolution of the band. They ahev an extremely large following in Guyana due to the fact that they are one of the few heavy metal bands.

ANNA & THE KINGS

Anna-Maria Elston, former vocalist and lyricist of Burning Bush, formed his band in England. She is now recording an album called Changing Faces with some members of Burning including Michael Roberts and Jude. I can't wait until this is released. Anna is very talented with her songwriting and vocal skills.

CHOKE SILENCE

Roger or Rawle, the ex-guitarist of Pearls to Swine, migrated to Brazil and formed the band,Choke Silence. This heavy metal outfit have released an EP and are planning to release their debut soon. Find out more at their official website.

THE AWAKENING

This quintet, formed in 1998 describe their sound as ’rock-oriented reggae’. They have stated that their soul mission is to 'awaken the masses to blazing rock riffs'!. However, I find that they are more likened to soft rock than say alternative rock. Anyhow,there are audio files and much more info to check out at their official site.

TECH21

 Two members of Tech 21, Paul Bonar jnr (guitarist) and Gary Inniss (vocalist) were both members of the now disbanded ‘Pearls to Swine’. ‘Pearls to Swine’ were a local rock group that performed live at the Sidewalk Cafe & Jazz Club, Georgetown. ‘Pearls’ flew to Trinidad in 1998 for a show at the San Fernando Yacht Club. In 1998, they released a CD titled "Light & Shade", comprising 10 tracks, including the popular hits "Bird of the Flame" and "Sanctum". One year, after the Pearls disbanded, Paul decided to record his compositions at the Kross Kolor Records studio, leading to his debut ‘New Born Child’. In Aug 2000, Paul formed Tech 21 upon the advice of friends to support his album. The band is comprised of seven people including Paul on guitar/vocal, Gary on bass and Roger Gordon (Brutus) on drums. They have no official webpage They might have broken up.

Karmadillo - This is the site of a Guyanese band based in London which fuses South American, Britpop and rock music. They have gig dates, downloads and info listed.

Rock Therapy - This is a relatively new site about the rock scene in Guyana. There are announcements and reviews on shows. In the future, there will also be pics and info on bands.

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MARTINIQUE

XAWXES

This is a self-described melodic pop-rock group of 4, formed in 1995. In 2001, they released 3 singles that were played on local radio.In 2002, they toured Brittany. More info can be found at their official site, which is in French.

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GRAND CAYMAN

Other bands worth mentioning are The Blow Holes, 45 C.I., Coco Red, and Mainstream. Not much info found on them.

HI-TIDE

Founding members Shane Allenger and Sean Hennings have been writing and playing together in bands since 1984. In 1988 Shane moved to Nashville, and for one year he performed regularly on TNN with many country greats, such as, Loretta Lynn and Randy Travis. Upon reuniting, Shane and Sean opened for or performed with Bon Jovi, Jimmy Cliff, Third World, Garbage and many more. Since forming Hi-Tide in 1994 they have released six albums including "Change", "Begin Again","Unplugged Classics", and "Unplugged Classics 2". Two songs from Begin Again, 'That's what I'd do' and 'In your kiss’ received good airplay on top 40 radio in the USA in 2000. A new ablum will be released in August and they are currently touring in Cayman. They have so many accolades and accomplishments plus their music is superb- they must make it somehow! Hi-Tide’s sound is a combination of rock, blues, funk, soul. This information was taken from their Official site, which also features streaming songs from their album.You can see their video at cosmictv.com and buy their cd’s online at www.migrationmusic.com

MADAMSPEAKER

Formed in 1994, this trio desribes their music as a funky type of rock 'n' roll. They have released a cd titled Kun’trovacee and were in the 2003 finals of the Battle of the Bands contest. Here is an article with more info on the band and others in the contest.

RATSKYN

This 4- membered band have recently released an ep, 'It's About Time'. They have been well received and were in the finals of the Battle of the Bands contest. See link above. A bit more info can be found at their site.

EGGSHELL BLONDE

This 5- membered band was formed in 1998. They have released a cd single and an E.P. with 8 tracks. They have colloborated with another Cayman group, CLOUDBURST, and Jamaican Dancehall D J’s BISHOP and POSTMAN. Much more info, audio, lyrics etc can be found at their site which is either down or being updated.

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BARBADOS

There are a couple bands that I could not find adequate information on :- Paradise Roots, X-treme, Blue Haze, O-2, Fx (combines calypso, rock, reggae, soul), Virtuosity (recently formed who play 2/3 pure Rock, 1/3 reggae & calypso), Airbourne and Kolorblynd. Here is a link with short descriptions of these bands which are featured at Ship Inn, B4 Blues and Round House Inn. This website for musician Danny mentions some bands including Kolorblynd, Lil Rock( classic rock group) and Blues Therapy.

DESIRE

This four membered self-described ‘pop/rock ‘ group was formed in December 1998. The lead singer, Adam Atkinson gathered the members upon hearing of a BBC documentary crew going to Barbados and their progress was filmed after a successful audition. In October 1999,they produced their 6 song EP in Barbados with acclaimed British producer Stuart Epps (who has worked with Oasis, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton). Here is a review and audio clips. They have done many gigs across the Caribbean in Trinidad and Jamaica to name a few. In 2000 and 2001, they went to Jamaica for Spring Break at Margaritaville in Negril. They have a pure North American sound, which will make them more acceptable to the North American public. Their songs indicate strong musicianship, intertwining melodies and a sense of seeking spirituality. They made another E.P. ‘Shine’ in November 2000 in Virginia, U.S.A. Search for 'Desire' at this Swedish site for a review. They have been invited to a L.A. showcase in October, 2001. They were supposed to go to New York before the fall tour, 2002. This band already has air play in Florida, Ohio and D.C. They definitely seem to be going places! Their official website seems to be gone now but here is another site . Read an article.

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ST. LUCIA

LULU BERGASSE

She has been a staple in the alternative scene in St. Lucia, performing in many bands. She was a former member of Amate and alt.rock quintet ‘Dust’, before forming a creative partnership with composer / arranger Barbara Ann Cadet. This collaboration was to become the foundation on which Lulu's debut album ,‘The Essence’, was produced in December 1998. Her album has gotten rave critical reviews. Her vocals are powerful, emotionally intense and edgy, with a hint of her Lucian accent. Lulu currently performs live with her friend Julian Hobbs, wowing audiences with their original music and cover songs at various hotels, clubs and cultural venues such as The Factory creative arts centre at Bisee. This acoustic guitar and vocal duo is called Lulu and Hobbs - An Acoustic Alternative. More info and audio can be obtained from this website.

D7

I have just a little bit of info on this group. They have a 15- track debut titled 'From The Sanctuary’. They describe their sound as ‘reggae rock’ but I find their sound more conscious reggae than rock. They implement electric guitars but they are generally in the background. Their music is good, though. Three tracks from their album are currently being played onSt. Lucia Radio along with other St. Lucian artistes. This other site has audio samples from the album as well as customer reviews and an order form.

DISTURBING JOAN

Rock, funk and reggae, these are the different elements that comprise this 7-membered group. Three members including the lead guitarist formed the beginnings of the group in 1992. They came up with their name after learning that their 'barrage' of sounds was disrupting a near-by neighbour Joan. They have opened for Malcolm Jamal Warner's band at the 2001 St Lucia Jazz Festival. That same year they released promotional singles. In 2002, 'Bush Tea', their debut was released with the first single titled 'Bush Reggae Party'. Read this article to find out more info. Here is a review. To read more info, listen to audio samples and order the cd, click here. The band is currently working on material for their sophmore album.

Psycho Key

'World rock fusion', is how this band desribes their music as it is a mixture of rock, Indian music and a hint of reggae. The unique singer, Kyra Levy met the bassist in St. Lucia. They have been based in the island for recordings at their studio, rehearsals and live performances. Their fan base is spread across Europe, Canada and America. They have released 4 albums and are set to release 'Sweed'. They are supposed to have toured the Caribbean and will tour Europe in 2005. I heard a song of theirs, 'Zadig' and it is a sonic wanderland. Very wicked!. Read this St. Lucia Mirror article to find out more info. Or better yet go to their offical site.

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ST. KITTS

JOAN ARMATRADING

Born on the island of St. Kitts, singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading was her country's first Black woman to make commercial inroads into the folk/rock genre, and has had a remarkably long, consistent career. Emigrating to England in 1958, Armatrading met lyricist Pam Nestor in a touring production of ‘Hair’, and the two began collaborating on material later featured on Armatrading's 1972 debut, ‘Whatever's for Us’. The two ended their partnership afterwards, and Armatrading resurfaced in 1975 with ‘Back to the Night’. The self-titled ‘Joan Armatrading’ catapulted the singer into the U.K. Top 20 and produced her only Top Ten single, "Love and Affection." Armatrading's subsequent albums sold well in the U.K. to her newly established fan base, but only respectably in the U.S., where it took her until 1980 to have a real hit (the all-electric ‘Me Myself I’ ). Armatrading remained largely a cult artist with a small following in America, never quite achieving the stardom she had in Britain. She has lent her talent on piano to four of Thin Lizzy’s albums. She has done vocals for Queen’s ‘Kind of Magic’ and recorded a song for ‘Boys on the Side’ soundtrack. She has recorded over 29 albums. Armatrading has been successful enough to record regularly up through the mid-'90s and continues to tour. She released a new album in 2003. Visit her official site and the audio page.

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ANTIGUA

I found only one group which led me to an interesting link to an Antiguan independent record label calledSword In the Stone Records. The site features several bands.

OVERDRIVE

This band claims to be Antigua's only rock band. This 5-membered band plays a mixture of blues and pop-rock. They are now working on their demo. Find out more info at the recording studio site. Here is a website with songs that can be streamed or downloaded.

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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

This island has so many bands, that it is nearly impossible to list and keep up with all of them. There is a vibrant rock scene that is saturated with punk and heavy metal. I found sites about the scene itself; Punk Dominicano and Anivelde.com. These as well as the following sites are in Spanish.

SAPIENS

This four-membered group was formed in Santo Domingo in 1999. They desribe their sound as a cross between death metal and progressive metal. They have one album to their credit and are working on new material. Visit their official site to listen to songs, browse through their gallery and much more.

LOS PEREX

This punk band was formed in 1997 as a tribute band to 'The Ramones', however since then they have come into their own quite excellently. Go their superbofficial site to listen to tracks like 'Groupiemania', scan through photos or sign their guestbook.

SLOGAN

The four members of Slogan desribe their sound as 'neo-punk' with elements of hardcore and metal. Their bios, photos and 4 mp's of their material can be found at their official site.

PERICLES

Created in 2002, this trio describe themselves as a punk/ska band. They have already made a mini album, 'Falsos Ideales' with six tracks and they have a debut EP out. Visit their official site to find out more.

Punk International/Dominican Republic - This article gives more info on the punk scene in the DR.

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BERMUDA

There are other bands on this island that have not been featured in this section. They can be found here.

KENNEL BOYS

This quartet have been considered as the island’s best alternative band and they play frequently at The Oasis Rock Room (perfect name for a club) on the island. This group is led by David Fitzsimmons (guitarist), Ed Fox (vocals), Jonathan Dobson (drummer), and James Fitzsimmons (bass). They are seen in the picture above from right to left. They have already released a self-titled album. They have already opened for ‘Hootie and the Blowfish’ and lead singer, Darius Rucker has publicly complimented them. Listen to their songshere .

7th HEAVEN

The foursome’7th Heaven” have been a staple on Bermuda's Front Street music scene for years, and their LP ’What Triangle’ is a fluent blend of reggae, rock, folk and blues. Track list includes the Beatles’ ‘Come Together’, Bowie’s’ Ziggy Stardust’, Marley’s ‘Is this Love’, Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ Queen’s ‘Crazy Little Thing called Love’ and Meteor Williams’ Drift Away’ (‘give me a free voice, free my soul, wanna get lost in rock ‘n’ roll and drift away….’). There is also a reworking of Counting Crows ‘Mr. Jones’ a la reggae. It is a wicked and brilliant version of the song !!! See the tracklisting here.

THE SAVAGES

1966 was known in Bermuda as "the year of The Savages". They entered 1966 with their first single disc of "No, No, No" and "She's Gone" in the number one slot on the charts in Bermuda. The four band members ranged in age from 16-20 years when they recorded their first album. This "live" and wild recording was performed before a capacity audience at Bermuda's famous Princess Hotel. The album,(their first and only) has become a staple of punk rock with such classics "No, No, No" and "Quiet Town". I found a site with a descriptive biography, discography and links for individual members and their side projects.

HEATHER NOVA

This upcoming singer was born in Bermuda in July,1968. Nova's early interest in music intensified when, aged 19, she moved to art school in Providence, Rhode Island. Inspired by Patti Smith and Lou Reed, she soon started writing songs. A tape of her demos was sent to the independent label ‘ Big Cat Records’ in London for whom she recorded a single, before supporting the ‘Violent Femmes’ and ‘Bob Mould’. Basing herself in south London, she started working with Youth, who became her producer for ‘Glowstars’, which attracted favourable reviews. October 1994 brought the first full studio album, ‘Oyster’, which included 'Island', a controversial track about domestic abuse. This breakthrough album received a wide release and was followed by a World tour that ended in 1996, after which Heather returned home to Bermuda. ‘Siren’ in 1998 was critically acclaimed and received well in underground alternative circles. On New Year's Eve 1999 Heather Nova played for the first time in Bermuda, launching off the Millenium to the sound of Bob Marley's "One Love". She has also lent her talent to ‘The Craft’ soundtrack where she covered the Peter Gabriel song ’I Have the Touch’. Her music has been featured in movies and t.v. shows such as ‘Dawson’s Creek’. She released 'South' in 2002 and the stripped down 'Storm'in 2003. In Jan.,2003 she welcomed her first child, a boy. Click to visit her official site.

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CUBA

There are many bands and artistes that I found but their sites are in Spanish so I have little info in general. Escoria ( a term used by Fidel Castro for Cubans who abandoned his ‘revolution’) is a punk trio formed in 1994 in Vila Clara. Another one is Zona Oscura from Holguin formed in 1995. There are also death-trash bands like Tendencia, S.O.S. and Necrofago formed in 1992. Here is an article that mentions them.

ARRANCA

This bilingual punk rock trio are a Cuban-American band. They have members from Cincinnati and Cuba. The singer/guitarist Victor Garcia-Rivera & his family were uprooted as they fled the tropical gulag of Fidel Castro. Arriving in Cincinnati via Miami, Victor grew up in the Queen City and became one of the pioneers in the Cincinnati underground music scene in the 1980s, where he met bassist David Dunkum . Drummer Jim Burke had played with Victor in the final stages of ‘The Edge’, the seminal Cincinnati band. After a recent relocation to Miami, Arranca played its final show on December 31st, 1998.They have a 10 track debut ‘Exile On Pain Street’, and according to an internet source the last track is a song of protest which has been adapted from the Cuban National Anthem. The album has already been banned in Cuba and criticized in Miami. They are also featured on the compilation CD "Back To Rockaway Beach 3" from Amp Records( Canada) along with 28 bands from 12 other countries. . Click to hear 'Where...' audio. Click to visit their official website

BAY OF PIGS

This latino- rock quartet is composed of members from Cuba and America. The band, currently, based in New York describes their sound as a combination of ‘heavy rock guitar, Afro-Cuban rhythms and dark catchy songs’. A strong political overtone permeates their self-titled debut which is out now. They have already released two songs on the ¡Grita! Records sampler ‘Checkeetout’ and the track "Everybody’s An Asshole/Todo El Mundo Maldito" on the L.A.-based Aztlan Records compilation album ‘Los Comperos’. They also have their first 7-inch, "One Second" b/w "High" on the stoner-rock Teepee Records label.I have not seen them perform live but by their admission they claim to promote salsa dancing and head-banging by playing a mambo-rock version of Black Sabbath’s "War Pigs," and stoner-rock versions of the Latin classics "Vamanos Pal Monte" and "Aguanile." The live performance pictures on their official site show them dressed in ‘Ricky Riccardo—style’ frilly shirts or all white Santeria outfits. There was one time that they dressed and performed as the ‘Jimi Hendrix Experience’ for Halloween. The lead singer set himself on fire when they did a rendition of Jimi’s ‘Fire’-ha, ha ! This is not the only freak accident he’s had I saw a pic where he spit blood-for real. They already played at South By Southwest and toured El Salvador. Click to hear ’Hello’audio. Click to visit their originally wicked official website.

AGONIZER

This death/ thrash metal band was formed in 1993. They released a 10 track album in 2001 called 'Bless the Innocence'. Their official sitein Spanish has bio, disco and mp3's (the songs are in English, go to Maquetas on the menu to select songs).

Naranja Mecanica

Another Cuban prog. rock rock, formed in 1991, that experiments with orhcestral music. Their site has audio material, a brieft bio and lyrics. Clickhere to see it.

C-MEN

A nu-metal rock band that has already released a demo in 2001. Clickhere for a profile of the band a link to their official site( which is alos presented in English).

ANIMA MUNDI

This is a progressive rock group of 7 that experiments with symphonic and new age music. I have two reviews on their album 'Septentrion'. The first is from the Progessor site. The other is from Nucleus, a progressive rock site.

Cubametal - This site is in Spanish and it features info, downloads and reviews of various Cuban metal bands plus much more.

Punk International/Cuba - This is an article which expands a bit on the punk scene in Cuba.

Cuba Underground - This site has a few Cuban bands' links.

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Curacao

DECOMPOSING MILK

This is a punk band trio. They have a site with a little more info and downloads.

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ST. MAARTEN(ST. MARTIN)

IGUANA SOUP

I didn’t find any biographical or discographical info on this 4- membered fusion band. They play a mixture of rock, reggae..(the ususal). They seem like to be THE band IN St. Martin though and play regularly at a specific bar/restaurant there. They have played on other small islands- either Anguilla or Martinique. I didn’t find any links to audio or a site.

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ST. VINCENT

THE LEGENDARY FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

These five 'legends' came together in 2002 to form a sound that fuses roots reggae and acoustic guitar rock. The members have performed with international and renowned musicians. They have a wealth of mp3's, bio and tour information here.

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Here is a book article by students at the Centre of Swedish Folk Music, that elaborates more on the Caribbean alterna-music phenomenon. There are interviews with band like Jointpop(Trinidad). Let’s hope that the scene throughout the Caribbean will continue to flourish.


Last updated July 2005.