88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Trinidad By Way Of Toronto, Meet Kobo Town

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Around noon today, we took a short trip to the Caribbean for some crucial sounds from some modern calypsosonians; Toronto-based Kobo Town. The band was founded by Trinidadian-Canadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town is named after the historic neighborhood in Port-of-Spain where calypso (kaiso) was born and on their new album, Jumbie in The Jukebox takes the intricate wordplay of classic Caribbean music and runs it through a 21st Century filter as its title implies.

Kobo Town has found a very nice line between Caribbean styles to ply their trade; calypso, roots reggae, and acoustic instrumentation meet nuanced production from Ivan Duran on an album rife with social commentary and indie rock sensibility. While not a "traditional" calypso recording, Gonsalves carries on the griot tradtion that is preserved within calypso, poking fun and commenting on events of the day in an entertaining, musical way. Just as the title of the album implies, a 'jumbie' is a spirit that possesses dancers and the spirit that 'possessed' 88NIne at noon was all Kobo Town; hope you got your groove on!