SHORTY&SLIM is a pleasing blend of Calypso, Reggae, and Caribbean sounds with a touch of Rock-n-Roll, and has best been described as “Canal Zone Folk Music”!! Conceived in a Gamboa living room in 1992 and later captured on 4 CD productions, (Life on Mango Street ‘95, Gone Platano ‘97, ‘Tird One ‘99, and Down to Panama ‘06) it is written all about Panama and the Canal Zone by Panamanian Zonians, and it’s the only musical production of its kind to truly capture the sights, sounds and experiences of living in or visiting the beautiful Paradise of Panama and the Canal Zone. It is Original, feel-good music that will make you laugh, cry and remember the days.
David Seitz (BHS’77) and Alex Reyes (BHS’89), a.k.a. SHORTY&SLIM:
David B. Seitz, AKA “Shorty”, was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota in 1959. His family moved to Panama in 1968. For Shorty, writing songs is fun, but not easy. His inspiration is knowing that if he has enough songs, the next time he sees Alex they can record another CD so he “can have something new to listen to in the car.” He plays guitar every day if he can. “I try to play scales in the morning for 5-10 minutes while I think of what I have to do each day. At least 3 times a week I sit alone for a few hours playing chord patterns or trying new chords, or trying to write lyrics.” It might take him an hour to write a song, or it might take him a year, and since he writes on scraps of paper, some of them disappear over time. He has a small recorder handy to help him remember melodies because “if I don’t have words to a melody I loose it quickly as it morphs into something else.”
His favorite Shorty & Slim song (today) is “Until We Meet Again” from the Gone Platano CD. “I didn’t hear it until Alex played it in the studio. We did it in two takes with just Alex on guitar and vocals at the same time. I was in the control room teary eyed.” He still listens to all the songs. At times they make him feel melancholy, but they also make him laugh out loud. “My fadda dug Culebra cut by hisself……mosquitos feast on them rass like filet mignon. What was that?!”
Alex Martin Reyes Salisbury, better known as “Slim”, was born at the San Fernando Hospital in Panama on March 17, 1971. For Slim, Panama is “Paradise, it’s the best of both worlds: back country and jungle, and modern western city. You can go to a big American style mall, swim in a quiet river deep in the jungle, lay on the beach on both oceans all in the same day.” He finds writing music about the Canal Zone and Panama very rewarding. He is sure that anyone from there, or who spent time there will identify with the music and enjoy it. Sometimes he sees something and thinks, “that would be a good song that a Panamanian or Zonian would like.” Then the melody usually pops into his head and he plays around with it until it feels right. The more emotional songs usually come from the inside and work their way out over time. Sometimes it’s quick and easy, other times it takes a while until it works just right.
His favorite Shorty & Slim song is “Gold & Silver” from the Tird One CD. “For me it’s a great song to pick, strum and sing. I play it by myself all the time. It’s a deep song with a lot of meaning, a lot of conflicting emotions about a time when Panama was a wilderness and people from different backgrounds came to build something unbelievable and impossible; people who worked for a system that perhaps wasn’t quite fair by modern standards, but each man got what he signed up for in the end, plus the glory of being a part of the greatest construction for mankind in modern history.”
For more Bio information on Dave and Alex, go to www.myspace.com/shortyandslim