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Track Listing:

  1. Stratch meh back
  2. What's wrong
  3. Jumbie rhythm
  4. Georgie porgie
  5. Angel
  6. Ah go tell
  7. Love is
  8. Little boy blue
  9. Round and round
  10. Another mistake
  11. Way way out
  12. Medley

Am I Sweet or What?

Read review

Shadow Am I Sweet or What?

eCaroh Price: $15.95


By Essiba Small

He is an artiste few can put their finger on. And somehow that's what makes Winston Bailey the Shadow.

Contrary to popular belief and kaiso lore, Shadow was born in Trinidad, but grew up in Les Coteaux, Tobago, with his grandparents. It was his grandfather, a choirmaster, however, who noticed that his nine-year-old grandson had an ability to sing and started to nurture his voice.

Shadow's parents however wanted their son to be a pilot, doctor, or lawyer, anything considered conventionally acceptable, but he had already made up his mind that he'd be a singer.

"I was born with a lot of music in me," Shadow said in his interview in Rudy Ottley's book, Calypsonians From Then to Now.

"From as early as I could remember, the first time I heard music I was stuck on it."

The "fellas on the block" made up his first audience and from 1974 onwards the world came to know of a man whose songs are bassline-dominated and his lyrics deep and thought provoking.

A look into the songbook of Shadow reveals songs like "Bassman", "I Come Out to Play", "King From Hell", "What is Life", "Crazy Computer", "Jump Judges Jump", "Children Ting", "Dingolay", "Poverty is Hell", "Tension", "Pay de Devil", and "Snake in the Balisier"?

Going to the forest and mountains with his guitar to meditate has been Shadow's primary source of inspiration for his songs.

He said: "Nature is the spice of life; it has always been my pastime. I believe in nature. I think this is where the inspiration for my song "My Belief" originated."

Shadow is also spiritual and thinks his spirituality comes out in his music.

"I see God bigger than anything. A good man doing good things."

"My music is deep and high. So high that it is not considered or understood by the judges."

Shadow's wearing of black clothes by the way has nothing to do with obeah, voodoo or the occult.

"I feel good in black," he said.

"I feel like Shadow. I was born with something special - music just flows. Every year I come with something good."

This year is no different. With a CD titled Am I Sweet or What from which comes the popular tracks, "What Wrong With Me", "Jumbie Rhythm", "Angel" and "Scratch My Back". Shadow is enjoying one of his strongest years in the calypso tent, performing at Kaiso House. From the tent's premiere, Shadow has been receiving no fewer than five encores nightly for "Scratch My Back."

Shadow considered his fans as the most valued asset for a performer. Despite never being crowned national monarch, the 1974 Road March champion says, "It's the people that matter most."

Entertainment For You
Trinidad Guardian
February 18, 2000
Page 3


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