Post date: May 20, 2009 7:29:22 PM
SusieCool's Band History
1972 SusieCool's first band was in High school in Jamaica.
They didn't have a name, but her friends Anne Pilgrim, Robert Davies and Joy McKie joined her on stage to sing a song written by Joy called "One More Day".
Susie still sings that song to this day. They were also commissioned to write songs for an Easter, and a Christmas show by her neighbor and mentor, Phil Palisser. Robert (known as Bob) would teach her a lot of guitar chords, and songwriting techniques.
1974 The next band was with two friends. Ainsley Deer and Kate Davies. Ainsley sang and played guitar, and Kate played flute and sang. They played on the local TV station for a special which Ainsley was the host of. Jeff Cobbham played classical guitar. They were called "Melting Pot".
1978 The next band was in college in Scotland. They were called "Best Forgotten". Some of the members were Rod, Brian and Bob Garrioch (who she wrote a song with called "The Rainbow Song").
They played cover songs mostly by Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens. Rod was the leader, and he did most of the singing.
They rehearsed a lot, and played one show in the college cafeteria.
1982 Back in Jamaica again, she joined a band called "The Eclectics", headed up by a gifted musician Conroy Cooper. They were joined by Debbie Tenn, who was the lead singer. Susie sang backup and played guitar. They played cover songs, and played a few shows.
1984-85 Susie answered an ad in the newspaper, (at her stepmother's urging), and she auditioned for the part of guitarist with an all-female band. The band's name was PEP. The Band's manager, Harold (Junior) Bailey, was a member of a well-known local band called "Fab Five".
PEP was able to open for them at many concerts, and they backed several singers such as Nadine Sutherland, Sophia George and Carlene Davis. The members were Winsome Gregory (Bass), Sandie Shelton (guitar), June Hoilett (Keyboards), Marcia Moore (Drums), and Virginia Henriques as lead singer. They played mostly top 40 and reggae.
They rehearsed a lot, and were playing at least once a week for most of the time they were together.
1986-87 After a slight reorganization, there was a name change to WOW (works of women). The band dropped Winsome, and took on a new member, Olafunke, and they continued to play quite frequently. Then an offer came up to be hired by a local Theatre group called "Sistren" as the musical background for their play called "Muffett inna all a Wi". The music was mostly original reggae, written by Winston Bell (Bello). WOW would open the show with a 30 min set of their music.
Sistren did an island tour of Jamaica, while they perfected the play. (They had a basic structure which they tweaked constantly).
Then they went on tour to London, Holland and Birmingham for 7 weeks. In 87 they went to Canada, and the USA, and then Susie got married and left the band.
1990 In Orlando, Susie used her knowledge of Reggae and Island music to play with a company called "Island Breeze Affiliates". They were headed up by Glen Barclay, and would provide Island music for conventions and pool parties. She did this for a year.
1990 At the same time she started playing for an all-female reggae band based in Tampa called "Lioness. The leader Teri Owens wrote most of the material, and they did some recordings. Teri played acoustic guitar, Susie played electric guitar, Gracie played flute, Nazari played keyboards, Jody played bass, and Sandie played drums.
1992 Susie joined forces with Pierre Denizard-guitar/bass, and they formed "Melange". An originals band that fused Haitian Compa with Jamaican Reggae, and threw in a little Soca for good measure. They were joined by Eddie-Drums, Laude-keyboards/vocals, Tilo-percussion, Curdis-Congas, Chelita-Vocals, Santa-Vocals/DJ, Adrian-Vocals/DJ, Ralph-Lead guitar/vocals. Susie and Pierre swapped Bass and Guitar for various songs.
Front row: Virginia-Lead Vocals, Susan-Guitar/Vocals, Sandie-Guitar/Vocals, Marcia-Drums/Vocals,
Back row: Winsome-Bass/Vocals, June-Keyboards.
1997-98 Still in Orlando, Susie was asked to sub for the Bass player of a band called "Version". She had to learn 3 hours of material in 2-1/2 weeks!!! The band played oldies, and Jamaican standards, and top 40. The band consisted of Sonny-guitar/vocals, Victor-Vocals/percussion, and Suzy-keyboards/vocals (2 brothers and a sister), the brothers had been in a high profile band in Jamaica called the Mighty Vikings, and the sister had been in the first all-female band in Jamaica, "Ingrid Chin and the Carnations". Then there was Glenda on keyboards, and a drummer. The bass player came back for a while, and then got ill again. so Susie was called in again, and went to Charlotte to play for the Jamaican independence week-end.
1999 Susie joined the Open Mic circuit, playing solo at the Borders bookstore in Winter Park, where Paul Gerardi hosted on Mondays.
She met some very good friends who were also musicians, namely Vick DeGiorgio, Stuart Hall, Jeri Simpson.
She formed informal groups around the name "SusieCool and Friends"
They played around town, and quite a bit at Appletons, a restaurant in Lake Mary. At this time they were playing SusieCool originals. The line-up was Susie on guitar/vocals, Chelita on backup vocals, and Vick on Bass.
2002 SusieCool started playing on the festival circuit (small stages of course). Namely the South Florida Folk Festival in Broward county. They played for the 2002, 03 and 04 festivals. The main core of the band was the Monday Night Music Club's faithful members, Vick DeGiorgio, Stewart and Susie. They took on the name "SusieCool and the Coolottes". They were joined by Serina Jung on vocals, and Mile Dale on drums the first year of the SFFF.
The second (And by far the coldest) year they had Lisa Firestone and Asli Walker singing backup, and Paul Gerardi on the djembe drum. In 2004 they had the vocal talents of Mandala, and Bill Wuerfel played conga drums.
The band is still learning and creating new material, and are available for parties, concerts, festivals, fund raisers, and any function that requires cheerful dancing music.
Her originals have been very well received by the central Florida audiences. Please visit any one of the mp3 sites on this home page.
Adrian-Vocals, Eddie-Drums, Ralph-Lead Guitar,, Laude-Keyboards, Curdis-Congas, Chelita-Vocals, SusieCool-Guitar/Bass, Pierre-Guitar/Bass
Some of Melange 2003
Tilo-Percussion, Chelita-Vocals, Eddie-Drums
SusieCool and the Coolottes at the
2004 South Florida Folk Festival
Stuart Hall-Guitar/Mandolin, SusieCool-Guitar/Vocals/Songwriter,
Vick DeGiorgio-Bass, Mandala-Vocals
Original Acoustic music with an Island twist