Founded by bandleader Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town is named after the historic neighborhood in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, where traditional calypso (kaiso) was born amid the boastful, humourous and militant chants of the roaming stickfighters. Situated near the fishermen’s wharf, the area was a site of constant defiance and conflict, a place where sticks and stones, songs and verses clashed with the bayonets and batons of colonial rule. For the members of the eight-piece outfit, the name suggests an origin as well as a destination.
Exploring the rich lyrical tradition and compelling rhythms of calypso’s formative years – the age of the Roaring Lion, Mighty Spoiler, Lord Invader, King Radio and Attila the Hun – Kobo Town strives to demonstrate the contemporary relevance of their art by engaging the pressing concerns of our time. Domestic violence, the US war on Iraq, the paradoxes of globalization, the ongoing state of Caribbean dependency, and the bittersweet experience of immigration are all treated within their wide and varied repertory.
For Kobo Town, Trinidad’s musical heritage is a living, growing body of work, with a continuing importance in their lives, the West Indies and the world. While exploring new sounds and arrangements, their songs resonate with the satire, storytelling and social concern that lie at the center of Trinidad’s national art.
2006 - Present
Drew Gonsalves Songwriter, Vocals, Cuatro
Derek Thorne Percussions
Robert Milicevic Drums
Linsey Wellman Flute, Saxophone
Cesco Emmanuel Guitar
Stuart Watkins Bass
Osvaldo Rodriguez Violin
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1. Sing Out, Shout Out
2. Corbeaux Following
4. At The Edge Of The City
5. Across The Dark Waters
6. Blood and Fire
8. Beatiful Soul
9. Higher Than Mercy
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