Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Birthday Morning, hello 73!

Birthday morning - clear, calm, and quiet. Are those insects or persistent tinnitus? Hard to say. A distant Toucan creaking away, a few sassy parrots across the river. Pretty quiet. But, right next to the house, in the gully's high bush, the gentle chuc-chuckling of Trogons. Such a calming chorus. A very nice way to greet 73. Here's a picture of the little guy (a Violaceous Trogon) right next to me off the veranda.

Well then, on to taking a look at the Bittersweet Memories team. Let's meet them in the order they came on line with the project. That would bring Sam up first. Sam Harris is the founder and leading artist in the regionally popular World Culture Band. He writes and arranges the music, sings, and plays lead guitar. He is also the lead guitarist for the award winning Garifuna Collective. Living Stateside for many years, he has played with many of the leading artists up there as well as a number of European acts. His experience and reputation in the industry is international. When he finally decided to come back to Belize, he settled into his family home here in San Ignacio, formed his band, and quickly became the God Father of Cayo music. (Here's a look at Sammy above) A more generous, open, encouraging leader we could not hope for.
I first played for Sam after death dissolved my little group Neva Betta and I was cast up on the dry shore of "playing with myself" on the veranda. Sam, hearing me from his farm right across the river, invited me to help him open his new club in San Ignacio by playing four of my original tunes with the World Culture Band Backing me. What a thrill to hear my songs played by a truly great rocking band! I sat in with them on and off for a couple of years after that, but finally went back to performing solo singer/songwriter gigs. It was though playing with Sam that I  met his young keyboard player, Santos Dominguez, but that's the next story! Santos and I played a duet act for some years billing ourselves as Doktah D and Santos. It is here that my repertoire of performance ready songs grew. But, Doktah D and Santos ran its course and a few years later I was back to a solo act. I didn't find that satisfying, though, and drifted back into howling at the moon of evenings on the veranda.  Finally, deciding to make a record of the music for my daughter and grand kids, I gave Sam a call asking for help. And we were off to the races!

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