Mélange Travel & Lifestyle Magazine January 2019 - Page 18

T he name Bankie Banx is synonymous with music and on the small Caribbean island of Anguilla there is no anonymity for him – he is music ! Bankie Banx Reggae Singer, Anguilla Growing up in a family of four boys and 2 girls, the one guitar the family owned was a popular instrument which meant that the time allocated to each person was just not enough from Bankie’s perspective, so he made his own guitar! From six years old, he realized his love for poetry and a lot of his time was spent writing. When his poetry and guitar- playing merged, the result was electric. He wrote, played and sang! Bankie’s life of music was not sporadic. His was a continuous flow of musical interactions. At fourteen years old he was already the bass player in a band on Anguilla, whose members were incredibly flexible, playing anything – Rock and Roll, Calypso or Pop. Whatever was requested from the popular UK Top 40 Hits at the time was easily done. In 1969, Friday and Saturday nights saw the band playing at the British Army camps on Anguilla, to the delight of the 300 British personnel stationed there. Sint Maarten was also the recipient of Bankie Banx’s talent, performing with a band there as a background vocalist and keyboardist. His first album was released in 1977, Bankie Banx Roots and Herbs, catapulting him further into the limelight as Prince of Darkness on that album was a resounding favourite throughout the Caribbean. His other songs, Duty Calls, Hitching a Ride and The Dreamer also enjoyed the coveted #1 spot at various times. Many other albums followed and with it came visibility on the international scene. Bob Dylan connected with him on Anguilla in the 1980’s and they enjoyed musical interludes together. Bankie’s voice is unique and impossible to ignore. As you go through music lists, trying to find something interesting to listen to, pause is inevitable if one of Bankie’s songs is being played. If you have never heard his songs before, your pause will be because a note of intrigue has been sparked - who is this guy? What a voice! Mysteriously sultry, one song won’t be enough. You will feverishly search for another . . . Some have likened him to Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Eddie Grant, Neil Diamond, the list continues .... His unique voice has taken him to New York where he lived, worked and toured with well-known musicians in many cities throughout the United States. He opened concerts