Toby and the Blues Explosion – Barbadian Blues Band issues EP-CD for Sale at popular Barbadian nightspots

Years ago in Worthing there was a really cool blues bar opposite where Terra Real Estate Agency is, you would find the Mighty Gabby or Verno Del Congo laying a jam session, there was also a guy called Cameron who was real good and a bit like Seal, but I never knew what became of him…

Between sessions you would hear various hits of Robert Johnson, Led Zeppelin (They were inspired by American blues, just like Rolling Stones), Blind Lemon Jefferson, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray & The Persuaders or Eric Clapton blazing through the evening. Mia Mottley, Liz Thompson and Selma Green (nee Husbands as she was then, CBC’s popular weatherperson) were a few of the famous Bajans passing through.

Then one of the owners got himself on the wrong side of the tracks and the place went belly-up, I still miss it! The closest I get now is to go through my own collection or go visit Eric Jerome Dickey’s website to hear its theme. But at least now there are still proponents of blues right here in Barbados with Toby Armstrong and the Blues Explosion!


Toby has played many places and still has time to be an audio expert for Creative Junction as well as one of the original members of “Roadhouse” where he used to jam with Garvie, then graduating to “Masala” and Philip 7/Scantlebury apart from his own group! We assume he finds somewhere to breathe in the midst of all of this.

Apart from their live performances, you can take home the Blues Explosion now – they cut an Extended Play (EP) CD which is on sale at Mojo’s and the Lighthouse bar on St Lawrence Gap.

The mini-album has five tracks one of which is an original. “Alright” is more of a modern style blues where their lead vocalist Ricky Barr really reminds me of Robert Plant, this Irishman may seem familiar to some – he used to headline a band called “Vinyl”, meanwhile back to the local track off the EP, there you’ll hear how Toby sets the dashes and dots of this disk ablaze with his guitartistry!


They also do two versions of the BB King classic “The Thrill Has Gone” – one is a straightfwd cover, but the other version includes reggae-rapstress Ayana John laying a serious chant. So if you haven’t started ur Xmas shopping yet? Try Worthing or the Gap and dig some blues in an exploded way!

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