Took some time to catch up with friend of the proGram, Nikki Armstrong to discuss the new release from Mama SpanX called “State of Groove”. We talked about the influence and mastermind behind the name “Mama SpanX”, our beloved friend Mr. Melvin Sparks (rest well my brother), the way this album came toGether from the initial vision of what the Mama SpanX brand can become to the way it hits hard and heavy, in your face in a live setting. We talk a little about Etta James’ former drummer giving Nikki a track to consider and the piece of the puzzle that it Mr. Lou Donaldson. The important pieces to the success of this album are: Steve Johnson on guitar Julie Sax on alto sax, baritone sax and flute, Steve Sadd on tenor and soprano sax, Harlan Spector on keyboards and B-3, David Abercrombie on 6 string fretless bass, and Ben Beckley music director and drums.
Personally, I think once you listen to this conversation, you’ll want to listen to the entire album a few times and I hope vice versa, since this chat is definitely an extension of years of musical shares and love of similar sounds, Nikki and I can keep the rocket in the pocket as needed, but both of us like to let it out to blast off from time to time.
BIG Congrats to Lorlinda Art who did the original photo and art work for the Mama SpanX CD cover “State of Groove! We are so proud of you Lady! “
I had the pleasure of talking with Ruthie Foster, as she prepares for the March 9th show, “Rise Up & Sing” at the Memorial Union Theater’s Shannon Hall along with the Blues Heritage Orchestra. As we recorded this conversation, we were both experiencing the oddity of 60-70 degrees weather in February, so the complete vibe of our shared time was that of a backyard patio hangout….Ruthie and I spoke about what one can expect from her and this event, her soon to be released album “Joy Come Back” and how the title is within the tale of the personal growth of finding and keeping the real you. Ruthie and I agree that on top of our guitarist list is friend of the proGram, Derek Trucks and she shared how he was quick to agree to work on the title track and how his sound of his soul really took the track to the place it was meant to be..it’s the relationships we make that help get us there. I even got a chance to speak with Ruthie’s five year old daughter, Mia about which game is her favorite on Playstation. I sure know that I’d love to have Ruthie as my neighbor to push togetherness, love and celebration through music, I think the real has found her.
It is always a pleasure to become pals with people you dig. I dig Kimmy for so many reasons. The way she sees so many things is very similar to the way I do. So it was too long since we had a radio conversation and this one, like all the others was as smooth and cool as she is. We cracked open her diary and spoke about all the things she has been working on recently. Lead dancer in a Debbie Allen, yes, THAT Debbie Allen, Christmas production in Los Angeles (this part is so Fame fun and beyond). Kim opened up about some the growth of those incredibly challenging roller-skating moves and body twisting contortions as well as a few other skillz she has added to her vast repertoire. We discussed the second collaboration with Atmosphere on a track called “Won’t Look Back” on their latest release and the process which led to the final product. As we often do, we just talk deeply and intently on songs/sounds and the way of the world we weave through, and how great it is to have things happening, and the way they go down.
Throughout it all, the we drop occasionally back to the influence Mr. George Clinton had on her as well as the mutual respect they shared without outgrowing the experience. This conversation is well worth the time you spend getting into the place the SPACE QUEEN sets aside in her mind, and oh yeah, of course she was doing her side of the chat in her van under an L.A. banana tree.
Kim Manning & George Clinton with PFunk on stage at the Avo Session in Basel, Switzerland, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Keystone/ Georgios Kefalas)
Had the chance to catch up with our friends Janet Schiff and Victor DeLorenzo of Nineteen Thirteen as they prepare to put on two sets this coming Friday, October 28th at Arts & Literature Laboratory. As Halloween approaches, it will be quite the thrill to have the mystery and surprise of cello and percussion to hold your hand through the evening hour. In this conversation, Janet and Victor will tease you into needing to know more about the sound they create that has left audiences on their feet and momentarily weeping with emotion. We talk briefly about the growth of the music and compositions prepared and tinkered with by the duo as they create a sonic banter with the ease of friendly conversation. It’s these real people that make this for us. Together we explore how the newest album, “The Dream”, set to be release on 11/11/2016 and the release just put out on May 13th of this year, “Music For time Travel”, have been both a guide and a direction. As I have offered up an opinion when asked what this music is like, and we have had the pleasure of Janet and Victor’s time on the proGram often…..I can honestly admit that it is like nothing else I have ever soaked in, and it tickles your insides through each ear on its way down to your souls. But of course, who am I to tell you about it? Check out this conversation for a clue, and maybe we will see you down at Arts & Literature Laboratory to share in the mystique.
Check out of conversation here:
It is always a great reminder of why we build bridGes when two friends of music get together to talk about the sounds, the process and the results. Eljuri is one of those people I hold close to my musical heart as we kinda started out at the same time forging different paths for sharing. It was like we never skipped a beat. We had a chance to discuss her latest release, “La Lucha” on Manovill Records when it was still in that fragile stage of people’s ears just getting a chance to hear it. Her connection to the international flavor of her family as well as her beloved New York City keeps her eye and mind on the happenings around her as it pertains to all people, and how she has a voice for those who otherwise may not be heard. Just like the way her and I, and several other music sharers out there feel about her, Sly & Robbie must as well, as they make another guest appearance on this album to help give it a little extra sumthin’ sumthin’that only those magicians of sound can do. While she blazes on the guitar for sure and does climb the ladder of social justice on this album, her connection to you as a listener is clear, concise and connected. I am happy to share our conversation with you, and feel free to join the discussion with others.
Alsarah and I snuck in a brief time to chat about the upcoming show as part of the 2016 Madison World Music Festival. The band goes on at 7:30pm and will energize the Madison scene with their stunning East-African Retro-Pop. We used our time together to paint the scene of the stage before they hit us with the richness of the groove they produce, as well as offer up some thoughts on how this music is a bridge to community forming, acceptance and dance dance dance. Alsarah shares her thoughts on the start to finish flow of the groups soon to be released new album, Manara, on Wonderwheel Recordings. While she is a part of a few different projects over the years, I wanted to find out what were some of the lasting experiences of working with the slew of inspirational and talented individuals like those attached to The Nile Project, which she was a part of recently. I think the answer will not shock you, but remind you of the value of time spent with others for a common good and how when you don’t get much time to be toGether, the importance of using it wisely. Alsarah & the Nubatones could be one of your good memories form this years Madison World Music festival, so if you can, maybe you should.
As a mid-sized arts organization, Intermedia Arts relies on foundations and funders for their general operating supportâ€”foundations and funders who have lost enormous amounts of their assets in our current economic crisis. Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But here’s the thingâ€”crisis does not equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response to this crisis that will determine our future. Friend of the show and fellow mid-westerner, Desdamona and I discuss the impact this organization has had in her life and the inspiration and support they lend to so many exploring artists. While this particular art organization is housed in Minneapolis, the story is one that might just be a shared experience for many who care about a valued resource….for more on that check Dez’ blog. We did take a moment to discuss the scene that makes Desdamona such a cool artist, her workshops and tours and collaboration with Carnage as Ill Chemistry, and what new ideas they are putting down in the studio.
Check out my conversation with Desdamona right here.
On December 3rd at the Barrymore Theater, Sharon Jones and the Dap-kings will bring their high energy rhythm and soulful sounds into Madison. Ohh and Sharon will bring it so we can feel it…..From the rumble and grumble of thick funk jerking you to the dancefloor to the soaring soul guaranteed to make you sigh, one thing is for sure: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are legitimate heavy-hitters. I am thankful that Sharon was able to take a moment while at her moms after working on some new pieces to chat with me about the upcoming show, her appearance with Denzel and some interesting bits about Lou Reed’s BERLIN tour that might cause you to search the internet high and low. Opening the show will be Menahan Street Band, comprised of musicians from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Dave Guy, Homer Steinweiss, Fernando Velez, Bosco Mann), El Michels Affair (Leon Michels, Toby Pazner), Antibalas (Nick Movshon, Aaron Johnson) and The Budos Band (Mike Deller, Daniel Fodder), I have a feeling that on the 4th of December, many around here will just have witnessed the show of the year.
Check out my conversation with Miss Sharon Jones right here.
Who new that there are so many “different” uses for Tupperware? Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her uncatalogued, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm! Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’fashioned Tupperware Parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. She will bring her party to Madison from October 21st – November 2nd at the Promenade Hall, inside the Overture Center. Loaded with the most up-to-date products available for purchase, see for yourself how Ms. Longate became the #1 Tupperware seller in the U.S. & Canada as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products!
check out my chat with Dixie right here.
I had the chance to talk with Maggie Lakis who plays with puppets for a living….I know right…COOL. She spends a lot of her time hanging out in the neighborhood of Ave Q. That neighborhood will take shape on the stages of Overture Hall within the enriching walls of our Overture Center here in Madison from October 21st through October 26th. Maggie and I talk about the way she got this very cool and mind opening gig, something about the relationships between puppets and human (strictly professional) and why this show might just be that “something different” you have been looking for.
Listen to my conversation with Maggie Lakis here.
Maggie Lakis, Trekkie Monster, David Benoit
On Tuesday October 21st, L.A. Theatre Works, a top radio theater company for the last two decades, invades Overture Center for an evening of harrowing audio drama. The original 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds by Orson Wellesâ€™ Mercury Theatre of the Air sent the nation into hysterics over what they thought was an actual alien invasion. L.A. Theatre Works recreates that experience in gripping detail. The Lost World, based on a story by Arthur Conan Doyle, follows the expedition of a group of scientists to a remote part of the Amazon jungle locked in prehistoric times, complete with dinosaurs! I had the opportunity to chat with Susan Loewenberg, the founder and Producing Artistic Director of L.A. Theatre Works about the work involved in making these productions, the work her organization accomplishes to preserve and produce significant works of dramatic literature on audio with public access to all. We also talk about how we, as people can download a weekly nationally syndicated radio show, the Fund for Independence in Journalism and of interest to all, the Center for Public Integrity. Susan is an incredible person in my opinion and I am thankful for people like her keeping our radio histories alive for generations to discuss.
my conversation with Susan here.
Thanks to Ruth, Lucy and Susan for making this interview possible
Our good friend and songstress Sara Wasserman recently took off from her normal (yeah, whatever that is) world and set off for Puru to spend time and learn from a group of special people at Casa de Milagros. Casa de Milagros (Home of Miracles) is a children’s home in the Sacred Valley near historic Machu Picchu, Peru. It was founded by the Chandler Sky Foundation to heal the mind, body and spirit of many of the thousands of orphaned and abandoned children living in poverty on the streets of Cusco, Peru and surrounding towns. Over 3,500 children live on the streets of Cusco many abandoned by families that could not feed them. Malnutrition, infrequent bathing, and inadequate care cause widespread health problems including skin infections, bronchitis, tuberculosis, rickets, and chronic intestinal infections. But the loneliness and fear experienced by these children forced to live on the street alone are the most painful afflictions of all. in this conversation with Sara we learn what a typical day for the children is like and just what inspiration she walked away with from this amazing experience. The Chandler Sky Foundation aims not only to heal the street children, but to educate them so that they may be able to return to their communities equipped with the skills and the spirit to heal the area’s economy. In addition to saving the lives of many needy children, the Foundation helps to conserve one of the world’s most biodiverse rainforests. Through teaching children methods of farming that allow the land to be used over and over again, there will be a decreased need for migration into the precious rainforest reserves that we, as a planet, need for survival. These programs, developed from a progressive global consciousness, place the Casa de Milagros in a category of its own. To help raise awareness and monies for these children, Sara is organizing a benefit in her home town of Mill Vally California with 100% of th efunds heading to Mama Kia….thusfar (and we’ll keep you updated, Sara has confirmations from her father Rob Wasserman , Bob Weir and Jay Lane many other fantastic people will follow in their footsteps so stay tuned.
Listen to Sara tell us more about it all right here.
Lovely Chara & Mama Kia (in the hat)…creator of the orphanage.
From Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber to Secretary (with or without Big Boss) to Moisturizer, check out all the projects friend of the radio program “Moist” Paula Henderson has been up to since she arrived in New York some 15 years or so ago. While we go way back, every time I see her or hear her music It is a constant re-FRESHer course in soundology. From the avant to the rockin’, Paula has her horn and will travel to the next destination on a wave of inspiration and an eye for the inevitable changes life in music dictates. When you listen to this conversation, consider it just that…a chat between two friends with the premise that it’s all about the music in mind-WHATEVER form that music may take.
Check out my conversation with Paula here.
I want to thank Mel & Rich of the band Sirsy for catching up with me. As always, our creative minds take over and in this conversation we talk about everything from how the new album Revolution has been received by live audiences as well as album listeners, we also chat about the inevitable journey to Madison (?) and even the proper treatment for stingray stings. Z A P!!! Making their own revolution.
Check out my conversation with this dynamic duo right here.
Monique Ortiz and I have been going back and forth trying to get a time together to discuss so many things. Finally, it all started to jive and we got a phoner in live on the show (7/14). The newest project A.K.A.C.O.D, is true mysterious wisdom put on top of some low, experimental and otherworldly sounds laced with Dana Colley on Saxophone(S), Larry Dersch on percussion, and Monique plays the fretless bass, the 2-string slide bass and takes care of the vocals that if allowed, takes you to places you only thought about. In this conversation we discuss the path followed leading up to the beginnings of A.K.A.C.O.D. and its development through the past workings/teachings of Mr. Mark Sandman, and other projects Monique has been involved in including Bourbon Princess.
Please join me in enjoying this music & check out my conversation with Monique Ortiz here.
While she surrounds her lyrics most of the time with hip beats and soul enriched moments in the musical now, somehow I still get focused back on the words. Up to the top in rhyme and meaning, however you are looking at it, Desdamona has put herself on the map with her new release The Source. While there are so many exciting features about this album, Desdamona’s ability to tell a true story as seen through her eyes and relate it as an easily formed connection in open minded people, is a blessing. In this live conversation recorded on 07/14/07, we discuss the creation of this innovative album, her upcoming tour with collaborators, Sly & Robbie and we even discuss the possibilities of me doing a video as Elaine from Seinfeld dancing to the tune Infinity which features Ill Chemistry…..no kidding……
Check out our conversation HERE.
Looking around the room for that big sound that appears to be coming from that two piece on stage….look no further, it is them. This super-duo is called Sirsy. Fronted by the charismatic Melanie Krahmer who has a stunning voice capable of a lion’s roar & a sultry good morning whisper, with the lungs of a young swimmer & the grrrr-owl of a sixty something blues singer. She “plays Ian Anderson-esque flute solos and can bang those drums while doing so, all while standing up! Sharing the stage is cowriter, Rich Libutti, a dynamo on BOTH bass & guitar who even plays a snare with his feet (during Melanie’s flute solos) so the drums
donâ€™t stop! WHAT??? I had the pleasure of talking with Melanie about the band, the live show and well having some laughs along the way. Sirsy is a fine addition to the friends of greenarrowradio. You can check them out at the Main Pub in Manchester CT on June 22nd. See you there.
Listen to our talk about Sirsy here.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Ms. Brenna Gethers, the front woman of the Connecticut based funk group the BOMB SQUAD. Some might recognize her name from being a finalist on American Idol a few years ago, but the future looks to be fortified with some straightforward attitude and a little down home happy funk that is sure to please all those true music seekers. Those seekers need to look no further than on June the 9th at the Danbury Music Festival in Danbury CT, and again on June 22nd at the Skybox in Fairfield. You know that I’ll be at one of these events and I will be looking for you. To tempt your open minds and thirsty earholes even further, I will be getting some new material to PREMIERE on the show in the very near future. So stay tuned in!!
Check out Brenna taking a moment to talk with me here.
When Little Steven began signing bands to his new label, Wicked Cool Records, one of the bands at the top of the list was Boston-based purveyors of the garage rock movement, the Charms. On February 14, the Charms make their Wicked Cool debut with Strange Magic, their fourth release. The Charms’ sound garnered them attention from the very beginning when lead singer/songwriter Ellie Vee and guitarist Joe Wizda formed the band in 2002. Their first demo immediately caught the ear of Bill Kelly (Teenage Wasteland) and Gene Simmons, who was so impressed by what he heard that he called Ellie Vee personally to offer his feedback. The demo also landed in the hands of their manager Steev Riccardo who pushed the band to record their first CD Charmed I’m Sure. The disc was released in January 2003 on Red Car Records, a label stared by Riccardo, Vee and Wizda. Reaction to the CD was immediate with heavy airplay on college radio and specialty garage rock radio shows, and media coverage in local publications. Before long the Charms became one of the most popular bands in Boston. This band is even more red hot in a live setting, but the studio work gives you a great feel for this band living inside the world of high powered rock-n-roll.
Check out Ellie Vee & MisterG chatting here.
Desi was hanging out in studio A once again….We discussed her recent trip to L.A. at NAMM, a timetable on heading into the studio and as usual, she rocked the station to its knees. Check out the link to her in studio session with me and give the video from the WIMBASH a look-see as well. You will thank me. It is good to know rock and roll is safe.
Listen to our in STUDIO A time here.
Watch the VIDEO here.
Desi And Joe Satriani NAMM 2007