Reno Ciantar Dog’s best friend

Dogs, they dance with joy when we come home, put their heads on our knees and stare longingly into our eyes. Studies show that people with pets live a bit longer and have better blood pressure than benighted non-owners. Well if that’s true I might just live to be a grumpy old man considering my wife’s five dogs, two cats and two horses.

Of all the annual charity events that I play for, Petapalooza is on the top of my favourites. A recluse like me would rather deal with animals than humans any day. Reno Ciantar, Canadian born musician, DJ, songwriter and animal lover is the chief organizer of this annual local music festival that has raised some $40,000 for the Humane Society’s animal shelter.

He started strumming a guitar at age 12 and played with friends singing Crosby Stills and Nash, Eagles and Neil Young style music. Later he toured with Rush and Led Zeppelin cover bands and eventually landed on the shores of Grand Cayman in 1997. In 2001 SuckerBox was born and quickly built up a huge fan base on island and abroad.  Reno is the brains behind SuckerBox, whose sound can be best described as…. come to think of it I don’t know how to describe it. I guess you can call it pop-punk-rock-alternative. The reason for my reluctance to isolate the SuckerBox sound is because they not only play good music but they also write much of their own material and that combination usually develops into an original style or category unlike the average cover band.

Reno has penned some 50 tunes and many of those will be highlighted on the Suckerbox 10th anniversary album due to be released sometime in August. He writes about good and bad issues, partying, environmental issues and of course girls. I have a feeling that future “girl songs” will be written in a more cautious tone since he officially became the husband of Agata Kalicki on 4 April this year.

Petapalooza 2011 is scheduled for 18 June in Grand Harbour at the Brick House. I’m sure, as always animal lovers and their pets will be coming out in droves. It’s an event not to miss – great local music, dancing and of course lots of drooling and wagging.


Photo Stephen Clarke