I said goodbye to Nashville last week for a little vacation in Sarasota, FL. However, my music and ambassador senses were still fully intact, keeping an ear out and listening for any interesting new music that might come my way. This has been a long weekend of afternoons on the beach, and dinners by moonlight. You will almost always hear live music playing if you eat out for a couple meals in this town. Whether it’s lunch at Clearwater beach, dinner in St. Armonds, or a night on the town in the Village, you’re going to see some performers. This is when we came across a hidden gem amidst the typical beach bars of the town. After dinner one night, we decided to have a drink at Ceviche Tapas Bar & Grill and boy were we pleasantly surprised.
Contemporary flamenco music filled the air and we were thoroughly entertained by a reggae flamenco band called Cabal. Because of the Spanish tapas atmosphere, Cabal was in flamenco mode, and it was awesome. Ever since visiting Spain last summer, I have really enjoyed and appreciated flamenco music, especially the guitarists. The skill level is far above your typical rock guitarists, and the feel is so precise, but also natural. Every member of Cabal is an excellent musician and the fact that they are able to play flamenco music so well proves it. “Individually, the band members have achieved an abundance of diverse experiences and accolades, including: Cordoba Guitar Company endorsements; a 4 star review in Modern Drummer magazine; performances with Santana, Willie Royal of Willie and Lobo, Greg Osby, and Christina Aguilera among others; tours in Western Europe, Latin America, and North America; and numerous CD recordings.” Cabal has been able to combine their individual experiences to create a truly excellent sound with powerful vocals, ripping solos, and pocket grooves. Check out a video of the band performing their Tango arrangement of “Besame Mucho.”
I know this is different from your typical article here at the Beat-Play Experiment, but we aim to cover a variety of genres, and this band has talent that shouldn’t go unheard. There are a lot of bands like Cabal that don’t get much credit for their performances just because their music isn’t very popular in our current culture. However, I think a lot of people could appreciate it. Cabal consists of Ari McManus on vocals, Nicolaas Kraster on guitar, Christopher Austin on percussion, Jon McLaughlin on guitar, and Daniel Brock on bass. If you’re ever in Sarasota, FL, be sure to see if this band is playing at a local spot. Ari is a fantastic performer and creates a sensitive and fun vibe on stage. They create a performance and atmosphere that you don’t want to miss!
By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play, Music Without Labels, LLC