I had the pleasure of chatting it up with Rench of Gangstagrass to promote the upcoming show Sunday, December 18th at the Frequency here in Madison. If you have never heard, or heard of Gangstagrass, Rench and I dive into what could surprise your eyes even before your ears catch the drift. He takes the time to discuss the process of finding the right team members for such a distinct project and how visions meld with open minds. Rench shares a story that all artists should hear and remember as they hustle to get noticed, how once and a while, you just get a call out of the blue and even end up with an Emmy nod for your efforts.
We take a side road and discuss the two places he goes to get away from it all and get lost in it, as well as what tunes he would share with the greenarrowradio listeners if I happened to give up a half hour of my show to his musical ways. Check out this chat and discovery why two great tastes sometimes DO taste so great toGether.
Gangstagrass Making their way to madison 12/18/2016
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)
Having the opportunity to catch up with artists who always push themselves and their boundaries is another one of those things I enjoy about the music scene I have gotten myself a part of. Andrew McPherson is one of those people who exemplifies many of the ways I look at sound and style, musically and otherwise. We have kept a long standing check in and check out period of our lives and this time around I catch him just finishing up his latest release by a project he calls, Peppermoth. The album titled “Now You Hear Me” is a statement into the ambient music that has always been around in Andrew’s mind. So the whole “Why Not” conversation inside ones mind took over and out came the workings of this new tale of music. This is a far reaching stretch compared to so many of those Eccodek releases the listeners of this radio proGram have dugg into over the years. That’s entirely what relationships are about, change over times. In this conversation, we chat about process and feel, time and space as well as those defining moments once again in an artists life on which path and where is it leading. I hope you’ll find out which fork in the road Andrew decided on by checking out the sounds of Peppermoth, and see how it can fit into your times.
I had the chance to chat with Jessica Kion and Ben Levin from the group Bent Knee as their 2016 tour stops include Madison’s Mickey’s Tavern on Saturday, September 10th. Bringing an array of musical worlds into one well behaved monster, Bent Knee is out in support of their debut release on Cuneiform Records, “Say So”. Per the band: “It’s rock for the thinking person. The group’s lyrics are dark and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations and the difficulty of conquering them. Its mercurial sound matches its subject matter. It’s a thrilling aural roller-coaster ride with arrangements designed to make listeners throw their arms up in wild abandon as they engage with them.”
We discussed what the stage at Mickey’s will look like when they take it, introducing us to their members. This naturally led us into the album making process between this 2016 release and their 2014 album, “Shiny Eyed Babies”. Eating and sleeping IS IMPORTANT!!! How they balance working in the studio and working it out on the stage reveals an interesting insight into the make-up of this group, that speaks volumes to how true teams take an idea and see it through. We wrapped it up by relishing toGether over the facts behind what makes a record label, such as Cuneiform an integral part of the many moving pieces behind the faces we see on stage or hear on the album.
I am so thankful to the local venues here in Madison for bringing artists like this to our backyard.
Just in time for the Trick or Treaters…Mister Rourke’s TERRORVISION made it’s devious little way to my doorstep and I have been scaring, I mean sharing it with you ever since. The scratches are rhythmic and rowdy and believe it or not…this is one scratch album that has a plot and a story. We also learn something very interesting about Rourke’s project Guvna Dub, there is a special sax player working on the new project—a friend of greenarrowradio no doubt? If you never thought you were one for it, try it. We also spend some quality time talking about life, Elf Music and a couple of different ways in which inspiration is gained thru the eyes and ears of this scratch sculptor Mister Rourke.
catch our catch up session here.
FESTIVAL!!! Man what a day it is going to be this Saturday November 22nd at the historic Congress Theater in Downtown Chicago. The Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival, a one day celebration of the roots of music will be taking place all day with doors opening at 11amCST. Aiming to help eradicate congenital heart defects in children, a portion of the eventâ€™s proceeds will contribute to the research efforts of the Chicago-based Saving Tiny Hearts Foundation. Until now, fans have had to travel far outside city limits and setup camp to witness a legend like David Grisman share a stage with the sceneâ€™s newest genre-defying sensations, The Avett Brothers, and a host of rising talents from the roots, blues, bluegrass, & jamband scenes.
The David Grisman Quintet
The Avett Brothers
Ha Ha Tonka
Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials
Blue Mother Tupelo
How Far To Austin
and many more…….
My conversation with Mike Raspatello, Director of the Festival.
What exactly is Intergalactic dirty guitar grooves for earthling weirdos. Razl (Raul Huelves) discuss that and more on his highly infectious guitar-and-beyond ridden groove-a-thon, Rotnova. We take the time to discuss the positives and let’s call them some learned experiences about putting out your own work, and we learn some insight as to who Razl would love to form a touring trio with, then the fun of imagining it begins. This album is for us earthling weirdos focused on funky fusion of a jazzed world experience meshed with the sound of maybe how Robots might play?
Listen it to find out more: Check out our conversation here.
From the man himself, Andrew McPherson we hear about some of the musicians that are behind the wide openness sound of SHIVA boom, the new release from Eccodek on White Swan Records. Andrew is a friend of the program and it is always a charge chatting him up–this time is no different. We spend time talking about the making of the new album, have I mentioned it’s called SHIVA boom(?), on-going projects and thoughts about potential and hopeful future fusion collaborators. Currently SHIVA boom sits at #13 on the CMJ charts in the World category…and the love is just beginning around here. Get yourself in a spot to take a direction unknown around the globe journey that album # 3 from Eccodek is ready to provide—a charm!
Listen in on Andrew and I chatting it up here.
Eccodek’s SHIVA boom White Swan Records 2008
This Thursday at the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center, the Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa will take the stage. Bamba Dembele leads this group of traditional musicians and dancers which together is accomplished and respected. It is a high-level orchestra comprising many percussionists, musicians and dancers. They create a rhythmic feast drawing on a variety of influences including traditional Griot songs, reggae, and the sounds of the kora, a 21-stringed instrument of the lute family used across West Africa. The ensemble also features percussion instruments from the djembe to dounsdouns and other balaphons, excellent dancers whose muscles seem to be capable of any movement at any speed, and a an elaborate visual ensemble with colorful, inventive costumes. In my conversation with Mr. Dembele (with great assistance from both Claude and Madelaine-merci beaucoup!!), we discuss the differences between the Song and Dance Ensemble and the Super Rail Band, how traveling to America has broadened his opinions and his time with both Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.
Listen in to our conversation w/translation here.
It’s always refreshing to spend time chatting with Xavier Rudd. He is such a laid back cool cat and I always feel like we are sitting on top of our boards just chillin’. Anyhow, this time was no exception and we had a chance to dissect a few tracks off the new album released on Anti entitled: Dark Shade of Blue. This dissection revealed some way cool and super heavy info on one of the mates in his touring posse and we learn who helped produce this raw rocker of an album. Have no fears, there are certainly great moments of world music fused in there along with mind consuming awareness lyrical content. Xavier was involved in a project recently with Matthew McConaughey, a movie called: Surfer Dude and of course we discuss one of the socially and globally important issue on his mind that you might not even have known existed.
Check out my time with Xavier Rudd right here.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews is an amazing artist. Playing with everyone from U2 and Lenny Kravitz to the band down the corner of a N’Orleans street side, but what really resonated like a perfect low note, was how grounded he is. He is cool and collected and and wise for his short time physically upon the earth. At 22 years old Troy has already experienced more than most musicians three times his age, and he has the chops to prove it. Having traveled extensively in the United States as well as globally, Troy’s music has reached innumerable music lovers who will never forget his amazing live performances. He will bring his amazing spirit and band Orleans Avenue to the Union Theater here on the beautiful campus of the university of Wisconsin on October 2nd. In on conversation we talk about everything from the NBA to what music he is currently sporting on his Ipod. I hope you find a moment to check out our chat and become more familiar with the person known as Trombone Shorty.
Listen to Troy and I converse it up here.
Taj Weekes and Adowa are involved in conscious music for people who are paying attention. While experiencing sadness in his own life, Taj never lost sight (or even gained a greater perspective) of the world around him. Taj Weekes & Adowa present a brand new experience in classic roots reggae. With wry trenchant lyrics, a haunting dusky quiver in his voice and the knock-down sound of his band Adowa, Taj has managed to weave a rare social consciousness with an unforgettable reggae groove. I had a chance to discuss his awareness, his music and the way you can make a difference through helping improve the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and orphaned children around the world. Check out more on They Often Cry Outreach. A big thank you to Taj and Shirley for reaching out to greenarrowradio to help share the message.
Check out my conversation with Taj Weekes here.
For 11 years, William Christopher played Father Mulcahy on what many consider the best sitcom of all time, M*A*S*H. Bill is in Madison performing in Church Basement Ladies. This hilarious musical comedy is a celebration of the church basement kitchens everywhere and the wonderful, unsung women who work there. This fun for all musical will be on the Capitol Theater Stage in the Overture Center from Tuesday August 12th until Sunday August 31st. Bill takes a moment away from all he is up to to chat with me briefly about this show and his role in it as Pastor Gunderson as well as some M*A*S*H* moments shared and we even discuss briefly his involvement in the world surrounding autism. (Another something we happen to share).
Rejoice in my conversation with Bill here.
Finally, in so many ways I have been feeling super connected to Marcus. We chat today about some of those things including mutual friends the funky Mr. Skeebo Knight and Mr Adam Mewherter, the g-rate sounds of he and his bandmates in one of my favorite sounding bands, King Johnson, the wonderful work his lovely wife is dong at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and of course his recent employment and inclusion in his new family, the Marshall Tucker Band. In this conversation you’ll learn a few things people might not have known about Marcus, where to find unseen Otis Redding memorabilia and Adam Rapping?????
Take a moment if you could to listen to our conversation here.
I had the pleasure of discussing the Overture Center for the Arts 2008-2009 season to be, with Vice President of Programming, Susan Crofton. With a rich history and a extraordinary vision of the future, the Overture’s 2008-2009 season is filled with diversity, tradition and activities for all ages. The facility contains the fabulous Overture Hall, the intimate Playhouse, three black box spaces, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Wisconsin Academy’s James Watrous Gallery, three community galleries, a soaring glass lobby, and the Capitol Theater. Susan and I discuss the potential of all that great space and how the Overture staff works to broaden the spectrum of activities, arts and the people who walk through the doors into the breathtaking lobby.
Listen to Susan and I discussing the ’08-’09 season at the Overture Center for the Arts here.
Born into a family of tradition, respect for culture and artistic talent, Cecilia Villar Eljuri is sure to leave her mark with an album that has a message. Her musical background is as varied as the tracks on this diverse album, starting off with a great clash of beats and Latin vibe EL AIRE with Sly and Robbie. and it just keeps getting more special as the album plays on. Being a rocker at heart, (and this I believe is a heart of musical gold)….Eljuri has transcended sounds and rhythms into words that keep it real, and really keep it on a personal level…but a level that is meant to be listened to and shared. We spend time discussing this new album and those who worked on it with her to share in this vision (including a special track close to that golden heart) and what our fantasy concert might be. If you are down with diversity, check out Eljuri’s EN PAZ, it’s more than music.
Take a moment to check out our conversation with Cecilia here.
This is like a part two after Mike and I had a conversation last year or so ago when Alligator Love Cry first came out. Scrapomatic once again have a new album out in 2008 on Landslide Records“Sidewalk Caesars”. This bluesy roots duo put forth yet another soulful release that has the blues checking to see if it has the blues. With this album I can just simply “feel it”. While busy year round as the front man for the Derek Trucks Band, and time in the studio and taking the Scrapomatic show on the road with band-mate Paul Olsen, we learn what Mike does, or shall we say does not do with his spare time, the plans for the next album and perhaps coming to a place near you……if so…..take the chance to go on and “feel it” for yourself.
Check out my conversation with Mike Mattison here.
I am proud to be a part of Russel Blake world as I truly feel he is someone making a difference in many people’s lives, musically and beyond. My conversation with Mr. Blake reminds me why I like to do what I do in my musical arena….and it is always nice to be reminded why you love something. With a new album due out very soon, I was blessed with the opportunity to debut it on greenarrowradio, with this honor comes a huge THANK YOU. Currently, Mr. Blake has 422 pieces within his repetoire encompassing Classical, Spanish Classical, Jazz Classical, Brazilian, Latin & Pop Music Idioms. As creator of The Universal Language Music History & Cultural Programme, Mr Blake has taught a variety of audiences from Kindergarten – High Schools, universities, libraries, prisons, hospitals & Art Galleries about the history of music. Mr. Blake was also the featured guest soloist at the 9th annual Bass Conference held here in Madison a few years back and was working very closely with Dr. Richard Davis at the time.
Click here to hear my conversation with Mr. Russel Blake.
Find out more about That 1 Guy and his self-created Magic pipe. He will be opening up for Buckethead this Sunday June 1st at the Barrymore. if you aren’t sure, take a listen and take a chance…you want to know more about him.
Check out my conversation with That 1 Guy here.
Heading to the stage of the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center for the Arts on Friday, May 2nd at 8pmCST is “Universes: Live from the Edge”. I had the opportunity to kick back with one of the founding members of Universes, artist Steven Sapp. Universes is an ensemble Company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse Poetry, Theater, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Politics, Down Home Blues and Spanish Boleros to create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. The group breaks the bounds of traditional theater to create their own brand, inviting old and new generations of theater crafters as well as the theater goers and new comers to reshape the face of American Theater. Take a moment and check out what Steven has to say about this show, a cool moment in Chile and Justin Timberlake(?)!!
Listen to our conversation here.