Tracy’s most popular and performed composition to date, “Dain Brammage” sounds just like the name implies. This is steelpan at it’s heaviest and most fun! This one is unapologetically loud, heavy, in your face and is always a crowd favorite!
If John Bull were a balladeer, his greatest hit would be Greensleeves, the haunting melody whose text sings of the timeless sadness of lost love: Alas my love, you do me wrong / To cast me off discourteously. The ancient melody has been inextricably linked with the English pastoral tradition since at least 1580, when it was mentioned in the Stationers’ Company’s Register as “a new Northern Dittye.” There exists a legend that Henry VIII, a competent musician, wrote Greensleeves around 1530 during his courtship of Anne Boleyn but is apparently without factual foundation.
Another highly popular chart of Tracy’s, In the Groove of Things is a progressive, upbeat, and flashy tune that takes steel pan into uncharted territory. Featuring every section of the steel band, it has (as the title suggests) a deep, rockin’ groove with most of the song built on flashy riffs in the C blues scale. The lead parts go from sweet and groovy to downright rocking and challenging. Each section of the band has a featured voice and there is a lot of space to fit in your own choreography if your band likes to incorperate visual flair. Your kids will love this chart!
Magharibi (“Dusk” in Swahili) depicts a slowly setting sun on the horizon of an African savannah. This is the end of another warm, arid day—an eye’s blink in the cycle of life—and creatures from every rung of the food chain sprint, scurry, and slither around.
The Bass and the drums set the mood for this one, introducing a laid back and mellow groove. Next, the low pan chords join in to enhance the vibe, followed by the sensual melody line of the high pans for the verse. Just as you get relaxed and taken away into the mellow bliss of it all…”BANG!” The song explodes into a heavy, low and bass pan jam with the high pans accenting the heavy hits. (Calm).
Mr. Hurley is just an all-out funky jam that is sick and an absolute blast to play! The tune starts out in what seems to be utter chaos, but after the intro it settles into the funky jam that is Mr. Hurley. It goes through a couple of verses and choruses and then hits strait into the solo jam. There is a soft dynamic soca break-down that appears right before the final funk jam that ends solidly after a final verse and chorus.
Meaning "God Bless Africa" in the Xhosa language, this South African hymn carries a great deal of historical significance as the anthem of the global anti-Apartheid movement. This inspiring melody has since been adopted by several African nations as a national anthem. This arrangement overlays traditional European counterpoint in the pans onto a backdrop of syncopated African rhythm.
Pan Funk is a deep funky tune with a bit of a rock vibe. It starts out with a couple rounds of the back line laying down the groove of the tune. Next, the funky front line melody enters at the verse before segueing into the chorus, culminating in a full unison jam. There is a fun front line solo in the middle of the tune that ranges from very easy to very challenging, and finally breaks way back to the chorus with a chromatic flair. The solo section can also be easily stretched out for as long as you like to showcase your soloists in the band.
“Song For Lauren” was written back in the mid 2000’s for a good friend of mine who was in a terrible car accident and had to be airlifted to a hospital. The song came to me as I was on my way to the hospital to see her. As I drove those 30 minutes or so, not knowing her condition or if she was even going to make it, this melody played in my head like it had already been there all along. When songs come to life in this way, it is nothing short of magical. There was no work, thought or planning involved. It just happened.
Named for the village home of a beautiful active sulfur spring and volcano in St. Lucia, Soufrière (pronounced soo- free-ay) is a haunting tune that combines a Folk aesthetic with Jazz harmonies and the Zouk rhythm of Guadeloupe. The strumming pattern for this music of the French Antilles is less daunting than intensely syncopated Soca and Calypso from Trinidad and is an excellent middle ground for bands transitioning to more challenging rhythmic patterns and grooves. Written in AABA song form (with intro), this piece can be performed with or without an optional solo section.