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Guitarist Voisin passes on

JOAN RAMPERSAD Friday, May 19 2017

ANTHONY VOISIN who most will describe as guitarist extraordinaire, passed away on Wednesday after ailing for the past few years. He was 64.

Voisin was a member of Charlie’s Roots from 1975 to 2003 when the band went defunct.

During that time, Voisin would have played in Pelham Goddard’s studio band for KH Studios, in addition to numerous radio and television jingles, as well as on the recordings.

He worked with the who’s who in the soca and calypso world including the likes of the late Maestro, Calypso Rose, SuperBlue, David Rudder, Chris “Tambu” Herbert, Shadow, Francine and Sugar Aloes.

After that, Voisin took the opportunity to quietly further his musical studies at the University of the West Indies because he didn’t like the direction the soca music was taking at the time.

So, in 2009 when there was a reunion of Roots, he was in the forefront, until illness got the better of him in the last few years.

Reacting to his passing yesterday were a number of past and present Roots members.

Musical director Pelham Goddard said: “Anthony Voisin joined The ‘Sensational’ Roots band in 1975 and was one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most premiere guitarists. He made a great contribution to the art form with his unique style of guitar that made up Charlie’s Roots rhythm in the soca music, but he was more than just a musician. He was a father, brother, friend and set a milestone in Caribbean culture, and the world by extension. He would truly be missed. RIP, and condolences to the Voisin family.

I’m sad that I’m out of the country RIP brother.

Former Roots front line singer Herbert said Voisin was one of a better soca/calypso guitarist who loved the national art form of TT . “His heart was into the music. What was more important to him was the quality of the music than the quantity of the money,” said Tambu.

He added with a laugh: “Tony and I always had a good relationship.

We use to call each other Yaow Yaow, who ever see one another first will say Yaow Yaow.” Tambu concluded: “Tony was always a nice brother who really loved his music and they (together with Junior Wharwood) added value to the soca and calypso music based on their play.

All the hooks, guitar lines etc in Shadow’s (Winston Bailey) song, Dance Charlene, those were Tony’s lines. They created a style in soca music. Tony and Junior Wharwood were the innovators of that. They contributed significantly to the music.” Another former Roots front line singer David Rudder was at a lost for words.

He said: “I am still trying to get around it. I haven’t settled my thoughts as yet. This one hit me hard. With Tony gone, it’s just myself, Carly (Jacob) and just a few others still holding the centre and that is the thing that really bothers me because it is like the centre is crumbling.

“Even though Tony was ill he was still present. In terms of soca music, Tony and Junior were the soca music guitars right there. We (in Roots) use to call Junior Mr No because when he was playing his head will go from side to side, and Tony was Mr Yes because he use to bow down and come up while playing.” Rudder said: “There is something about Tony. He was a very quiet and private person but there was a warmth whenever he meet you. It was kind of like a metaphor for the energy of what we shared together and with the wider public.

“A lot of people

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