Virgin Atlantic Music Festival 2008 – Tuesday November 4th 2008
ADA and The Toby Armstrong Blues Explosion at Bert’s Bar on the South Coast Main Road of Christ Church Barbados.
The second night out on tour with The Virgin Atlantic Music Festival was at Bert’s Bar, which has a big Canadian following, as it is the Barbadian home to the Canadian Hockey team The Senators.
With this in mind the bands chosen to play at this venue were ADA from Toronto, who had been flown in especially for the event on the inaugural flight from WestJet.
First up on stage was The Toby Armstrong Blues Explosion. Toby Armstrong who has a Barbadian mother and British father has been in Barbados for the last 10 years making his mark on the music scene. He is the most requested session guitarist in the region and featured in a number of bands that performed in the festival such as Roadhouse, Masala and he featured in David Kirton’s set at The Weekend Blues Day at Surfer’s Bay on the previous Sunday.
Toby also heads up CRS recording studio in Barbados where is he writes, composes and records with many of the leading performers in Barbados. Toby’s own passion has always been blues and finally he has put together an awesome blues explosion. For further information on Toby please go the Meet a Bajan section of TotallyBarbados.com.
Lead vocals come from Ricky Barr, originally from Ireland who also performed in the Virgin Atlantic Music Festival Barbados 2007. Ricky had a very versatile vocal range, which adds an interesting flavor to their chosen blues songs. The band performs a mixture of old blues numbers and have rerecorded them with an infusion of Toby’s guitar skills and Ricky’s vocals.
On bass is Marius Charlemagne an up and coming bass guitarist in Barbados, who is currently studying music at Barbados Community College and seasoned session drummer Jamal Brown.
The Toby Armstrong Blues Explosion were joined on stage by Ayana John, a young up and coming Barbadian singer who performed the 1951 Darnell Hawkins classic ‘The Thrill is Gone’ with the band. The track has been recorded and was available on the 5 track CD that The Toby Armstrong Blues Explosion sold to their fans at the venue.
Bert’s Bar was packed to capacity with every inch of the place occupied. The car park over flowed out on to the South Coast Main Road and this coupled with the excellent music gave an electric atmosphere to the event.
At lot of people had turned out to see ADA in especially to perform from Toronto. Led by Barbadian Jen Mahon, this Canadian based rock band had the crowd in raptures as they performed their unique multitude of sounds. They have now released their first album on line, which is free to download, please go to (www.adanoise.com/ADA.zip).
Everyone had a great evening with three hours of live music and great food served by Bert’s Bar.