Eddy Grant goes home to “Plaisance” with new album named for his Guyana hometown
Guyana-born singer/musician/songwriter/producer Eddy Grant had not released an album in 11 years, but his latest work, “Plaisance,” is right on time and very special to the longtime music star.
He’s been around the world performing “Electric Avenue,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Living on the Front Line” and other hits songs over the years, but the Plaisance album is homecoming — it's named for Grant’s Guyana hometown, which is a truly exceptional place.
“It’s extremely special. We were the second village in the country when the slave purchased their villages” from slave masters, Grant said recently from Guyana, adding that plantation owners attempted to undermine the new settlement of free blacks. “But Plaisance is a surviving place. Its people are well known for their fortitude.”
“During slavery, it is well known within our history, that one of the enslaved Africans (from Plaisance) actually took the governor to court and won. And so we’re well known for being aggressive and game-changers,” said Grant noting cricket great Rex Collymore and painter/sculptor Dudley Charles are among the greats from Plaisance. Symbolic of their upbringing in Guyana, Charles’ The Old House from Plaisance painting graces the back cover of Grant’s album.
Grant’s distinctive voice and his special brand of music and songwriting flow freely from the 14-track new album, which ranges from powerfully upbeat to pleasurably smooth on featuring thought-provoking tunes, such as “Mind the Gap” and “Now, We’re All Together,” and the sturdy up-tempo songs “True to You” and “I’m The One.”
Grant has been constant on the music scene for more than 50 years — a solo act since late 1970s and a pioneering performer before that. He was a co-founder of The Equals, one of the U.K.’s first racially integrated pop bands in the 1960s, owner of the first black-owned recording studio, record pressing plant and record manufacturing plant in Europe. And he’s also the proud founder of the longtime Ice Records label, home to host of Caribbean performers, such as Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Superblue, Lord Kitchener and Mighty Gabby. And he owns the Blue Wave Studios recording studio in Barbados.