Trinidad was given the gift of
creation of the (steelpan)
instrument, but it belongs to the
David Rudder -
Antigua & Barbuda,
David Rudder was surrounded by an
audience of steelpan music enthusiasts.
After all - this was the Moods of Pan
Festival, with emphasis on ‘pan'.
While many other artists - particularly in the
Caribbean or world music genre - have
turned their collective backs on the
steelpan instrument and only make cursory
gestures toward the genius and people
of this grand invention when forced -
David Rudder from day one has embraced
the steelpan instrument, its people and
culture. Pan is Rudder - Rudder is
It is now the
second night of the Moods of Pan 2008
Skiffle Bunch Steel
Orchestra has opened the show
and has raised temperatures at the
Denary Grounds with a fine musical set.
Youth and Golden Hands have now
concluded their epic battle in the Five
Alive competition. The rest of the
night now belongs to David Rudder.
Rudder dropped a
continuous stream of songs - old and new
- that all had poignant meanings to the
steelpan instrument, its history and its
culture. It is very apropos that
Gemonites, the Moods of Pan organizers,
would feature David Rudder in their 10th
anniversary festival. There are
very few artists that have been able to
cogently speak to and continually convey
the passion, struggle and concerns of,
steelpan fraternity globally by choice.
Having TCL Skiffle
Orchestra open the show
and then to have them followed by the
famous Five-Alive competition, is
enough to satisfy most steelpan music
a full session of David Rudder as
was pan folks’ and Rudder fans’ heaven.
Indeed, there was no doubt that the
audience was in the church of Pan, and
that Rudder was the priest leading the
his earliest hits like The Hammer
to his more recent Oil and Music,
Rudder has used his considerable talents and knowledge to
document the movements,
trials and tribulations - joys, failures
and success of the pan movement.
David Rudder holding
“church” on stage at Moods of Pan
Rudder’s band was led by guitarist Wayne
Bruno. They were tight and on
point. I will be the first to admit
that I am not really a fan of bands that
back Calypso singers. They tend to
be sloppy, unrehearsed and not ready for
prime time. Wayne Bruno’s band
suffered from none of these ills.
Pair this with proper amplification
and balance provided by the sound
reinforcement engineers, Power Linx
Audio, and you have the
making of an enjoyable concert.
These engineers really had it going on.
They were not trying to impress anyone
with unnecessary volume (a dying art)
but provided clarity and quality sound.
Calypso Music, High Mas, Haiti, Outta’ Hand, Rally Round
the West Indies, Dus’ in Deh Face, The Iron Band,
The Hammer et al. - were delivered via
Rudder’s - the High Priest - sermon to the delight of the
audience. This was truly an
interactive session as the audience
participated gleefully with call and
response dictates of Rudder’s house of
pan and calypso.
It was a great night for Moods of Pan,
Calypso and Rudder.