Squawk Radio

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Liz Presents Music to Grill By

Okay, so it’s a holiday weekend, which means there’s gonna be a whole lotta grillin’ goin’ on. And as everyone knows, grilling is one of those things that demands a certain type of music. Fun. Light. Tropical. Look no further than this Putumayo compilation called “Islands.”

I love this CD for many reasons. Number one, it fits all the requirements listed above. Number two, it’s not specific to any particular set of islands. You get music from islands both domestic (Hawaii and Puerto Rico) and faraway (Madagascar and Cape Verde). With this one CD, you can visit places in the Oceans Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Caribbean, and South Pacific. You can hear voices singing in Spanish, French, Portuguese, English and a number of dialects and languages indigenous to the various islands that birthed the music. Almost all the music has its roots in African rhythms, but each place and culture (and artist) has embraced those rhythms and made them their own, often with musical instruments as exotic as the islands themselves. What you end up with is a mix of global sounds and songs that all inspire smiles, laughter and dancing.

But the main reason *I* love this CD so much is because I know one of the artists who appears on it. Okay, okay, I MET him. He was responsible for one of the most magical nights of my life. (And no, not like that.) Quito Rymer, who concludes the collection with his number, “Mix Up World,” used to be (and might still be) the proprietor of a bar on Tortola's Cane Garden Bay called Quito’s Gazebo. My husband and I spent an incredible week on that beach, and many evenings at Quito’s. One night in particular, when Quito was performing, there was much dancing and drinking and Quito ended up buying both my husband and me a round simply because he said we looked like we were having so much fun. We later returned the favor by naming a cat after him. (And Quito was a GREAT cat, may he rest in peace.)

So as you slap those burgers and brats and what have you on the grill tomorrow, slap “Islands” on the CD player, as well. I promise you’ll be dancing as you flip your fare, and you’ll feel as if the beach and the sparkling turquoise ocean is right up the street.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!
Elizabeth Bevarly, 11:49 AM