Garth Trinidad on the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band's "The Serpent's Mouth" (2018)

Garth Trinidad on the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band's "The Serpent's Mouth" (2018)


The Album: The Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band: The Serpent's Mouth (2018)

Steel pan/drum music emerged out of Trinidad and Tobago over the course of the 1950s. Its tinny yet melodious timbre was unique and it soon became a signature style within the diverse soundscape of Afro-Caribbean music. The tourism industry compelled steel drum bands to adapt pop hits into their repertoire and by the late '60s and early '70s, it was common to hear soul and funk tunes being given a steel pan makeover. Even Morgan's stepfather, Bob Sharpe, got in the action as part of the Salt N' Pepper Steel Band, whose lone album includes covers of the Jackson 5 and Johnny Nash (and Oklahoma too!). 

The Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band, formed by Germany's Bjorn Wagner after a few years living in Trinidad & Tobago, is directly influenced by that earlier era. Across their two albums, 55 (2016) and last year's The Serpent's Mouth, Bacao tackle any number of surprising hits, many of them drawn from hip-hop as well as soul/funk, plus their own original compositions. If you ever wanted to hear Gang Starr deep cuts get the steel pan makeover, you came to the right place. 

The Serpent's Mouth was the album pick of DJ Garth Trinidad, whose been a radio fixture in Los Angeles since the mid-90s, when he first started at  KCRW and rose to fame on his weeknight Chocolate City show. He continues to hold down a 8-10pm slot when he's not busy music supervising or hosting concerts at the Hollywood Bowl

More on Garth Trinidad

Interview with Rebel Radio "In Conversation With Garth Trinidad" (Ford Theater) Twitter | Instagram

More on The Serpent's Mouth

Oliver's review (NPR's All Things Considered) breakdown Track-by-track review (Monkey Boxing)

Show Tracklisting (all songs from The Serpent's Mouth unless indicated otherwise):

Xxplosive The Original Trinidad Steel Band: Cissy Strut Salt n' Pepper Band: My Way Bacao Steel and Rhythm Band: Round and Round 1 Thing Jake Shimabukuro: Dragon 79.5: Terrorize My Heart The Poets of Rhythm: What You Doin' Bacao Steel and Rhythm Band: Dog Was a Doughnut Burn All for the Cash Burn Crockett Theme I Love You Maracas Bay Boogie Hoola-Hoop The Katzenjammers: Cars

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find on there.

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