Bent Knee is a band without frontiers. Its borderless sound combines myriad influences from across the rock, pop, minimalist, and avant-garde spectrums into a seamless, thrilling whole. Its latest album, “Land Animal” the groups first for InsideOutMusic/Sony, takes its sound to a new level. It offers a suite of songs full of addictive hooks, lush melodies and enthralling twists and turns that capture the reality of life in the 21st Century—a reality of people and nations in the midst of tumultuous change. It also communicates a ray of hope and desire for listeners to embrace the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles. The band has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Its last two albums, 2016’s “Say So” and 2014’s “Shiny Eyed Babies”, were hailed as significant art-rock achievements. The group has performed hundreds of shows across the world to date. With “Land Animal”, Bent Knee has elevated its storytelling ambitions to create narratives that reflect and refract the currents we’re exposed to in the news every day. But wait…there’s more….
I had the chance to reconnect with members of Bent Knee in support of their upcoming event in Madison at Art In. Spent some time aGain with bassist, Jessica Kion and first timer on the show, violinist, Chris Baum. They will be heading here on The Paper Earth tour, which we find out, has been anything but a wild ride. We spoke about the differences/similarities in the process developing the “Land Animal” and this new work which Madison will get a taste of first hand. I am always thrilled to share tales of learnings about ourselves when we stretch into new circles, and Bent Knee latest work performed with the Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble, will prompt you to go check out the YouTube video and leave you wanting to check it all out in different shapes and forms.
Image by: Chris Anderson
Igor Yuzov was born in Germany, raised in Ukraine and studied in Russia. He grew up in the former Soviet Union, where folk music was the norm and rock’n’roll was illegal. A rebellious streak, however, led him to seek out the forbidden music. As soon as it became possible, Igor left Russia for America with his “Folk’n’Roll” band Limpopo and was personally greeted by Ronald Reagan. In 1993, Limpopo won Star Search and their popularity began to blossom. Igor dreamed that Elvis Presley came to him and told him to start playing rock’n’roll. Igor and his Russian friends became Red Elvises and gave street performances on Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade. As their crowds grew larger, the City of Santa Monica ordered them to discontinue their street performances. Evolving over the years, Igor’s music has been labeled “Siberian Surf Rock” which contains humorous lyrics and grooves that forces his audience to dance. Over the past 20 years, Red Elvises have constantly toured all over the world with occasional breaks to record new music and to participate in film and television projects. No matter where they perform, Igor & Red Elvises always bring the party with them.
I had the opportunity to chat with Igor ahead of the July 11th show in Madison at High Noon Saloon. We give new comers to the scene an idea of what to expect from the a Red Elvises‘ show and who will be on stage rockin’ you. Igor and I talk about the party that naturally ensues with their style of music and if you ask me, Madison sounds like the perfect place to get a party started. Igor and I compare the shared international discussions and feelings both World Cup soccer and a musical bridge provide those who are paying attention. I think you will also find it interesting to hear what artists Igor would share with the listeners if given a portion of the show to proGram.
Photo credit: Emily Butler Photgraphy
Edgar Winter is a true music legend and pioneer. He has been celebrated across the globe since his 1970 solo debut, Entrance. Even now, with over twenty albums, top hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride,” and numerous collaborative efforts to his credit, Edgar Winter has not been satisfied to ride the wave of popular music stardom. His music is always evolving and he is a master at stretching his skill and imagination to produce amazing results. You can get a sense of that continual growth as you go through and listen in to his complete discography. The evolution is real and ever-shaping. He continues to thrill audiences with his live performances, always remaining on the cutting edge of music and style. Mr. Winter is now, just as before, at the very top of his game, and his future looks even brighter than his past.
I had the complete honor of talking with Mr. Edgar Winter as he prepares to rock and roll with the crowd in Milwaukee on July 1st at the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest. We start off putting who and what to expect if you happen to be on your maiden voyage into the music and scene of The Edgar Winter Band. There are always new fans to be had. It is a thrill to listen in on how Edgar has gone about and goes about listening to, feeling and sharing all types of instruments and music. The evolution is real and ever-shaping. We get into how the respect of all things musical happened to him and how much of an influence his brother Johnny truly was on his being. We find out what music Mr. Winter would share with you, the listeners if give as much time on the proGram as he wanted, really. And towards the very end of the conversation, we get an idea of a new project in the pipeline that pays homage to Mr. Johnny Winter, is brother, mentor and inspiration and how it went from being a for profit idea that was not to get off the ground into a “do it your way” respectful offering that will get to our ears in the soon to be.
Photo By: PAUL ZOLLO
When you think of New Orleans, the city’s foremost flambeaux-lit traditions of Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, voodoo, Po’ boys, beads, gumbo, and second line undoubtedly come to mind. You can also count Big Sam’s Funky Nation amongst those NOLA treasures. Known for a boisterous blend of funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, nothing short of seismic live “experiences,” and a whole lot of Southern charm, Big Sam’s Funky Nation might very well be The Big Easy’s best kept secret. Big Sam, the frontman, personally draws on over two decades in the game, spanning everything from 300 shows per year during his days in Dirty Dozen Brass Band and gigs backing up Widespread Panic and Dave Matthews Band to recording and touring with Mr. Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello. Additionally, he was sought out for a recurring role on the critically acclaimed HBO series Treme.
I had the pleasure of catching up quick with Big Sam in advance of the Funky Nation heading to Madison on June 28th to play the Ruby Lounge. We spoke about what kinda party will be happening when we all get together to celebrate. We dive into the new album, “Songs In The Key Of Funk Vol. 1”, and how not only is it a New Orleans sound, but it heads knee deep into a funk that is beyond one area of the world. Big Sam’s Funky Nation bring their sound to all sizes and shapes of people including the kids….as I recall a great album FUNKY KIDZ….where they get down to the Hokey Pokey. That’s what it’s all about.
Photo Credit: Andy Goetz
The story goes that the Big Wu, bound for rock stardom, sold their souls for a case of Old Style beer one thirsty night long ago. The legend and the band live on. Still rocking their powerful, moving, and energizing original music for the fans. A jam band with a unique style and presence, the Wu combine strong, free flowing sonic improvisations and vocal harmonies, with finely crafted songs for all tastes. Oh, and their fans are famously friendly.
I had the chance to catch up with Padre of The Big Wu to talk about the upcoming event on June 6th at the Majestic Theater with opening act, The Grasshoppers. Padre and I talk about the potential of what is and what could be when it comes to the moments leading up to a show, such as the one on the 16th. We get into the new music that will soon be in my hands to share with all you listeners, the upcoming Big Wu Family Reunion, which is August 17 and 18th and this year it is back to being a home game. Finally, we somehow get to talking about how Robert Randolph is the butter on Prince‘s bread…err…something like that. Check it out out for yourself.
Photo Credit: Wandering Skunk Photography
MOKOOMBA brings audiences an electrifying blend of Afro-fusion and tantalizing traditional Tonga rhythms. Their mix of Zimbabwean rhythms, Afro-beat and Afro-rock generated exuberant scenes in over 75 concerts in 2017: from New Orleans Jazz Festival to the Sziget Festival. This force of global sound was also featured in/on many popular music media outlets such as Songlines Magazine, Arte TV, Afropop, just to name a few.
The name MOKOOMBA stems from the deep respect that the Tonga people have for the Zambezi River and for the vibrant life that it brings to their music and culture. This exciting Tonga group from Zimbabwe certainly has a unique sound that is set to take the world music scene by storm! Their music is rooted in the local traditions and life in their hometown of Victoria Falls, a town on the Zambezi River named after the spectacular waterfall. MOKOOMBA has brought a unique flavor to a vibrant global music scene that was dominated by sungura, reggae and dancehall, urban and afro-jazz bands at that time of their conception.
I had the wonderful pleasure of talking with bassist of Mokoomba, Abundance Mutori about the upcoming events we in Madison are fortunate to get a chance to be a part of. On June 1st, they will be at North Street Cabaret and then again on June 3rd at the Central Park Sessions. Abundance and I painted a quick image of what newcomers to the sound and scene could expect to see and hear at either event. We discuss the energy and tradition of the group as well as how the group ended up toGether doing what they love. Can’t wait to share in the vibe of Mokoomba as they head back to a place that already loves them….Madison, Wisconsin.
Here Come the Mummies is an eight-piece funk-rock band of 5000 year-old Egyptian Mummies with a one-track mind. Their “Terrifying Funk from Beyond the Grave” is sure to get you into them (and possibly vice versa). Since their discovery, Here Come The Mummies has been direct support for P-Funk, Al Green, Mavis Staples, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Cheap Trick; rocked Super Bowl Village; become a regular on The Bob and Tom Show; played massive festivals like Summer Camp, Common Ground, Voodoo Fest, Musikfest, Suwannee Hulaween, and Riverbend; and sold tickets by the thousands across large swaths of North America.
I had the chance to chat with Mummy Cass about the upcoming show in Madison on May 24th at the Majestic Theater and what the people in attendance can expect if they are first timers to the HCTM’s scene. Mummy Cass gives the role call of the entire cast of characters who will sweat and funk with you on the 24th (or whenever you happen to catch their live show). We get into how they were able to discover the musical gods that reside on Earth from visitors for another location. But for me, the best part of the conversation was talking about the possibility of some brand new music, and how these Mummies are going about nailing down the tracks…you see it’s going to be a live recording and who knows how and when the green light will be on.
Midnight and Cass Funkin’ Out Front
The Rabbit and the Fallen Sycamore, the third album in a trilogy by singer/songwriter Kristo Rodzevski and his group of jazz progressives, will be released by Much Prefer Records on May 25, 2018. Mixed by celebrated producer Bill Laswell, “The Rabbit…” represents the fulfillment of a musically adventurous idea: Assemble seven world-class improvisers in a studio, establish an environment for pure music-making, and capture all on tape. By partnering with core collaborators Mary Halvorson (guitar), Tomas Fujiwara (drums) and Michael Blanco (bass), then inviting contributions from Kris Davis (piano), Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Brian Drye (trombone), Kristo fermented an intoxicating brew. The bubbling inventions are spontaneous performances without overdubs. Thematically, the album continues themes established in Kristo’s first two releases of this trilogy, Batania (2015) and Bitter Almonds (2017). While those trilogy installments examined the deep feelings for his Macedonian grandmother and mother, “The Rabbit…” explores a transition, the fading significance of his past to his life in the USA.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Kristo to discuss the creation of the final act in this sonic trilogy and how the inner workings of this team of experimenters and improvisers created another album that speaks to the feelings and emotions unlike many other releases. We talk about how rich and full an album of few takes and all different can feel. We get into how tracks were selected as the one to use, how Mr. Laswell took to listening to the original stories and ideas behind the tracks and added a little tweak here or there to accentuate the tales. There’s an eye opening chance to learn a little about one of the tracks and how it makes me feel and maybe we learn a little about the why I feel that way too. The art of the album cover, the physical piece of art that accompanies the music was also created in a very similar fashion as the music….. one take from open-minded communicators makes for brilliant art, all around.
Mars Williams is an open-minded and highly versatile musician, composer and educator who commutes easily between free jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock. He has played and recorded with so many amazing artists across the entire scope of the music landscape, including: The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Bill Laswell, Ministry, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Kiki Dee, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, Wayne Kramer, John Scofield, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Swollen Monkeys, Mike Clark, Jerry Garcia, Naked Raygun, Friendly Fires, The Untouchables, Blow Monkeys….see…many different music language spoken. The great John Zorn credits Mars as “one of the true saxophone players–someone who takes pleasure in the sheer act of blowing the horn. This tremendous enthusiasm is an essential part of his sound, and it comes through each note every time he plays. Whatever the situation, Mars plays exciting music. In many ways he has succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone player.”
I had a chance to catch up with mars once again, we had spoken when I was on air on WHUS out of the University of Connecticut a lifetime ago. This time is was to talk about the upcoming event at Arts & Literature Laboratory, with a Mars Williams Duo, with a special guest drummer. We spoke deeply about his new release and a European tour to support the Album “Painted Pillars” with Tollef Østvang. Mars was recently nominated for a very special award and check out our chat to find out who his competition is. Can you say, teacher Vs. student? Of course, I couldn’t let Mars go with talking about one of his projects, Liquid Soul and we started the conversation about perhaps an upcoming Midwest tour? Who knows??
Mars Williams by French Quarter Photography
Trio Mokili play roots and jazz-inflected renditions of music from across the African continent: Ethiojazz, Nigerian Afrobeat, Zimbabwean mbira music, Ghanaian Palm Wine, Malian desert blues, and more. Guitarist Nathaniel Braddock is considered a North American authority on African guitar styles, leading the internationally-touring Occidental Brothers Dance Band Int’l and collaborating extensively with musicians from Mali, Ghana, Zambia, and Congo. He is joined on drums by OBDBI bandmate Makaya McCraven and upright bassist Junius Paul. The group is working on their debut album, a mix of live and studio recording capturing the energy of their live improvisations and the sounds of the African golden age.
I had a chance to catch up with Nathaniel Braddock of Trio Mokili as they make their way back to Madison to perform at Arts and Literature Laboratory on April 27th. Nathaniel and I get into what folks in attendance can expect from an evening with this group as far as being a part of that shared moment. We talk about the process of creating a new album when the people collaborating are far apart and how the debut album is coming along. We also learn what Nathaniel would treat the listeners to is give the chance to take over proGramming greenarrowradio for a bit.
Black Violin is an amazing treat. Part classical music (both Kev and Wil are classically-trained string instrumentalists), part hip hop and completely cool, there’s Kev Marcus on the violin and Wil B. on the viola. The open-mindedness of combining many beats and styles gives them a distinct style that have captured the ears of all listeners of art. The duo current performs with DJ SPS and drummer Nat Stokes to help bring this uniqueness to the masses. Their popularity has risen with a performance accompanying Alicia Keys at the 2004 Billboard Awards, and by performing on the same bill with some of the industry’s biggest artists, such as Wu-Tang Clan, and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. The two men are also avid producers and writers, having worked with people like Kanye West, Tom Petty, and the members of Aerosmith. Receiving a great honor, they were invited to play at the Kids Inaugural Concert, one of the inaugural balls for United States President Barack Obama, in 2013. The concert was a special tribute to military families and was attended by First Lady Michelle Obama, her daughters Malia and Sasha, and Second Lady Jill Biden.
I had an opportunity for a brief conversation with Wil B on his day off (thank you Wil) to discuss what the folks in Madison are geared up for when Black Violin heads to the Overture Center on May 3rd. We get into what opportunity means not only for them, but how to try and open up the world to the youth by believing in themselves. We discuss the path to and the doors that opened for both Wil and Kev to be where they are today.
Our friends over at Ropeadope are thrilled to announce release of The John L. Nelson Project, “Don’t Play With Love”. The long anticipated album was in conversations between Mr. Nelson and his eldest daughter, Sharon, many years ago. In a time before Prince Rogers Nelson changed the world of music. Shelved as John L. Nelson frequently collaborated with Prince, the project re-appeared in serendipitous fashion with the sheet music falling out of a cabinet as Sharon Nelson was organizing (yes, just like the movie). Sharon brought the great Louis Hayes (her & Prince’s cousin) to Paisley Park with his seasoned band – including Richard Germanson, Dezron Douglas, Vincent Herring, and Jeremy Pelt. And these cats laid down seven tracks live. The incredible history paints the picture, and these players and those melodies let the music jump right off the canvas. “Don’t Play With Love” is a journey from the past to the present conjuring up the sense of an earlier time yet the feeling of the human emotion that rings true for eternity.
I had the distinct pleasure of discussing this new release with Ms. Sharon Nelson. We start off learning about the man, the father and the musician, John L. Nelson was. Kind, caring and hardworking went into all that he did. We dove into the journey that was life and how her dad’s would find time to write and create the songs that she and Prince would go to bed to each night. Because of their collaborations at times, you can hear the influence of Mr. Nelson in some of Prince’s music. As Sharon says a few times, “The music ran in our DNA”. We talk about how this Be-Bop sound is both fresh and familiar and how the incredibly talented group of musicians worked and shared this emotional journey with Sharon leading the production…..well, she does talk about the presence of her father and brother within Paisley Park overseeing the entire project. This to me is another wonderful peek into jazz music, into the Nelson family, and how a guy so many of us felt we knew, observed and allowed himself to be influenced. This album is important in so many ways, as a teaching tool, as a history book and as a look towards the future of modern music.
I am humbled and honored.
You can dive in and listen or take it home here
The John L. Nelson Project – Don’t Play With Love
For over 50 years, South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo has warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with their uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming onstage banter. With a deep respect for both their cultural and personal history, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is ever-evolving with an eye toward their long musical legacy. Over the years, the original members have welcomed a younger generation in their mission, passing along the tradition of storytelling and spreading their message of peace, love, and harmony to millions of people. The newer members, in turn, have infused the group with their youthful energy and the promise of a bright future. Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder Joseph Shabalala looks to these young men to carry on his dream to “keep South Africa alive in people’s hearts” for years to come.
I had the honor of talking with Albert Mazibuko, who has been with the group since the early seventies, as Ladysmith Black Mambazo makes their way to Madison on February 24, at the Overture Center for the Arts. Albert and I discuss the two latest Grammy nominated albums, “Songs of Peace and Love for Kids & Parents Around the World” and “Shaka Zulu Revisited” and how handing off the group’s mission to someone other than Joseph Shabalala became the new way, without forgetting the way it has been. and what a young kid could expect from their first time being a part of a show. We walked down the path of creating an album for children and something real interesting, was the conversation about how new members are invited to try to become a part of this worldwide cultural legacy. Fascinating.
Falu is internationally recognized for her rare ability to seamlessly blend a signature modern inventive style with a formidable Indian classically-shaped vocal talent. She was trained rigorously in the Jaipur musical tradition and in the Benares style of Thumrie. She later continued studying under the late sarangi/vocal master Ustad Sultan Khan, and later with the legendary Smt. Kishori Amonkar (Jaipur style). Originally from Bombay, Falu moved to the States in 2000 and was appointed as a visiting lecturer at Tufts University. Falu’s subsequent career in the States had led to a series of brilliant and high profile collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Wyclef Jean, Philip Glass, Ricky Martin, Blues Traveler and A. R. Rahman amongst, to name just a few. She has even performed for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House. I have always enjoyed the artist, Falu but what I have learned over time is that it is also the person she is that adds to the art. Her latest project, “Falu’s Bazaar” takes families on a musical journey through South Asia, while creating the wide open opportunity to learn about the culture, everyday life and how to be a a cultivator of ones roots.
I had the pleasure of talking with Falu about the project. We took a walk through the bazaar together and discovered how the flow of the album from top down to lullaby were presented as ideas, and how the questions of a child can really lead you any/everywhere. In a first, Falu’s son Nishaad took to the conversation. He unveils what his favorite song on the album is, how grandma did with her song and there’s actually an unplugged version of the album’s opening track, as performed by Nishaad. Radio gold. Please enjoy our conversation.
DOPE SAGITTARIUS is the epic tale of an inter-dimensional, time-traveling band hell-bent on saving the multiverse from mediocre music. Inspired by the likes of Funkadelic, OutKast, The Qemists & The Gorillaz, DOPE SAGITTARIUS embodies an undeniably creative blend of music, animation, technology, wit, humor & history. The man behind the band is Luqman Brown and I had a chance to catch back up with him about the new release, “Sacred Places” on Buddhabug Records. We get into how the album worked its way into a final piece, dissect a few of the tracks and make sure to give props and shout outs to the many (listed below) who helped piece it all toGether.
The Band is as follow:
Luqman Aka Whistler: Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Ramsy Jones: Drums/Vocals
Ernest D’Amso: Bass/Vocals
Asim Barns: Lead Guitar
Micah Gaugh: Keys/Sax/Vocals
Roy Radics chanting on “Scared Place”
Entrifed the God of Sound plays keys and sings On “Brunchin With Bitches”
Cory Glover Sings on “Define Love” along with Marc Cary on keys and Ronny Drayton on lead guitar.
Mazz Muse on “Black Empress” along with Mike Ladd MCing
Shelly Nicole sings on “Hate Us” Along with Julie Brown.
Horns section is V Jeff on “Hate Us”
Produced By Luqman Brown and Brian Gosher
After three years of captivating audiences with their unique blend of soul, jazz, and undertones of hip-hop, Minneapolis-based Nooky Jones have finally released their debut self-titled album back on July 28, 2017 via Young And Foolish Records. A truly cohesive collection of love stories and music that takes listeners to beautiful places alongside deeply provocative characters, the album is a much needed artistic expression of self for vocalist/frontman Cameron Kinghorn. Produced over the course of fifteen months at RiverRock Studios and The Hideaway in Northeast Minneapolis, the band’s debut album relies on each musician’s unique style as a critical part of the overall sound. Atop airtight yet comfortably loose drum and bass grooves often reminiscent of 90s R&B and Hip-Hop, layers of harmonically complex piano, organ, and Fender Rhodes create a lushness associated with jazz that rarely integrates into neo-soul-pop music so tastefully.
I had the opportunity to chat with Cameron about what a Madison crowd can look forward to expecting from the upcoming show on Friday, January 26th at the High Noon Saloon. We dove into the flow of the debut release and how it moves like the night of a shared first meeting moment and how the evolution of the album came to surface and reward listeners and music sharers alike. Take a listen to the above conversation to find out which two bands Nooky Jones will be playing with shortly after leaving the Madison area, (Oh Purple comes to mind) as well as what would Cam and the band choose to spin for you, if they had control of the board of greenarrowradio if I stepped out for a bit and left them in charge.
For many years, G Love and Special Sauce have been bringing their unique blend of blues infused with hip Hop splattered with Rock-n-Roll and leveled off with some deep grooves into open minds and thirsty ear-holes, as a matter of fact it’s now been 25 years. Their self-titled debut, featuring the hit “Cold Beverage,” wound up going gold and since then the band became known for their well crafted live shows and have made it all happen around the world. Over many of those years, G and I have gotten toGether to promote his shows, talk about new music and heroes of ours. You can flip on back through this website to find a couple of those chats of yesteryear. This year, G is back with Special Sauce to open up their 25th Anniversary tour at the Majestic Theater.
We take some time to talk about the upcoming event in Madison and the special occasion of this particular tour, and G gives a newbie a nice perspective of what kinds of sound melding can be expected if it’s your first time getting some Special Sauce over yourself. We talk about how even when time flies on by, the essence of who you are as a person does not necessarily change and the music one creates, while there becomes more of a catalog, the feeling of it is still fresh. Speaking of fresh, we discuss what prompted the first G Love Christmas album and his yearly gig(s) in Hawaii….and you heard it at the end, he invites me to roadie for that leg of the tour. get inside the essence of G Love by checking out the catch up session above.
Ed Palermo may have gained an international following with his ingenious orchestral arrangements of Frank Zappa tunes, but he’s hardly a one-trick pony. Earlier in the year, the saxophonist released an uproarious double album “The Great Un-American Songbook Volumes 1 & 2”, a project celebrating an expansive roster of songs by successive waves of British invaders, from the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck to King Crimson, Traffic, and Jethro Tull. With his new big band project, released on Cuneiform Records on October 6, 2017, Mr. Palermo is back on his home turf, but the landscape feels strange and uncanny. He is reclaiming the Zappa songbook, filtering Frank through the emotionally charged lens of the polymathic musical wizard Todd Rundgren in a wild and wooly transmogrification, “The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren”. Working once aGain with the same stellar cast of players, Mr. Palermo somehow captures the essence of these iconoclastic masters, making Zappa Zappier and Todd more Rundgrenian.
I had the pleasure of getting toGether with Ed to talk about the new release, how the two great tastes of Frank Zappa and Todd Rundgren were explored and puzzle-pieced with one another. We spoke in detail about Ed’s process for selection sounds to meld and how the feeling and flow of two songs, can make for a fantastic avenue when worked over just right. It was such a short time between the Ed Palermo Big Band’s last two releases and in our chat, we find out how these two albums (I barely finished sharing one before the next was in my ear room) were able to be let loose on the universe in such a quick way. This labor of love that Ed creates has always been such a special listen and feeling provider for me, but we learn how much hobby versus job this is for Ed…including a little love for the Cuneiform Records family. It isn’t easy for people with the same name (Zappa) to use this name while creating their own family namesake’s art, and it was not easy for Ed either. Find out a little more about his dealing with Gail Zappa on the usage of the family name with his creation. This conversation, is a journey I hope you’ll spend time digesting…… It, like Ed’s music…..is delicious.
Had a chance to catch up with friend of the proGram, SMOOTA as he presents a new track into the world, “Ho Ho Ho (Santa’s Gotta Go) with soulstress, Meah Pace, released on Body to Body Records. This new Christmas song is definitely not restricted to the holiday season with the smokin’ hot, Tina Turner-esque vocals Meah smacks us in the soul with. SMOOTA and I discuss how the song came to be and how there was only, in his mind’s ear, one voice to knock it outta the chimney. We get into what he’s been up to recently, ranging from a new solo album, work/recording with TV On The Radio, and his time this year in the new Gong Show band.
Next week, on December 6th, the day the track actually drops, I will speak with Meah about the tune. I’ll be giving you the virgin radio airplay tomorrow on the show and oh, by the way…check out the gift of a photo chosen as the track cover provided by Amy Touchette.
Photo by: Amy Touchette
Every year or so I have the chance to catch up with my man Cee Knowledge, AKA DoodleBUG of Digable Planets. For me, its a chance to get into the mind of one of the principals in opening my mind to all the sounds. This time around we got to talk about some of the stops on the insects recent travels and tours. What it was like getting it on out in the eye again toGether as the Digable crew.
Cee Know and I discuss the reunion tour during spring and summer 2016 and how it was followed up with a live record “Digable Planets Live” on Ropeadope Records that dropped late June 2017. We lead you down the path of the question, will there be some new joints complied and released to the world with new rhymes, beast and jazzed-up-grooves? It is always nice to hear an influential artist, someone who is a part of a Grammy award winning group that created something new talk about who were some of the maestros behind getting their artist voice to come out, and both Cee and I release a little of that on you. We also take you back to a classic-ish moment in time and talk about the original meeting of our mutual funky-friend, DeeJay Alex J. It was for similar situations that brought all three of our world colliding. As always, the conversation strays into the land of NBA hoops and we make sure to get our Celtics and Sixers (hats worn just a little titled to the side) talk on the table, both always respecting the others squad. I am also pleased to report, that once any new project is ready to get a listen, I’ll get that listen and then be able to be the bridge to get that freshy fresh over to you.