Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rake N' Scrape at Elvina's



An essential outing in Eleuthera is a visit to Elvina's bar and restaurant.  A laidback surfer's hangout run by  Eleuthera native Elvina and her Lousiana-bred husband, Chicken Ed,  Elvina's draws local and tourists for a taste of Eleuthera nightlife. Tuesday and Friday nights are when the bar hops with live music, often lead by Eleuthera resident Lenny Karavitz.  I stopped by Elvina's late one Saturday night with my journalist crew. Chicken Ed sat outside at the door, nodding to regulars while gaggles of locals sip Kalik and eye newcomers.




The band was led by a blond American singing "Lay Down Sally." Not exactly what I had expected to hear.  He continued with weak renditions of blues classics and I started to believe that I wouldn't be hearing anything authentic, when Blue took the stage.  Covered in shades and a cowboy hat, Blue dug into rake n' scrape tunes filled with scratchy rhythms from the  carpenter's saw, goombay drum and concertina.  Popular on the Bahamas out islands, rake n' scape traditionally accompanied the Bahamian quadrille and heel and toe polka dances.  This folk music dates back to the 1800s and mirrors the sounds of West African tunes featuring the wood block guiro instrument.  The crowd danced nonstop to the festive rake n'scrape tunes as long as Blue kept playing.



Elvina's walls are covered with bumper stickers and license plates, while the ceiling is lined with surf boards stowed by surfer regulars. If you crave a sampling of warm Bahamian hospitality and culture, head to Elvina's.

9 comments:

A Cuban In London said...

And I will after that first-hand account. I was most interested in that instrument you described. So, it's similar to our guiro (I'm missing the dieresis on the 'u', sorry). I can't wait to listen to the music. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Execumama said...

Maaaan, I'm gonna have to hitch a ride with you one of these fine days! That sounds wonderful!!

Fly Girl said...

Cubano, yes it features a saw that sounds like a guiro but it doesn't sound like any Cuban rhythms I've ever hear.

Akila, if we could trade spots from Miami to Chicago, I'd take you up on it!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Another undiscovered gem...a good looking place.

Fly Girl said...

Jean-Luc, I'm afraid it's the most notable place on Eleuthera, far from undiscovered!

Catherine said...

I would love to come and see Lenny sing here ( promise not to ask him any awkward questions!!)

Fly Girl said...

Catherine, hee hee, you'd do better than I did!

Mary and Sean said...

How late did you stay out dancing? What a fun life you lead!

Fly Girl said...

Mary, late enough to make me forget the weak rendition of "Lay Down Sally"!