A Gallon of strong stuff

by Leigh-Ann Worrell

gallonsingsHe might be a “Gallon” in name, but for the past 10 years or so, this calypsonian has considered himself to be a little fish in the local calypso pool.

That is, until this year.

Real name Trevor Chase, Gallon is sure Crop-Over 2013 will be his time to shine.

“It only takes only takes one chance you know,” he asserted during an afternoon conversation with Barbados TODAY at the Westbury, St. Michael shop he operates.

“Look at Popsicle. Nobody didn’t really know he and then he won the monarchy. Now people know about him and he is performing everywhere.”

Chase, a broom operator in the New York Department of Sanitation for 15 years, has penned Bajan Fowl Cock and Wuk Ya Body as his musical offerings this year. With the songs already recorded and scored and even his costuming finalised, the 59-year-old is more than ready for the Crop-Over season.

“I believe to become [a success] you have to have a real good song that got people heads moving and playing on the radio stations… and “the songs I got are the material for that kind of thing… They are a lot better than the ones I had last year for sure, and I am very pleased with the arrangements.”

Musician Ricky Brathwaite was the one responsible for Chase’s recording and arrangments this year. Just this morning, he was in the studio working on some final touches on Wuk Ya Body.

While he has been able to perform alongside the likes of Sparrow and Iwer George at shows and concerts in New York – the city he called home for 35 years, Chase’s performances in Barbados have been limited to calypso tents, starting off with Pioneer calypso tent “many years ago” before moving on to the Kingdom of Super Gladiators. Last Sunday, Chase auditioned for the House of Soca calpyso tent, where he said Bajan Fowl Cock received good reviews. Written about nine months ago, Chase explained Bajan Fowl Cock was based on a true story of a friend’s rooster which escaped into a neighbouring backyard where he met his demise in the clutches of a cat.

[Insert ensuing double entendre here.]

The other song, Wuk Ya Body, encouraged young people to leave their guns and knives at home and simply enjoy themselves without violence. This one was penned last January.

As the father of four prepares for this year’s festival, he told Barbados TODAY he will be doing a “little exercise” in order to ensure he gives of his best when he touches the stage.

“I have to build up the stamina, because on the stage I will become a madman!” he added with a laugh, “I want to entertain the people so I have to exercise in order to do it.”

The Washington High alumni drew most of his inspiration from the likes of master singer Lord Kitchener and the Tradewinds, whom he listened to as a boy.

“I always felt like I could be on stage with those guys, so I decided to get involved.”

While performing as a calypsonian who is a litle low on the totem pole made it easier to think of hanging up his singing hat, Chase admitted it would be a little harder to stop writing.

“I always love it when a good song comes together. When the lyrics are good and it all makes sense…,” he said with a smile.

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