Saw these two recently in Evanston, Illinois. Rose was terrific but the Sparrow did not seem well and was escorted from the stage after a disappointing performance. Cannot help but wonder if there is a health issue.
The Mighty Sparrow and Calypso Rose are unrivaled icons of calypso whose effervescent rhythms and scintillating lyrics originated on the island on Trinidad over a century ago. Together, they represent calypso nobility of the highest order: Each has reigned repeatedly as king or queen, both winning unprecedented numbers of calypso competitions for their agile tongues and highly infectious music. Each is responsible for dozens of calypso anthems, ranging from political commentary to risqué tales laced with humorous wordplay. Sparrow's first was about streetwalkers (1956's "Jean and Dinah"); Rose (pictured) debuted with her now-standard "Fire in Me Wire" in 1966. A few years later Bonnie Raitt covered Rose's "Wah She Go Do." Backed by a West Indies-oriented band, Sparrow and Rose should reign over a raucous Caribbean party at the Dakota.
Thu., April 21, 7 p.m., 2011