The St. Croix that I grew up in during the 1970’s and 80’s would never be counted among the top Caribbean destinations to visit for live reggae. Oh, we had some nice bands and the occasional big concert from the likes of Steel Pulse and others, but in our corner of the Caribbean at the time, reggae took a back seat to down island calypso, stateside R&B and several other musical forms.
Oh how times have changed!
The Virgin Islands in general, and St. Croix in particular, have recently become a hotbed for emerging reggae artists. Styles vary somewhat from artist to artist, of course, but overall the vibes are of a conscious roots variety, drawing heavy influences from the likes of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, Aswad and more.
Midnite has been the biggest name on the St. Croix reggae scene for some time, but others like Umojah, Dezarie, Niyorah, Melame Ganje and Batch are definitely worth seeking out as well. One of the best places to have your seeking rewarded is Eat @ Cane Bay, the fabulous North Shore seaside bar and restaurant that’s a must-stop for us during every visit back home.
Remember Eat’s legendary Sunday Reggae Brunch? Well, on my last trip to St. Croix, I discovered that brunch isn’t the only time you can enjoy great roots reggae at Eat. To see what I mean, just check out the video above. I shot it during a Full Moon Party at Eat back in March.
To say that I was blown away by the concert would be an understatement. You can see and hear the quality of the talent for yourself, but what struck me the most was the happy, irie vibe of the crowd. There were tons of people in and around Eat that night; some packed in front of the stage, others lining the street outside or spilling onto the beach. Booze flowed freely and smoke filled the air as the hours grew shorter, a combination that could’ve easily spurred trouble.
There was none.
The crowd, caught up in the conscious lyrics and infectious vibes, embodied the music, espousing a spirit of brotherhood, positivity and fun.
Eat @ Cane Bay’s Sunday Reggae Brunch is still your best bet for catching some of St. Croix’s finest reggae artists as the restaurant doesn’t host Full Moon Parties like this on any kind of regular schedule. Either way, you’ll want to check in with them online for more info before you make any plans for a mystical musical journey to St. Croix. Or better yet, like ‘em on Facebook to stay fully up-to-date on all the latest going’s on at Eat. That’s how I found out about the Full Moon Party I attended, easily one of the best tips I’ve gotten all year!