More than a guide to influential artists and recordings, this unique book highlights the rich historical development of the music that has emerged from the Caribbean to gain worldwide appeal. Because the geography of this music is so important, and its styles so diverse, the guide's essays are divided into two main sections. "Carnival" explores the musical carnivals, their competition winners, and general music scene on each of the 15 islands and island clusters - from the Bahamas to Guyana to the Virgin Islands. These essays go into great depth for the key areas of Trinidad, Jamaica, and Barbados. "Music" examines the musical and cultural aspects of the region's major styles: calypso, chutney, dancehall/ragga, dub, lover's rock, mento, nyahbingi, rapso, roots reggae, ska/rocksteady, soca, and toasting. Engaging biographies portray the intriguing lives and careers of 150 leading performers, while insightful reviews describe and rate over 3,000 albums that exemplify their unique sound and musical impact. This guide also includes a directory of 5,000 West Indian single recordings with anecdotal summaries, 500-plus artist and producer profiles, and over 1,000 reviews.
Featured artists include Bob Marley and the Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh, Ziggy Marley, Lord Kitchener, Mighty Sparrow, Buju Banton, Prince Buster, Arrow, Brother Resistance, Calypso Rose, Sir Lancelot, David Rudder, Kindred, Sundar Popo, Joseph Spence, Third World, Sly and Robbie, Wailing Souls, and dozens more.
Dave Thompson has published over 70 rock music books, including the best-selling Never Fade Away: The Kurt Cobain Story. He has written articles for Alternative Press, Rolling Stone, Mojo, Goldmine, Melody Maker, Record Collector and many others, as well as liner notes for such artists as Lou Reed and Pink Floyd. Thompson also wrote the Third Ear guides Funk and Alternative Rock.