Social Media etc.
“The music industry has gone through some dramatic changes in the past 10 years with the advent of the Internet offering new ways of getting songs to fans. With record companies dwindling and diversifying, it’s arguably easier for bands and their followers to communicate direct through social media. Such is the view of Hi Tide, a band which is taking an intriguing route to making its new album: crowdfunding. We caught up with Sean Hennings, who explained what it’s all about. “We are using a platform called Pledge Music to help us raise necessary funds,” says Hennings. “They are a very musician friendly company and gave us great advice and guidance in setting up the campaign.” “Although this is new to us, crowd/fan funding has been around for quite some time helping many independent artist get their recordings out to fans. Many big artists use this concept to fund their projects also. Two that pop to mind are David Sanborn and Ok Go.” The idea is that in return for a pledge of funds, fans can access special rewards. The funds are only taken when the campaign reaches its target – in this case, enough to record and produce a new album, “Hi Tide 5.” “There are many rewards in return for pledges,” confirms the Caymanian. “Starting from the smallest which is $10 for a download of the album, we have the new physical CD, a collection of our CDs, our DVD, recordings of cover songs of the pledgers choice, original artwork of the band, live performances and other goodies too.” So is this the way forward for independent bands? “I do believe so, with major labels becoming less and less every day, and so many successful independent artists now doing their own thing I see crowd/fan funding as the way forward for sure. It is a good concept because if the goal amount isn’t reached, no one would be charged for their pledge and no one loses their money. “And if the goal is reached the artist must stand behind their rewards promised by pledgers or end up losing the most important part of what makes them successful. Their fans.” As for the final result, it is mooted to be a full-length album with 10 new original compositions by Hi Tide, says Hennings. “As always, it will be a melting pot of sound capturing the many influences that we have somehow weaved into our own Cayman style. As described by a fan and friend of the band, ‘An explosion of soothing pop sounds with a tropical twist.’ “This is our fifth album of originals but will be our 12th release, and as with all the previous 11, we will have two of Cayman’s finest joining us in the studio to capture the tracks live: Jonathan Ebanks on guitar and Bugs Wilson on bass. “We are still in the process of organizing horn players, background vocalists and a string section all out of Miami so we do not have those names as yet. Well one actually, sax man Paul Messina. And he will be writing all of the horn and string parts,” Hennings explains. So how can people get involved with making all this happen? “We appreciate any pledge no matter how big or small and one thing we promise; This is going to be our best work yet! “Just visit www.HiTideMusic.com and the link is there on the home page to leave a pledge.” ” - Joe Shooman
“Cayman nights have been filled with sweet music for more than 20 years with acoustic Caribbean pop courtesy of Hi Tide. Sean Hennings and Shane Allenger are the duo at the heart of the matter, with extra musicians bolstering them to a four-piece act on occasion. Weekender spoke with Hennings this week. How did you get together? We are related, but didn’t meet until we were around 15 or 16, and we’ve been performing together ever since. We started Hi Tide in 1993 but first performed together in one of Cayman’s most popular bands, Network, from when we were in our teens to early 20s. As the acoustic duo, it’s me on acoustic guitar and Shane on lead vocals and congas. Our four-piece usually consists of me on drums, Shane on congas and lead vocals, Bugs Wilson on bass and Jonathan Ebanks on lead guitar. What are your guaranteed floor fillers and why? I would say our original song “Love You More.” It’s a fun dance song with a very catchy hook. And whenever we play another original, “Every Time,” it grabs everyone’s attention. It’s not a floor filler, but many people love the song. Tell us about the recordings you have put out to date and are there any plans for more? Eleven titles, four albums with original songs, two “Unplugged” cover albums, three Christmas albums, “A Live At Deckers” CD (which is a mix of originals and covers) and a live CD/DVD combo pack. And yes, we are currently working on our fifth studio album of originals. Which bands/artists are you fans of and what influences you? I am a Beatles, Bob Marley, Hendrix fan, but I am influenced by any music that is played well on real instruments. How is the Cayman music scene right now? It has been very good to Hi Tide, but we put in the time, fight, dedication and sacrifices to make it that way for us. I am sure different musicians have different views on this topic. What’s your musical ambition? When we first started, it was to get signed to a major label and tour the world, but for me now, it’s to get more of our music licensed to TV, movies, commercials etc., and to continue to do more festivals abroad. We have done quite a few festivals over the past few years and it’s always a thrill making new fans and friends overseas, and we love representing the Cayman Islands the best way we know how. Most importantly, where can we see you guys live? Deckers every Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and every Tuesday at George Town Yacht Club 6 to 9 p.m. For more details, visit hitidemusic.com” - Joe Shooman
“Cayman Islands musical group Hi Tide is back from headlining the Space Coast Festival in Cape Canaveral, Florida, last weekend. The usual duo, of Shane Allenger on drums and lead vocals and Sean Hennings on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, that fans of the band know and love were joined by fellow musicians Roger “Bugs” Wilson on bass, Johnathan Ebanks on lead guitar, special guest saxophonist Paul Messina and drummer Joel Enriquez to form a larger ensemble. “The event was essentially a festival, though we were able to use that as a backdrop to introduce our latest album The Studio Centre Sessions,” says Sean Hennings. He says the album is a DVD and CD of the bands work recorded live. The project features the same musicians that joined the men on-stage at the Space Coast Festival. “The reception from the crowd was excellent. There were about 1,500 people in attendance,” Hennings says. With Hi Tide’s style being a unique flavour of adult contemporary melodies and lyrics infused with jazz, as well as nuances of Caribbean genres, the band is essentially a musical hybrid and has consistently won the hearts of audiences around the world, as their sets tend to come as a breath of fresh air when other bands can tend to be similar in sound. The hour long set played by Hi Tide not only pleased the crowd but organisers of the event have also expressed interest in having the band back for next year’s festival. The honour of headlining such an auspicious festival in the United States was in no small part due to the band’s relentless promotion of their original songs and live shows. “We heard they were having a festival there and I decided to send the organisers our new DVD album ‘The Studio Centre Sessions’. They then ended picking us to be the headliners,” explains Sean Hennings of Hi Tide. One of Hi Tide’s songs called “Unity”, which features young children singing, was a song the organisers of the festival took a liking to; so much so that they arranged for school children from Capeview Elementary to join the band on stage for that song. The Studio Centre Sessions is the 12th studio album from Hi Tide. The group has also done several other festivals in the US, including an acoustic festival in Sarasota, Florida, where they were well received and sold many albums, Sean says. Hi Tide has also performed all over North America, France, England, Peru and Hawaii. The group can be seen at Decker’s Bar and Grill from this Thursday through Saturday from 7.30 to 9.30pm and at theReef in East End on Tuesday nights from 7 to 10pm. For more information on Hi Tide, visit their website. Look out for a launch of the Studio Centre Sessions in Grand Cayman coming soon. ” - Stuart Wilson
“Local band Hi Tide is off to Cape Canaveral in Florida to headline the Space Coast Music Festival. The honour of headlining such an auspicious festival in the United States was in no small part due to the band’s relentless promotion of their original songs and live shows, as well as their drive to put themselves in new and challenging situations without fear. “We heard they were having a festival there and I decided to send the organisers our new DVD album ‘The Studio Centre Sessions’. They then ended picked us to be the headliners,” explains Sean Hennings of Hi Tide. He says the group was going to launch the live album, which features video and audio in the Cayman Islands at the end of this month, which they will still do so once they are back from Florida. Though he says that the view is that this festival would also be a great platform to introduce the project. Hi Tide is comprised primarily of the duo of Sean Hennings and Shane Allenger. However, the band has a larger ensemble, which features notable musicians such as John Ebanks, Roger “Bugs” Wilson and other players of instruments who joined Hi Tide on the making of the Studio Centre Sessions album. The album consists of past Hi Tide favourites that have been recorded live and featured on DVD. The Space Coast Festival will take place next Friday and will feature Hi Tide playing a one-hour set. “We leave next Friday and will come back that Sunday. Cape Canaveral is on the East End of Orlando and this is a music festival to raise funds for music instruments in schools in Florida,” Sean says. “It is far from just another gig. In fact, we have a song that is called “Unity” that is on the album that features young children singing and it was one of the songs the organisers of the festival took a liking to; so much so that they arranged for school children to join us on stage for that song.” This is the 12th studio album from Hi Tide. The group has also done several other festivals in the US, including an acoustic festival in Sarasota, Florida, where they were well received and sold many albums, Sean says. Hi Tide have also performed all over North America, France, England, Peru and Hawaii. The group can be seen at Decker’s Bar and Grill from Thursday through Saturday from 7.30 to 9.30pm and at theReef in East End on Tuesday nights from 7 to 10pm. For more information on Hi Tide, visit their website at Hitidemusic.com” - Stuart Wilson
“Cayman’s favourite acoustic Caribbean pop act Hi Tide is a well-known staple of the live scene. The band’s latest appearance is at Live on the Paseo at Camana Bay on Friday, 14 September from 7pm and Sean Hennings is here to tell us all about the act, which was formed in 1993. What are the crowd-pleasing hits? “A favourite Hi Tide song has always been ‘All We Need is Change’ from our first album, Change. I think our biggest crowd pleaser is ‘Love You More’. And right now people are also digging ‘Every Time’ because it is being used by Ortanique Restaurant for their commercial and is being played a lot on TV and in the cinemas. “We write music the old-fasioned way – with pencil and paper. Just kidding; They all come from melodies and poems in our heads. Either Shane [Allenger] or myself come up with the melody and some lyrics then we get together to complete it,” says Sean, the big kidder. Exciting launch Although the band is a duo – Sean Hennings and Shane Allenger – they’ve also worked on stage and in the studio with basically most musicians you can think of. Sean did send us a list but we’d need a 700 page Weekender to do everyone justice and quite frankly that prospect terrifies us as much as it probably does to those who are forced to read it. Hi Tide recently completed a live CD and DVD called The Studio Center Sessions and its launch is going to be pretty special, we hear. “We are planning to release it on 29 September in Florida where we have been lucky enough to be chosen as the main headliner for the Space Coast Music Festival in Cape Canaveral,” Sean reveals. Check out Weekender of Friday, 21 September for a lot more on that one. In the meantime go see ’em for yourself. Alongside the Paseo gig, they’re also regulars at Deckers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7.30 to 10.30pm and theReef in East End on Tuesdays from 7 to 10pm” - Joe Shooman
“Cayman’s own Hi Tide has just released their 10th CD as the popular duo celebrates 18 years of performing and recording together. Hi Tide 4 showcases 15 original compositions, all coloured by the band’s unique island sound. Explaining the title, Sean Hennings, who handles guitar and back-up vocals for the acoustic band, says, “This is the fourth CD we have done containing all our own songs. There are a lot of love songs and we focus on sending out positive messages.” The album includes the song “Get Warm,” which the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism adopted for its promotional campaign last winter. “The idea for the song was to bring people from all over the world into the warmth of the Cayman Islands,” says lead vocalist and conga player Shane Allenger. “Reasons and Lies,” the first single released off the album, “is not what the title suggests,” says Allenger. “The song is about giving advice that you are not able to follow yourself. It’s about searching for answers that you already know.” To make the point, he recites a line: “Too many people are telling me so many reasons and lies and so many people are showing me what they themselves can’t disguise.” The men collaborate on composing the songs, both music and lyrics. “The secret to what we do,” Allenger says, “is that no matter what it is, we share the responsibility.” Their musical roots are melodically manifested in their original tracks. “All of our songs have an island flavour in their own way. What Sean and I consider rock, pop, R&B, all have the essence of where we’re from,” Allenger says. On their latest album, Hennings points to one particular composition, “Every Time,” that holds special meaning for him. “That was written for my youngest son when he was born, about how he made me feel. The hook is ‘You make me smile every time.’ I feel this album is our best work so far.” Allenger then enthusiastically jumps in with, “But we are looking forward to our next one, too. We’ve already started it.” The two, who are cousins, clearly enjoy working and hanging out together, joined by their love of music. “We always aim to produce original music and share it with everyone,” Hennings says, as his partner elaborates: “Our music is a kaleidoscope of many different colours of music that has our sound. It is heartfelt music, born from the spirit of Cayman, and the best is yet to come.”” - Iris Stoner
— Cayman Airways Skies