‘Sweet Sugar Cane’ evolved from my many excursions to Barbados over the years and the long drives in the countryside where the sweet smell of cane cooling after a long day under the blistering sun overwhelms the senses. I remember reading Austin Clarke’s ‘The Polished Hoe’ and the poetic descriptions of life in and around the cane fields. It’s back breaking work yet the fields are refuge for lovers lost in passion who hide away at night amongst the broad stalks and spiky leaves. These fields existed in greater numbers in the southern states before sugar farming was outsourced. Florida still has the same vibe going for it.
Guitarist Neil Chapman and drummer Jim Casson and I came together to basically play a bit of the blues and see where all of this would lead. Once funding was in place it became clear an opportunity to write new music free of cover songs or common pop expectations presented itself. Neil and I went our separate ways and spent a couple months writing and re-writing. At each rehearsal a new song or songs were played until a unifying sound presented itself.
Through this decade Neil and I have recorded three Saturday Nite Fish Fry albums and now two Rockit 88 sides. It’s always about the blues yet a few miles in a variety of directions a place where country and southern rock intersect.