Sailing and Music = Rumba Fish!

Posted in ,

With three serious musicians on board and a history of writing songs to accompany their Caribbean racing charters, team Rumba Fish are proud to share their latest creation – also called Rumba Fish – written and performed especially for the BVI Spring Regatta 50th Anniversary. Team Rumba Fish are a group of friends and families from the Atlanta, GA area, and are having a blast racing for their first time together in the BVI on a charted Moorings 45.

The song Rumba Fish came together in crew Eric Stallings’ recording studio, The Groove Studio, located in Sandy Springs, Georgia, where the team’s previous two songs for Caribbean racing were made and recorded – Booty Fish (Antigua Sailing Week), and Heinefish (Heineken Regatta). The process goes something like this, as Stallings described:

“For Booty Fish, I just laid down a guitar track and I had two artists who were in my studio so I asked them sing and play on that one, so that’s how the first one came about,” he said. “For Heinefish, Caillin (Cooke) had joined us, she was studying music at Belmont University, she has an incredible voice and so I had a partner in crime to collaborate with.”

Stallings continued, “Dan (McGraw) is a really good trumpet player, so the song starts off with an introduction and the trumpet coming in – our general sound is an island/ska beat. I wrote down the guitar, bass, and drums to get the foundation of the song moving. Caillin was writing lyrics and then we came together to start working on the melody – it’s pretty cool.”

Eric Stallings & Caillin Cooke – co-creators of “Rumba Fish”

So how long does it take to put a song like this together?

Cooke laughed, “It depends on the song? Booty Fish we did over the course of four months, this one we tried one song and realized it wasn’t as upbeat and happy as the BVI is, so we decided we wanted to do something a little different based on our team and put Rumba Fish together in about two and half weeks, all in Eric’s studio.”

Cooke writes music professionally and works in the music industry, moving soon to Austin, TX to work at a record label. She plays, performs, sings and writes on the side, while Stallings is a sound engineer and guitarist. McGraw is an incredible trumpet player, Cooke notes, who performs in a jazz trio.

Sailing and music came together for this group growing up sailing on Lake Lanier, GA, Stallings noted.

“We’ve been sailing together forever – since the 80s – and just started chartering to race in the Caribbean for fun. Caillin’s mother is like my sister and David (Pritchard) is her uncle, so we’re great friends and family. We haven’t really cruised; we’re almost always racing. It’s guaranteed to be a good time in the Caribbean, you just know it’s always going to be fun and we have huge memories from these trips.”
The sailing-music trio have figured out the confluence of sailing and music after a lot of hours sailboat racing and playing music.

“I do think music crosses over with sailing a lot because of the fun vibes, the grooves and the beat, the water is so musical, it’s music even if you don’t have it playing,” Cooke smiled.

Stallings nodded agreeably, “The water definitely enhances audio – there’s a soundtrack going on even when there is not music. I was up on the bow yesterday on the back side of Tortola and we were on that long downwind leg. I lay down for a bit and was paying attention to the rush of the water – it’s very much like a drumbeat, you can kind of hear the movement of a drumbeat in the water, the resonance of the water hitting the hull. Music is like that.” – Michelle Slade