If you like chilling out with some island music and sipping on umbrella drinks this artist is a must for your music collection.
I first got a taste of Bankie Banx when he came together to make “Live in Anguilla” with fellow island sole Jimmy Buffett. I will give one of my buddies credit, he actually ordered one of Banx’s albums online and really got me familar with this great reggae story teller.
Bankie’s sound has been described as a cross between Bob Marley and Bob Dylan, and his music a blend of folk, reggae, R&B and Jazz. He is often called the “Anguillan Bob Dylan”, and indeed has played with Dylan himself.
I now have is “Still in Paradise” album and it always seems to be at the top of my ipod when I have my toes in the sand on the beach or wave hopping on the Gulf of Mexico in the boat.
Below is a bio of Banx is you want to learn a little about this famous Rastafarian. Check him out.
1977 – The Dreamer
Track 4 on Bankie’s album “Roots & Herbs” conveys the dream that Bankie had as a young boy and aspiring musician. He dreamed of writing music and playing songs that would touch people and get them thinking. Bankie released “The Dreamer” as a track on his very first album in 1977 – “Where I And I Abide”. Bankie never imagined how well received and respected his music would be.
1983 – The Battle’s On
Bankie released his album “The Battle’s On” in 1982. In the years before, Bankie Banx And The Roots & Herbs had become a staple in the Caribbean reggae scene and it seemed that their star had reached its peak when they were invited to perform at Reggae Sunsplash in 1983. It was only the beginning as Bankie launched a full scale Caribbean tour and laid the groundwork for 4 years of touring in Europe.
1986 – Missing
By 1986, Bankie had a new band and was touring Europe and working for his break. His song “Missing”, recorded as Track 8 on his CD “Island Boy” captures what Bankie was missing. He was working, touring and making music, but he was missing home and family.
1991 – Island Boy
Bankie returned to Anguilla in 1987 only to find that things had changed dramatically since he left. Some of the faces were the same, but so many things were different. He once again packed his bags to follow his dream, and this time he was an Island Boy in New York. Bankie’s career gathered steam and he became one of the better known and loved reggae acts working up and down the East Coast.
1994 – Busted In Barbados
Bankie and his New York based band were hot! With “Terrestrial Spirits” and “Island Boy” under his belt and demos for his first major label release polished up, Bankie was “Busted In Barbados.” Bankie recounts opening the door to his hotel room in Barbados to find 5 or 6 cops with guns drawn at his door. Bankie was arrested on suspicion of Marijuana possession. Although later acquitted, the damage was already done. Bankie lost his visa and seemingly the chance to fulfill his dreams.
1996 – Stuck In Paradise
It took a while for the reality to sink in. For 10 years, Bankie would not be able to return to the U.S. and perform for his fans there. Determined to follow through, Bankie immersed himself into building The Dune Preserve, and growing what was before only his personal showcase – Moonsplash. Since then, Moonsplash has grown into the region’s premier festival and The Dune Preserve has reached icon status, being featured on TV and in magazines around the world. Bankie is still in paradise with no plans on leaving.
2003 – Find It
True to his own lyrics, Bankie has found what he’s looking for. He is in a place all his own, making music he loves, and jamming with his friends in his own backyard every year during Moonsplash. And yes, he gets to travel and meet great people. Life is good!
Let me now what you think of Bankie Banx if you’ve heard him before or end up exploring his albums.
Cheers to the Salt Life.