Joy Mon! (Harris Entertainment)
Caribbean Conspiracy

By Victoria Moon

If your Christmas season is getting a little boring, a little too traditional, and needs a bit of spicing up or if the winter blues are getting you down and you'd like to take a vacation to someplace warm without leaving your comfortable armchair, have I got an album for you.

Joy, Mon!By local group Caribbean Conspiracy is what Christmas carols would sound like if they stopped and got tans every season in St. Lucia. Songs like "Do You Hear What I Hear?," "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" get the steel drum treatment and occasionally remind you more of piña coladas and beach sand than chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

The thing that saves this instrumental album from being just another novelty product, though, is the musicianship of the members of Caribbean Conspiracy. Regionally-known music veterans Sam Harris, Todd Hildreth, Anita Dane and Paul Culligan are the players here and each manages to give a seamless performance while keeping a sense of fun throughout the project. The quality of the musicians alone is worth the cost of the album.

So if you could use a little of the Caribbean in your Christmas and don't quite have the resources or time to take that cruise, pick up a copy of Joy, Mon!, close your eyes and I promise you'll be halfway there.