Barbados Style Cover Drive gives their all


by Kylee Hereid, Staff Reporter

Simpson College learned to move their hips “Bajan” style, sang along to popular songs and danced with the professionals Friday night as Cover Drive performed for students. 

After traveling through the storms of eastern Iowa to arrive at Simpson, Cover Drive’s band members seemed ready to handle anything. When they began their performance, however, there were four people in the audience. 

Luckily, soon after they started to play, more students wandered in, giving the band a small but welcoming audience. Despite the small crowd, the band gave a great performance and left the audience wanting more. 

Cover Drive is comprised of the lead singer AmandaReifer, bassist JamarHarding, guitarist Barry Hill and drummer Thomas Ray Armstrong (T-Ray).

According to the band’s website, the group earned three top 10 hits on the United Kingdom charts in 2012 and also gained a Soul Train Music Award nomination for Best Caribbean Performance. One of their singles was also selected as part of President Barack Obama’s 2013 inaugural playlist. 

They have even shared the stage as main support acts with Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson. 

It is not fame, though, that propels this band forward. Their mission is not to become famous, but to bring the sounds of their native Barbados to the rest of the world. The group’s website explains their music as being a blend of their Caribbean roots in reggae mixed with pop.

Reifer is quoted on the website saying about their music, “[The songs] are all about being young and having fun. They’re songs that bring that feeling of being on a beach in the blazing sun with your best friends to every day, whether it’s sunny outside or not.”

That is the effect the music seemed to have on students, as they were encouraged to leave their seats and dance along. 

The group started their set covering the popular “All About That Bass,” originally sung by Meghan Trainor. By the end of the concert, they played other crowd favorites, originals from their previous album, singles from their upcoming album and some older, upbeat music to get the crowd moving.

At one point during the concert, Reifer asked all members of the audience to stand so she could teach Simpson how they dance in Barbados. 

As the students rose from their seats they were instructed to move their hips, “Right. Left. Right. Left.” With laughter, students followed suit and continued the movements throughout the next song. 

Later, the crowd was invited to get involved again. Jasmine Johnson, second year art education major, even jumped on stage where she danced with both Harding and Hill. 

As a result, students were able to leave feeling they had not only watched a concert, but had been participants in the performance as well. 

The concert was hosted by Simpson’s Campus Activity Board, an organization planning events throughout the year for Simpson students.