Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sweet Sugar Cane - Rockit 88 Band

Rockit 88 Band recorded on July 25, 2010 at the Beaches International Jazz Festival. The song "Sweet Sugar Cane" is written and composed by band leader Bill King from their new album of the same title.

King describes: When I started writing for this album I was thinking the blues - then the words began to dictate a broader picture. I can't escape my roots the music that played in the background of my youth. Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King were the music icons of Louisville, Kentucky. Together they penned the greatest song of all 'Tennessee Waltz.' To this day the melody clings to the bones like the best travel companion on earth. I write, I sing and play according to the rhythms and harmonies of a land once unspoiled by strip malls and fast food outlets - the South! 'You can smell the sweet grass burn while the raven sings his southland song.'

'Sweet Sugar Cane' evolved from my many excursions to Barbados over the years and the long drives in the countryside where the sweet smell of cane cooling under a long day under the blistering sun overwhelms the senses. I remember reading Austin Clarke's 'The Polished Hoe' and the poetic descriptions of life in and around the cane fields. It's back breaking work yet the fields are refuge for lovers lost in passion who hide away at night amongst the broad stalks and slicing leaves. These fields existed in greater numbers in the southern states before sugar farming was outsourced. Florida still has the same vibe going for it.

Guitarist Neil Chapman and drummer Jim Casson and I came together to basically play a bit of the blues and see where all of this would lead. Once funding was in place it became clear an opportunity to write new music free of cover songs or common pop expectations presented itself. Neil and I went our separate ways and spent a couple months writing and re-writing. At each rehearsal a new song or songs were played until a unifying sound presented itself.

Through this decade Neil and I have recorded three Saturday Nite Fish Fry albums and now two Rockit 88 sides. It's always about the blues yet a few miles in a variety of directions a place where country and southern rock intersect.

Bill King - 7 Arts Entertainment

Buy music @reverbnation

Bill King piano/vocal/composer
Neil Chapman - guitar
Stacey Bulmer - vocals
Jay Speziale - bass/vocals
Anne Lindsay violin