Friends & Countrymen

EM 1077CD EM 1077CD

[deleted] As part of EM Records' ongoing Steel Pan series, here is Friends & Countrymen by Earl Rodney -- the first-ever solo album from a Trinidadian steel pan player. This reissue of the original 1973 LP, recorded in New York City by Rodney and fellow expatriate Trinidadians, is a rootsy stew of Caribbean, Afro-Yoruba and funk influences. Heavy, propulsive and deep, driven by island percussion and funky bass, peppered by the imaginative phrasing of steel pan veteran Rodney, with slatherings of horns and wicked wah-wah guitar, this is a revolutionary release -- fusion in the best sense of the word. Earl Rodney has been involved with the steel pans almost since the inception of the instrument, playing since he was 4 years old. An important voice in Trinidadian music, he arranged and played in award-winning performances at Trinidad's Panorama festival in 1968, 1971 and 1972, and served as musical director for Lord Kitchener and Mighty Sparrow. However, seeking artistic growth and freedom, he emigrated to the United States; on Friends & Countrymen you can hear and enjoy the results. Joining Rodney on this release are a number of powerhouse veterans from Trinidad including Fortunia Louis Ruiz on trumpet, trombonist Oxley Caballero, and master bassist Johnny Cayenne. Rodney and his countrymen have created a party for you, but fair warning: stretch and limber up before listening to this CD; EM Records will not be held responsible for any injuries incurred while busting a move to these supple grooves.