Mauro Refosco of Forro in the Dark

Forro in the Dark is not quite that type of traditional forro band, instead they are bringing an updated style of the music to the hipsters and club-goers of NYC, but the sweaty, excitable vibe is still undeniable.
Supplementing the traditional instrumentation with electric guitars, an array of flutes, modern percussion and other contemporary instruments, along with the help of David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto and Miho Hatori, Forro in the Dark capture the immediate, pleasure-craving core of forro for modern audiences to relieve their stress on the dance floor just like the Brazilian workers of the early 1900s. I reached out to Mauro like so many people do these days and was received openly and before I knew it I was spinning my own copy of bonfires of sao joao, Forro’s latest release. Like the album, Mauro was a delight to speak with and we entertained each others opinions and ideas and really openly talk about this album, the people behind it and hopefully shared an organically cosmic moment via the phone waves.
I invite you to listen to our conversation here.

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Gathering of the Vibes 2007 Bridgeport CT

From August 9th – August 12 at Seaside Park in Bridgeport Connecticut, the 12th annual Gathering of the Vibes will take form and fill your souls with good feelings. The list of bands for this years event is killer to say the least….just to name a few: Bob Weir & Ratdog, Mickey Hart Band, Mr. Buddy Guy, George Clinton & P Funk, Keller Williams, the Wailers, John Brown’s Body, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dickey Betts & Great Southern and many more. I recently had the chance to talk with Ken Hays, the organizer and founder of this colorful sound scape of music and events. We learn how this event got started, some solid information about the Seaside Park area and Ken gives us a tasty nugget of unannounced news.

Listen to Ken and I gather our vibes here.

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A Moment in the ‘HuH?’ with Bassnectar.

I want you all to be sure to open your minds and check out some true genre bending sonic sounds that will work its way into your heartbeat sometime during its spin. Underground Communication by Bassnectar is freeform project that merges music, art, new media, social involvement, and community values; dedicated to a constantly-evolving ethos of collaborative creation, self-reinvention, and boundary-pushing experimentation…now doesn’t that fit like a g-love for greenarrowradio..hmmmmm?
It is unjust for me to drop my feeling about this album or to point you in a direction of any one song…it is one you need to dissect and digest for your self.

For starters, spend a moment in the huh with Bassnectar and MisterG here.

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Anyone for some FUNKY SAX?

A saxophone legend, Berklee alum, and all-around funk genius, Sam Kininger is building his fan-base and repertoire simultaneously at clubs across the country. Kininger has been in legendary funk/soul groups since the beginning, including, but not limited to Lettuce, Soulive and the Brotherhood of Groove. As a solo artist Sam Kininger has developed a distinctive, organic sound on the saxophone that is strongly expressive. He consistently demonstrates his technical dexterity and rhythmic precision while maintaining an honest and innovative exploration of musical improvisation.
Sam will be bringing his “knock the walls down” sound of funk and groove to the Main Pub in Manchester CT on May 19th and if you like you sax funky, I will see you there.

Check out Sam and I talkin’ turkey here.

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DJ Mister Rourke to the Quiet Corner

April 6th TURNTABLE MADNESS and LIVE REGGAE: Mister Rourke, Axel Foley, DJ Reazon,and Zion Blood: Heading to Tyrone Farm in Pomfret Connecticut.
Prepare yourself for new concepts as scratch musicians Mister Rourke, Axel Foley and DJ Reazon improvise together live on six turntables, manipulating every imaginable noise from their arsenal of samples. Rourke is considered a pioneer of using the turntable in a live band setting. He has performed with his eight piece ensembles Fat Bag, The Formula, and with countless bands in genres including Hip Hop, Funk, Dub Reggae, Free Jazz, Electronica, Blues, Ambient, Moroccan, Trip Hop, R&B, African and even Gospel. His work has earned him three Boston Music Awards, he has been featured in the Boston Globe, jambase.com, Hip Hop Nation, Billboard Magazine, MTVs The Real World and HBO’s The Chris Rock Show. His music has also been used in short films, commercials, video games, made-for television movies, and a variety of local art exhibits. The DJ’s will be joined by Zion Blood, a Boston based progressive dub reggae trio which has been playing in Boston for the past 2 years. Their style is innovative, their compositions are original and the playing is spot on.

Check out my convo with DJ Mister Rourke here.

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Get out and see TOUBAB KREWE.

On April 6th at the Main Pub in Manchester, come on out and witness Toubab Krewe, a fusion of West African music and some “dirty south” influences that combined create a hybrid of rock and roll yet tapped into. The magnetic instrumental quintet formed in early 2005 and has attracted a diverse and devoted national following, captivating crowds everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival and the Blue Note to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The band’s energetic performances and acclaimed self-titled debut have won them praise from the New York Times, Global Rhythm, and Afropop Worldwide. I had the opportunity to speak with percussionist Luke Quaranta recently and would like to introduce some new ears to this splendid sound.

Check out the conversation with Luke Here.

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A double dose of Cherryholmes

Friday March 23rd and Saturday March 24th, Cherryholmes brings its family style bluegrass show to the stage of Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts at the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut. The band goes by the family’s surname, and got its start after Jere and Sandy Cherryholmes took the family on a road trip to a bluegrass festival. The trip was meant to be a spirit-lifter after the death of their daughter Shelley. The festival inspired the couple, who were homeschooling their children, to add music to the educational agenda. Molly and B.J. played fiddle, Skip played guitar. Eldest sister Cia, 22, took up banjo and became the band’s singer and songwriter as well. Now, after only four years of performing, Cherryholmes have been signed to country star Ricky Skaggs’ label. The family’s tour bus is headquartered in Goodlettesville, a suburb of Nashville, Tenn., where they moved two years ago. But the bus is rarely in the driveway — the Cherryholmes family is on a stage most nights of the year. And I am pleased to bring a quick conversation with Jerry Cherryholmes, as he was able to step away from rehearsal long enough for a quick chat.

Listen to our conversation here.

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Inti-Illimani heading to Jorgensen

The group was formed by students at Universidad Técnica del Estado at Santiago, Chile in 1967. In 1973 as they were on tour abroad, Pinochet came to power. Having heard of the numerous extra-judicial killings of many fellow artists by Chile‘s army, they took up residence in Italy. They continued their efforts supporting democracy internationally; samizdat copies of their work continued to be widely distributed in Chile. In September 1988, days after they were no longer banned from their home country, they began touring Chile again. They helped organize the voting down of the referendum that would have re-elected Pinochet. Recently, they were actually supported by Chile as representatives of Chilean culture. Much like a Zen affirmation, Inti-Illimani’s music floats within your soul with sounds of traditional Latin American music with the windows open paying attention to its surroundings. Come out March 15th to see this very special group as they celebrate a new album release and their 40th anniversary at our Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.

Check out my conversation with founding member Jorge Coulon here.

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Doin’ our Thing w/Papa Mali

Papa Mali and I have been trying to connect up for a little bit now and we finally put the pieces together. He has been touring around with Galactic supporting his swampy hot sophomoric release dubbed DO YOUR THING. This album here is one for the books. I tell you, it takes on a storm of sounds, some noticeably familiar to our senses…while others really gives us time to reflect and others still…..time to bob and weave like a funky soul chicken. DO YOUR THING really is an album worth personifying and giving an identity to, it could become one of your best pals. It is warm and welcoming, like Papa Mali himself and it welcomes you in for some spiced gumbo that knocks your socks off. In our chat we get a chance to discuss the new album, the first album and some shared friends in Stanton Moore and J.J. Grey. You can check out Papa Mali’s show coming to Lupo’s with Galactic on March 27th, be sure to bring your voodoo dancing boots and your positive spirit to this one folks.

Check out our conversation here.

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James Cotton…SUPERHARP

2007 is James Cotton’s 63rd year in the entertainment business. What an amazing adventure this man is experiencing with his little harmonica. Congratulations SUPERHARP! Cotton will be playing the Hungry Tiger in Manchester, Connecticut on February 22nd along with another blues legend James Montgomery. Make sure you bring your boogie shoes for this one! Cotton has always been known for having one of the best bands in the business. The line-up for the past several years has been: Slam Allen, guitar, vocals; Tom Holland, guitar; Charles Mack, bass; Mark Mack, drums; and, of course, Superharp, James Cotton. His eyes light up when he talks about his band, “My audience always tells me how I’m doing. If I look out there and don’t like what I see, I work harder.” His audiences are still on their feet, they enjoy themselves as much as he does, and there are still standing ovations night after night. You will have a memorable evening with an international treasure and a true Living Legend of the Blues.

Check out our quick talk here.

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Eccodek’s Andrew McPherson

Rising from the underground of Toronto’s multicultural music melting pot, Eccodek’s visionary blend of downtempo grooves, tribal electronica and world dub is quickly capturing the attention of the international music scene. Andrew McPherson, the mastermind behind the ECCODEK sound, collaborated for several years with musicians from around the world before the 2004 Canadian indie release of his much-anticipated debut recording, More Africa In Us. A chance meeting with Rwandan expatriate Ignace Ntirushwamaboko and Malian vocal powerhouse Samba Diallo resulted in a fusion that none of them saw coming. Anchored by their soulful voices, their passionate performances sit on a mountain of dubby bass, ethnic and urban grooves, spaced out synths and a quilt work of eastern melodies. Andrew and I share a laugh or two, discuss some new projects accomplished and in the works and discuss his new album coming out this April.

Check out our conversation here.

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Brought 2 U by the letter, G

A quote from a song comes to mind for this show…”with no direction known…..a complete unknown…”

I’m not talking, the Yardbirds
I Wish You Would, the Yardbirds
Love me Like I love you, the Yardbirds
I’m a Man, the Yardbirds
Smokestack Lightnin’, the Yardbirds
All Over Now, the Rolling Stones
Bi-Polar, Ike Turner
Old Black Magic, Dr. John
Save the Bones for Henry Jones, Dr. John
Money Won’t Change You, Aretha Franklin
Since you’ve Been Gone, Aretha Franklin
From the Bottom up, Dayna Kurtz
Hot’Lanta, NRG w/ Nicole Hart
She Makes me Want to Sing, Jerry Douglas/Derek Trucks
Swiing Blues #1, Jerry Douglas/John Fogerty
Two Trains Runnin’, James Cotton
Creeper Returns, Mark Hummel
I only Have One Love, Phantom Blues Band w/Taj
Watch Me Fly, Reuben Wilson
Butter for Yo’ Popcorn, the New Mastersounds
Tarzan, Cadillac Jones
All Good Children, John Popper Project/DJ Logic
Soul Kissing, DJ Logic
Musicology, Prince
Message in a Bottle, Matisyahu
Lively up Yourself, Charlie Hunter Quartet
the good, the bad, the ugly, the Dillingers
theme to the Magnificent Seven, the Dillengers
Do your Thing, Papa Mali
Ain’t that Right, G-Love
Missing my Baby, G-Love

***CONVERSATION WITH G–LOVE***

I’m Tore Down, John Hammond/G-Love
Eyes Behind Your Head, John Hammond
Celebrate Your Youth, Keller Williams & Friends
Cadillac, Keller Williams/Bob Weir
Black Water, JJ Grey & Mofro
Soulshine, Gov’t Mule (live)
Happy Hour, Whiskey & Co.
A Drink for you, Whiskey & Co.
All Cause of you, the 88
Tabara, Vieux Farka Toure/Ali Farka Toure

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Gary Burton Brings GOOD VIBES…

Jazz legends Chick Corea and Gary Burton debut their virtuoso jazz duets in a cabaret setting at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday, January 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. The first collaboration by these trailblazing jazz legends resulted in 1972’s sublime duet album, “Crystal Silence“, the jazz-fusion recording that thrust Corea and Burton into the consciousness of America. Ever influential, and with separate careers that periodically intersect, these kindred spirits have continued to compose, perform and record fresh jazz works that break new ground. Corea has produced a staggering volume of recordings over the past 40 years, and is one of the most prolific composers of the second half of the 20th century. In 2006 he received the Award of the Piano Festival Ruhr in Germany, a lifetime achievement award previously presented to only eight musicians. He also premiered a new piano concerto in Austria as part of the gala Mozart festival in Vienna.
In the 1960s, Burton and his fusion band pioneered the use of electric guitar in pushing the jazz form toward the explosive rock genre. Burton’s innovations in jazz, especially his approach to the vibraphone and his mastery of simultaneous four-mallet playing, have been the hallmark of his 40-year career. He has earned five Grammy awards and 13 Grammy nominations that cross multiple categories and attest to the high regard his music has achieved among his peers.
Don’t miss these jazz virtuosos in their first appearance in Storrs.

Check out my conversation with Mister Gary Burton here.

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Mike Rivard of Club d’Elf…FINALLY

Micro and I went back and forth like an Olympic table tennis match trying to set up a moment to talk. The new album from Club dElf is title NOW I UNDERSTAND, but rest assured, you won’t. The music is unexplainable and dynamic, at time touching on sounds you’ve heard and at other moments, you will be lead to a new location with your ears driving the train. And that is what it is like, a train of sound that you should ride from song one until the final track to get the complete story told. Be sure that the next time you board that train, it’ll take you on a completely different ride.

Listen to our LIVE ON AIR talk here.

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Exit Clov brings darkly melodic acid-pop

Exit Clov is a five-piece indie rock band from Washington, DC, described as everything from “darkly melodic acid-pop” to “kaleidoscopic pop noir.” With the punk ethos of Blondie, the political edge of Metric, the pure pop sensibilities of indie darlings Stars, and the playfulness of Shonen Knife, the band has a broad appeal that transcends ordinary music genres. Since its conception in 2003, they have established a trademark sound with beautiful harmonies sung over infectious synth, violin, guitar, bass and drums. While the band’s sound is golden to the ear, they are consistently raw and fresh beyond traditional rocknroll standards. Exit Clov have to their credit two self-produced EPs (2004 Starfish, 2005 Saskwatch), the Jolly Roget Sessions (2006) — on which they enlisted the help of Roger Greenawalt (No Doubt, Ben Kweller, Iggy Pop, White Stripes) — and the newest, Respond Respond EP, released on Livewire Recordings. I had them here and was able to squeeze out 3 acoustic renditions of their unique tunes and a little chatter after. I dig Exit Clov, now it’s your turn.

Listen to our time together here.

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Jerry Wennstrom: The Inspired Heart

At age 29 Jerry Wennstrom set out to discover the rock-bottom truth of his life. For years he questioned the limits of his creative life as a studio painter. After destroying all of his art and giving away everything he owned, he began a life of unconditional trust, allowing life to provide all that was needed. He lived this way for 15 years. Jerry’s story is told in his book, The Inspired Heart: An Artist’s Journey of Transformation (foreword by Thomas Moore) published by Sentient Publications and in the Parabola Magazine documentary film called In the Hands of Alchemy: The Art and Life of Jerry Wennstrom. Jerry travels internationally lecturing, teaching and presenting his film and work and he writes a monthly piece on the spirit of the times for a New York City consulting firm. He has presented at the Birmingham Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the EMP (Experience Music Project), Glen Arbor Art Association, the Old Firehouse Art Center, Other Side Arts, Pacifica Graduate Institute, UCS-NAROPA (Wisdom University), the Vancouver Public Library, Western New Mexico University, California Institute of the Arts and NYU. He has also done over 50 radio, TV and magazine interviews and art features. And he was a guest recently on greenarrowradio for your learning pleasures.

Open your minds and listen here for our chat about transformation.

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Phillip Johnston of the Microscopic Septet.

In September of 2006, Cuneiform Records released two double CD sets of The Microscopic Septet, entitled “Seven Men in Neckties” (The History of the Micros Vol. 1), and “Surrealistic Swing” (The History of the Micros Vol. 2). To commemorate this hysterical event, we are reuniting the Microscopic Septet for a one-time-only tour in November and December of 2006, consisting of a few dates in the Northeastern US and more in Europe. On Wednesday, November 29th, the group will begin the tour in Northampton at the Iron Horse. Phillip Johnston, at the time he started the Microscopic Septet, was an NYU dropout who’d worked in a succession of jazz, rhythm & blues and polka groups in New York and San Francisco. A largely self-taught soprano saxophonist and composer, Johnston’s work in both areas reveals the powerful and positive influence of Steve Lacy. “I was interested in more arranged, compositionally-oriented music …. from within the swing big band jazz tradition,” Johnston recalls, “as opposed to (the conventional jazz) head-solos-head format.” Organizing a group of fellow musicians, he started with a sax section and planned to add brass later. However, he liked the sound of four saxes and three rhythm so much he decided to stick with that. When he originally named the group, “Claude Funston and the Psychic Detectives” it proved too “unwieldy,” he changed it to the “Microscopic Septet,” who played their first “regular gig” at New York’s Ear Inn in 1981.

Listen here for my conversation with Mr. Johnston.

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Who is Xavier Rudd?? Find out here.

Through the conscious and heartfelt songs composing Solace, the U.S. debut of Australian surf/roots artist Xavier Rudd, there’s stories of the mistreatment of the indigenous people of his homeland and songs about humanity, spirituality and the environment, compassionate songs encouraging understanding and looking to celebrate life. And running through those songs are all sorts of instruments: guitars, shakers, didgeridoos, Weissenborn slide guitars, Tongue drums, stomp boxes, djembes, harmonica, ankle bells, and slide banjo—and they’re all played by Rudd. Even more impressive, though, he recreates these songs live—playing the guitar, didgeridoo and various percussion parts simultaneously—using a unique stage set-up that finds him literally surrounded by his various instruments and singing from behind a stand holding three didgeridoos (of different keys). It’s a sight to behold for sure, one that’s drawn him a “one-man band” label from impressed critics, a tag that makes him grin: “I never really planned all the stuff I have around me. I never sat down one day and said, ‘I’m going to have all these things around me and I’m gonna try to use it all at once.’ It just sort of grew. I would just add things here or there. Sometimes I look at my setup now and I laugh.”

Listen to our brief conversation here.

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Wade Schuman of Hazmat Modine

HAZMAT MODINE draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20’s and 30’s through to the 50’s and early 60’s, blending elements of early Blues, Hokum Jugband, Swing, Klezmer, New Orleans R & B, and Jamaican Rocksteady. The band is fronted by two harmonicas which use call and response, harmony, melody, and syncopated interweaving rhythms. The band includes tuba, guitar, and percussion, claviola and Hawaiian steel guitar. The band’s sound reflects musical influences ranging from Avant-garde Jazz to Rockabilly and Western Swing to Middle-Eastern, African, and Hawaiian musical styles. Wade Schuman plays Diatonic Harmonica, Guitar, Banjitar and is lead vocals. If you are not aware of Hazmat Modine or the Album BAHAMUT, I encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to Wade and I talking about the mighty manifestation known as HAZMAT MODINE.

Listen here to our conversation.

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What is DAWG Music? Ask David Grisman.

I was fortunate enough to get the chance to talk with Mr. Grisman as he was busy at work in his studio. We had a conversation revolving around music and the idea of individual style and form. The names Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis are thrown around with Stephane Grappelli and one mention of Jerome Garcia. David Grisman started his musical career in 1963 as a member of The Even Dozen Jug Band. His nickname, “Dawg” was affectionately assigned by his close friend Jerry Garcia (the two met at a Van Hoy Campground (NC) back when they used to host the old time fiddlers convention). “Dawg Music” is what he calls his mixture of bluegrass and Django ReinhardtStéphane Grappelli-influenced jazz, as highlighted on his 1977 album “Hot Dawg“. Stephane Grappelli played on a couple of tracks on the Hot Dawg album and then the 1981 recording “Stephane Grappelli and David Grisman Live“. It was his early fusions with Reinhardt-era Jazz that led to the formation of the genre known as newgrass. Grisman, along with New Grass Revival are generally considered the modern day Bill Monroes to this new bluegrass-influenced sound. Bonnie Raitt‘s album, Sweet Forgiveness features Grisman on mandocello throughout the album.

Check out our conversation here.

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