Geoff Achison & the Souldiggers

It is always nice to make a live record on your favorite stage. And that is just what Geoff Achison did when he recorded 9 tracks at St. Andrews Hotel in Victoria Australia back in January of 2005. Now making his home in Atlanta via the beautiful land down under, Geoff and the Souldiggers are following in the tracks of their blues heroes by being on many a stage, be it at a club, in a festival or a local pub….any chance to work their craft. A guest guitarist at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peach Ranch for ten years, Geoff is an incredible song-man with a pedal-less style that is all in his hands. The organic nature of his music shines bright like the reflection of the sun off of Ayers rock and there is no moment more true to that then when you here it live. Souldiggin‘ is a perfect example of why people enjoy seeing the blues in a live setting. It’s music that you feel in your gut and like to see others doing the same. There is a pace to this album, it flows with speed at times but rolls with soul constantly. You can hear that there is something being shared amongst the crowd, and this album invites you to wipe off your feet and have a seat, you are at home now.
Jupiter 2 Records & Brilliant Productions 2007

New Orleans Brass..Putumayo

For almost 200 years, parades have been a daily feature in New Orleans-celebrating holidays, civic events & even funerals. The most popular parades have a marching brass band in them. Brass bands in New Orleans have created a musical culture unlike any other, with a marching & dancing rhythm that has flavored all the music from this region, including finger-licking good tastes of jazz, funk & R&B. On this album: Putumayo presents: New Orleans Brass, many of the artists began playing in brass bands in the 70’s and 80’s while in their teens. Out of that renaissance also came the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, one of the city’s most celebrated musical ambassadors. On this album the DDBB works in an old time favorite “It’s All Over Now” with Dr. John, a voice synonymous with the N’Orleans thang. TroyTrombone ShortyAndrews will have you out in the stars dreaming with “Dreamboat” and Kermit Ruffins will be sure to keep the stompin’ stompin’ with a classic: “Treme Second Line (Blow Da Whistle)”. If you haven’t been marching to the beat of your own drummer, maybe that is just because you were waiting for a little more groove with some trombones and trumpets…all of which is on this release, perfect for open minds, thirsty ear-holes and march-ready feet.

Putumayo 2007

Supermayer: Save The World

Michael Mayer and Superpitcher have formed a dynamic duo called Supermayer to create the album for thirsty ear-holes, Save The World, which certainly is the most sonically diverse album to have ever come from the the Kompact label. Save The World put our two superheroes along the edges of the world of techno-tastic — a trumpet, saxophone, acoustic guitar, melodica, flute, a vast array of percussive instruments and even a gong are just a handful of sound forging gadgets Supermayer uses to defeat those electronic villians who refuse to make it and shake it. Always willing to take a giant leap into the pool of risks, the fearless duo sonically experiment with some indiepop & laidback, lounge-almost jams. HAVE NO FEAR, there are enough pounding dance beats, stratospheric synth washes and electrified robot voices in their arsenal of weapons to slay even the most fierce opponents of rhythm and beats. Look up in the sky, it’s SUPERMAYER, and they are not afraid to take you on the dance floor and ward off the evil-doers of commercial media.

More fun than a glowing pile of Kryptonite

Coming Soon for your EARS…

A.K.A.C.O.D. has created a darkly psychedelic sound that is sensual, cinematic, and otherworldly. They haven’t just said that’s what they will do, THEY WENT OUT AND DID IT! The band features: Bourbon Princess vocalist/bassist Monique Ortiz, Morphine/ Twinemen saxophonist Dana Colley and Binary System/Concussion Ensemble drummer Larry Dersch. The album, which will be officially out in early 2008 is like a walk down city streets in the early early morning hours, the sounds are so damn real and accentuated by the minds still silence that at times the music resonates in places where I have never heard before. The tracks are delightfully low rock in nature with the empty slate factor that allows the listener to attach their own images…far better than any television could produce..EVER. Track one, Happiness is the welcome mat to an adventure at a brand new amusement park, one with dim lights and constant mystery. I believe I have found myself a new favorite song also, Bad Weather, the third track plain and simple does it for me. The permission was granted to do a re-make or in this case, remake the Fleetwood Mac tune from 1970, Hypnotized……if you already dig that tune…just wait until you get a load of this one. Truly Hypnotized!
If you are wondering what the others are looking for, head over to find it first and lead them there.

thanks to Monique for the early copy of the cd.

Check out my prior conversation with Monique Ortiz here.

Amir ElSaffar: Two Rivers

The world is my musical oyster for sure. And here is a tasty treat out of Iraq. Two Rivers by Amir ElSaffar is in itself a force created by nature. There is moments of recollection of a region rich in fertile history, and times of sadness and mourning over bloodshed and streams of war pouring into the Tigris and Euphrates after Baghdad ransacked in 1258, ending its Golden Age. This album will perhaps allow you to feel the pain and joys within the Iraqi heart. Armed with a mighty trumpet and a maqam voice, Amir ElSaffar captures moments like a camera and brings them to life, adds a story to attach to that life and with his army of musicians on traditional and non-traditional instrumentation, this release travels over borders into the openness and takes separateness and breathes a sense of unity into its lungs. WE could ALL use a little more unity in our lives??!!

Pi Recordings 2007


VOODOO LOVE INNA CHAMPETA LAND is the new release from this riotous Afro-Colombian street sound of Colombia’s Caribbean coast – a powder-keg of rhythms from local slave descendants brewed together with Congolese soukous, Ghanaian highlife, and Nigerian Afro-beat. The Afro-Colombians created their own versions of Congolese soukous, highlife and other modern African rhythms, fusing them with the folklore of the cumbia, bullerengue, chalupa and other Caribbean styles. This fusion, completely unique in its genre, was called Champeta criolla, a movement inspired by popular African music and readapted in Afro-Colombia. This musical project is a dream come true. After many years of hard work, it presents the greatest talents of Afro-Colombian music from the Caribbean coast, alongside their African brothers. This release honours the greatest guitarists of Africa (the Congo in particular), including Diblo Dibala, Caien Madoka, Dally Kimoko and Rigo Star. The famous ‘animateurs’ (popular singers to the soukous rhythm) were also involved. Hadya Koyaute, a member of the group African Divas, took part as a guest from Guinea, and Cameroonian guest drummer Guy Bilong is supremely talented, with a repertoire that spans mandinga to soukous, as well as the makossa of his native land. This production is a journey through the rhythms of Afro-Colombia and Africa, creating a new fusion, building bridges between two traditions, between mother and offspring. From cumbia to soukous, chalupa to Afro-beat, the lumbalú (funerary song) of Palenque to the Sowetan rhythm or South African mbaqanga, the dialogue between drums, guitars and voices could go on for ever. The singers of the Colombiafrica Orchestra — Justo Valdez, Viviano Torres and Luís Towers— have had long careers, creating key pieces in the history of Afro-American music. Throughout their lives they have fought for this new musical genre, Champeta, which is part of the heritage of Africa in Colombia. They are the founders of this rhythm, which we hope one day will spread throughout the world.

Come and enjoy these rhythms for yourself.


Who Knew Charlie Shoe?

This is the title of the new release by guitarist Richard Leo Johnson and percussionist Gregg Bendian (known as the leader of The Mahavishnu Project and Interzone. Off the mind bending CUNEIFORM RECORDS label, these artists work with “junk” percussion, cheap guitars purchased off eBay, field recordings and simple tape effects to make a down home, psychedelic good time listen. Not only are the instruments odd and varied, but the genres are explored from jazz, blues, folk and a dab of classical at times are compellingly maneuvered within and around one another. You can here so many of Johnson’s influences in this release, from Ralph Towner, Burt Ives, Robert Fripp, Delta and Piedmont blues, American and Japanese folk and minimalism all get a chance to shine through the notes. This album is filled with eccentric tunings, awesome sound manipulations and the great presence of the guitar have you lifted out of your shoes and flexing your ears to get a complete listen, it is one to listen to over and over. This album could seriously have you pushing your favorite records aside and bring emotional connections to Jimi Hendrix and John McLaughlin back with a simple push on the play button.

A definite Must Have…IMHO

Strings of Consciousness-Our Moon Is Full

In September of 2007 Central Control International will be unveiling Strings of Consciousness onto the wider-world. The first breath for this being started as a small group of musicians from Marseilles, France, the ensemble expanded by recruiting like-minded musicians from across the Globe. Their unique sound has been likened to latter-day Talk Talk, Angelo Badalamenti, Do Make Say Think, Tortoise and Arab Strap ñ often in the same sentence. Our Moon Is Full features vocal collaborations from J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus), Scott McCloud (Girls Against Boys), Eugene Robinson (Oxbow), Lisa Smith-Klossner, Pete Simonelli (Enablers), Black Sifichi and BA. There are minutes during this album where I consumed more than I was ready for and had to start over, it made for an interesting listen, like when your teacher was taken with a cold and lead class with a whisper. You were compelled to listen MORE. This is an album to let yourself swim inside of, go towards the deep end and float away.

Strings of Consciousness-Our Moon is Full

Secretary – Secret Life of Secretary

This is the solo project by Moist Paula Henderson, frontwoman and baritone sax player from New York’s all-instrumental trio Moisturizer. On the album, she plays all the instruments…she is the sound. Secret Life Of Secretary is improvisation, vocal layering, Garage Band loop manipulation, and total avant-electro. It is easy to relate to if you have a pulse that beats to a different drummer, or in this case a Baritone Sax. This album not only takes sounds and makes them fit into empty spots on a puzzle left behind when others could finds the pieces, but it provides the listeners with a collision of olfactory stimulations and a smash of unseen colors that I believe she created alone in her room with a “typing” effect that is true to herself. On this album, I feel that Paula has explored herself and found that not only can she play a saxophone that can knock your socks off and leave marks that you brag about to your friends, but also she is an exceptional writer that keeps perspective in her life. I had the chance to meet Paula when Burnt Sugar was in my neighborhood and we got to hang out a bit, and let me tell you this….the person is as keen as the sound is remarkable. Her aura swept me off my feet and her playing keeps me dancing with open thoughts about where music, THIS music, can take me.

You’d do yourself right by getting a copy of this album. It is available NOW via mail order and at cdbaby, itunes and all the regular outlets of your choosing.