“Trinidad Charlie” Not Looking for Notoriety from Chesney Song

Trinidad Charlie’s Westin Indian Pumpkin Pepper Sauce


Nowhere to go and nowhere to be,
“Trinidad Charlie” on a stool next to me,
Readin’ his book ’bout the “haves” and “have-nots,”
In between chapters we take another shot.
And one by one we slide from reality,
With nowhere to go, and nowhere to be…

Look out Margaritaville, a projected country music hit song could make Trinidad Charlie’s Pepper Sauce from St. John the hottest “new” thing.

The latest record by part-time St. John resident — and four-time Country Music Artist of the Year — Kenny Chesney was released in mid-October, and includes a song the musician wrote while on St. John called “Nowhere to Go, Nowhere to Be.” The song is based on an afternoon conversation he had in a Coral Bay bar with local hot sauce guru Charles “Trinidad Charlie” Deyalsingh two years ago.

In early reviews and interviews about the recording, Chesney, who has a house and keeps a boat on St. John, said “Nowhere to Go, Nowhere to Be” was an important part of his latest recording project, “Lucky Old Sun.”

“It’s the root of the record, for sure,” Chesney told Newsweek magazine in its October 20 issue. “In 2006, I was probably as emotionally and mentally exhausted as I’d ever been. And that was due to a lot of things — having the foot on the gas pedal constantly, and my breakup with Renée. I got in a plane and went down to the Virgin Islands.

I was completely by myself. I didn’t want to be around anybody. So the next thing you know, it’s me and a pen and I sat down and wrote a lot of lines of this song, Nowhere to Go, Nowhere to Be.”

Chesney elaborated on the experience in an interview in the October 2008 Caribbean Travel & Life.

“It was the middle of my 2006 tour, and I was exhausted and in a funky place mentally, between the pressures of the road and the breakup with Renee. I got three days off, so I went down by myself, and one day I got in my Jeep and drove over to a funky bar on the north side of St. John called Island Blues,” Chesney said in the interview.  

“I ordered gumbo and a beer and sat there all afternoon next to Trinidad Charlie, this local cat who sells hot sauce,” Chesney said in the interview. “For the first time in a long time I felt a stillness in my heart and mind. It was a good day. I went home and pulled out the notes I wrote at the bar, watched the sunset, stared at St. Thomas and wrote this song. And that’s where this album was born.”

While numerous entreprenurial friends and aquaintances have proposed grandious marketing plans to take advantage of his portending fame from the role in the expected hit song, Trinidad Charlie is content with his current production levels in his tree-top level kitchen overlooking the farm he has grown in a secluded ghut above Cruz Bay since his arrival on St. John 40 years ago.

Deyalsingh really isn’t concerned about the impact his newfound, albeit unwanted fame on his home-based business bottling hot sauces.

As he sits in a well-worn overstuffed chair in the main cottage of his eco-tourism mini-resort peeling labels and applying them to bottles of his latest batch of West Indian pepper sauce, he reflects on the notoriety which could come from his starring role in what is expected to be a top-selling album and song. Charlie isn’t looking to change much in the hands-on production of his hot sauce.

He prefers to make his sauce while watching a cricket match on pay-per-view and has relied on a patchwork network of friends and St. John retailers to provide all the demand he needs for fairly steady production of his gourmet sauces.

Charlie also can be reached directly by email at trinidadcharlie@yahoo.com for 12-bottle cases of sauce and t-shirts.

Charlie is busy enough with his typical work week, which usually includes a delivery run to his Coral Bay retail customers, including the restaurant where Chesney met him, according to the song.

When asked if he remembered the afternoon with Chesney more than two years ago, Trinidad Charlie said “more and more each day.”

“He did write we were alone at the bar,” Charlie noted. “There were no witnesses.”

“Do you think he’d like a t-shirt?” Charlie asked, referring to Chesney. “Maybe I should send him some hot sauce.”

While Trinidad Charlie is nonplused by his potential newfound fame, the publicity continues.