It was almost 9:00 PM when I made it to Christopher's Jazz Cafe in New Kingston on Thursday Night. For a show scheduled to start at 7:30PM (8:00 island time) I was pretty late. Lucky for me, so was Tanya Stephens. Lucky for her, the bar took up half of the room, and having received a complimentary drink upon entry, most patrons were sufficiently inebriated.

By the time she strolled in draped in black (big black shades, black button-down, black leather pants and a pair of seriously haaawttt black biker boots) and flashed a braces-free smile, all was surely forgiven. And she started. "We need to go way back, I mean way when artists had watch and did know how to tell time." Oh what an apology- only as Tanya would do it. Known for her "sick sense of humour" her excuse that she had to find a wig sent the crowd into peals of laughter. How can we not overlook her tardiness, after all she haffi look good for us right? LOL.

Tanya speaking to the captive crowd
Photo source

She kicked off her set with well-known favorites like "What's Your Story", "Cyan Breathe" "After You", "Boom Walk" (AKA Long Ding Dong), "Home Alone"( AKA Easter Bun AKA Girl Like Me AKA What would you do -LOL), "White Lies". In between songs she took time to share with the audience her views on life (it's all in the mind, if I make up my mind to have a good time, I have a good time), domestic disputes (bawl,vent-do not slash the tires. Get a lawyer), infidelity (no one runs from freedom, only from bondage), and men who are not too well- endowed (Bigging up di men wit di short ding dong in the house). But the audience was constantly reminded that she was not there "for moral guidance" or to give "rules to live by"

Intermission came a little to soon, boy, people were all wrapped up in the intimate vibe. Oh gosh, you should see dem plead for her to keep singing. Tanya had to get her drink on too, so she just flashed a big grin and made her exit. Ok. We'll wait. And let me tell you, wait we did. Now I know it was standing room only and for anyone trying to make it to the front door, it was an awkward dance of avoiding too close bodies, and half drunk glasses of liquor- an exercise in making moves and going nowhere. (Time out for a short visit down memory lane-I don't know how to swim, so when I was younger, I would say I can swim but only underwater. Funny thing is, I would be underwater kicking my legs and flailing my arms, but when I came up for air, I was still in the same place. Hahaha. That's what it was like trying to move in that club that night. Jah know...memories boy...anyways back to the review). Ya, but really I think most people stayed cause they really loved Tanya and she hadn't pulled out the big guns yet.

During the second set she spoke of her new album Infallible which she is giving away for FREE. Yes my people F-R-E-E. Some songs from the album include "Train of Thought," "Siddung Pon It", "No Means No", and the awesome HIV/AIDS awareness song "Still Alive." One ting I noticed, all the leave she wanted to leave and go wet her throat, Tanya loves the stage and she loves pleasing her fans even more, so when di jukebox came out, she just fired round after round of hits! The crowd was matching her word for word "I wish you woulda treat me like your glock/I woulda love it if you keep me pon cock/I wish you woulda treat me like your yatch/keep me wet while de waves dem a rock...and by the time she got to the hook, "these streets don't love you like I dooo" the glee was contagious, the collective voices filling the room and everyone singing the song to that person that they just love sooo much who never gave them their all. Next tune from de jukebox. "I said if we never...." pppuuuullllll uuuuuppppppp!!!! Bullet! Bullet! (lyrical bullets, The Lime and Tanya don't promote war uzeet) Madness!!!! Yow.. trust me. You had to be there to feel the energy. And so the hits kept coming- by request: "Goggle", "Still A Go Lose", "Cherry Brandy", "The Truth" "Damn You", "Reminiscing", "Do You Still Care" AKA Bubba, "Spilt Milk", "Put It On You" "Gangsta Gal" and "Do You Expect me". And then it was over. Time for the pics with the fans. And in true Tanya fashion, time for de boots fi come aff. I went home on cloud nine anxious to download my copy of Infallible.

Tanya Stephens and Ayeola (in Mamayashi)
Photo source

I've listened to Infallible, it's awesome. Tanya is older, she is occupied running her bar H2O in Ocho Rios, her kids are growing up and the maturity is reflected in the music. No "Gangsta Gal" here, but don't get it twisted, she still has her swag. Some of the songs I like are "Infallible" (it's a message to her child saying basically I am not infallible but listen to the wisdom I have gathered over the years), I also like "Turn It Up" (it's just bold, when I heard her sing it at the club I was like "Damn it sound like a threesome about to go down!LOL), "Siddung Pon It" ( I love the repeat of raaeee which is one of the favorite terms I've learnt in Jamaica:-). "Pull Up" could be a groovy Soca-and I'm partial to Soca. "Train of Thought" has a bluesy, bluegrassy, folk vibe. What else? I pretty much love dem all you know. Tanya cyan do wrong my be. So since it's FREE go cop that and make sure to attend her shows after all is not record sales that fattening her bank book, uzeemi.

To pics from the show click the following links:***Note, they are facebook pages**
IShango Photos
Social Lingua

Big ups to Christopher's for the awesome live music and Nuff Respect to the bandMo' Muzyk Pros!!

Oh and big up to Tanya's #1 FAN Tiffany who is a MAJOR reason why I am writing this review. Thanks for the motivation my girl...Is not everytime the words want to come out of my brain and on to the paper.

A favorite from "Infallible"


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