David Rudder continues His Tribute to Pan, Calypso and Culture

 Rudder’s consistent voicing of the struggles of pan resonates globally

by When Steel Talks

© 2008 -  All Rights Reserved.

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Moods of Pan 2008

“Trinidad was given the gift of creation of the (steelpan) instrument, but it belongs to the world... 

David Rudder - MOP 2008

Moods of Pan Flyer

Antigua & Barbuda, W.I. - 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 pan.

It is now the second night of the Moods of Pan 2008 festival. Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra has opened the show and has raised temperatures at the Denary Grounds with a fine musical set. Musical 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, the steelpan fraternity globally by choice.

Having TCL Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra open the show and then to have them followed by the famous Five-Alive competition, is more than enough to satisfy most steelpan music connoisseurs. The addition of a full session of David Rudder as the closing act 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 sermon.

David Rudder at Moods of Pan 2008
David Rudder holding “church” on stage at Moods of Pan 2008

From 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.

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.

   David Rudder performing Oil and Music at Moods of Pan 2008

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contact: Moods of Pan

Patrick “Stone” Johnson at - stonenrico@yahoo.com  - (268) 727-6633
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