The word was out on the street and in church congregations that Cardinall DaCosta had been working on a spiritual album. Well to my surprise the CD has been out since mid-December 2012 when it was released in his old home town of Savannah. Now I have never been much of a singer of spiritual songs, I can’t deny that, however, I do know that music is a powerful form of expression and Cardinall is a powerful singer. His deep, crisp voice is noted in simple converse or in song.
Precious Memories is a collection of eleven well-produced and clearly-cut songs that takes the listener out of their normal state and delivers them into a profound experience of connectedness and love. At other times, the songs express a desire for escape from difficult circumstances into something better and more free. The tunes Cardinall picked are considered the classics of gospel. For example, “Just a closer walk with thee” and “Amazing Grace” are spiritual tunes that even I know the lyrics to; and that’s saying a lot for someone who spends his Sundays fishing. No disrespect intended toward the Almighty.
Like so many other young Caymanian men back in the 50s and 60s, Cardinall went to sea with the Merchant Marines at the age of 18 and that’s when he bought his first guitar in Nova Scotia. Country music was in his blood so whenever he finished his daily duties in the ship’s engine room he spent his free time singing and strumming. In 1977, Cardinall recorded the first Pirates week song, Sylvia Bodden’s “Pieces of Eight” which became an overnight hit. Some 2,000 vinyl 45 RPM records were sold, easily giving the song Gold Record status – if one considers Cayman’s population at the time and prorates sales needed in the USA to get certified gold. The following year Cardinall came in second place with his song “The Ghost Of Edward Teach”.
Music and singing are two of his greatest loves, however his participation is limited because of business demands. As the owner of Puritan Cleaners and Daco Water Specialties, Cardinal spends more time in the office than on the stage. This year makes it 55 years that Cardinall has been in the dry cleaning business.
Cardinall’s new CD is available in gift shops around the island, and of course at Funky Tangs. I guess I could try singing a little “spiritual” music rather than beer drinking songs, then on second thought I am not going to compete against Cardinall in that category.
Like so many other young Caymanian men back in the 50s and 60s, Cardinall went to sea with the Merchant Marines at the age of 18 and that’s when he bought his first guitar in Nova Scotia.