DAVID RUDDER held court Down in the Shebeen at Sound Forge in St James. Backed by top-class musicians like Wayne Bruno, Tamba Gwindi, Michael Nysus, Hayden Robin and Kenza Thomas-James, Rudder took his audience on a musical journey.
He started his set with his 2019 song Spirits followed by Rally Round the West Indies, a song he said, he was not going to sing so soon but because the West Indies won against India that Sunday, December 8, he fitted it in very early to pay tribute to the team. He had the entire audience (mostly female) singing chorus.
Down in the Shebeen came next and this was followed by Calypso Music and again everyone was dancing and singing. Live your Life and Bahia Girl followed with continuous singing in the Shebeen.
Rudder continued with Song for a Lonely Soul and Welcome to Trinidad. But as he started Trini to the Bone he called up his friend Carl Jacobs to perform with him. He apologised for Jacobs’ voice saying , “He is not as good as he was before but he can still do it.” The duo sang the song to a lusty round of applause before Jacobs exited the stage.
The musicians then went into Long Time Band and Hammer during which Rudder coined a new phrase “Port of Spaining.” He said we do it when we go panyard hopping for Panorama.
Dust in They Face came with full chorus as did Madness, people sang at the top of their voices for this one. And in true Rudder style, during Mad Man Rant, he touched on the new $100 bill. He told people, “The new ones just reach in the treasury so take them out from under your beds and go change them for the blue, blue silk.”
After 90 minutes, Rudder closed off with a pretty long version of High Mas in which he was accompanied by several dancers on stage.
Before Rudder, the duo of Nigel Connor and Moricia Cagan entertained with songs like La La, Meh Lover, Hooking Meh and Long Time.
Trevon Turner aka Turner also made an appearance on stage in a stunning blue suit to perform his songs She Bad, Treat Meh Nice and Champions. He told the audience it was not easy to come good every year but his love for calypso and soca keeps him going. “When I go to Grenada all I hear is jab jab, in Jamaica is reggae, so we have to support our thing. Is soca till I die for me,” said Turner.
MHTL Starlift was the last act for the evening and kept patrons glued o the floor with songs like Disco Daddy, We Like It, La La, Kaka Roach, Savannah Grass, Dancing Queen, Could You Be Loved, Oh Holy Night and again everyone was singing loud and clear.
TT’s 1976 Olympic Gold Medal winner Hasely Crawford sat in the audience while 1977 Miss Universe Janelle Penny Commissiong Chow was on the dance floor having a good time. Cultural activist Eintou Pearl Springer was also on hand giving a few patrons dancing lessons.