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.
“Eyes of the World: Grateful Dead Photography 1965 – 1995” is a fine art, hardcover coffee table photography book that brings together, for the first time, a comprehensive collection of photographs from a wide range of photographers whose work has captured the Grateful Dead at different times throughout their career. Co-Edited by former Relix editor-in-chief Josh Baron and famed rock photographer Jay Blakesberg, “Eyes of the World” was released on October 23, 2017 via Rock Out Books. Photographers featured in Eyes of the World include such legendary names as Annie Leibovitz, Jim Marshall, David Gahr, Mark Seliger, Herb Greene, William Coupon, Michael O’Neill, Adrian Boot, Michael Putland, Peter Simon, Baron Wolman and, of course, Jay Blakesberg. Included in the collection are iconic images, lesser known photos, and never-seen before seen images – each of them a singular perspective of a poignant moment that together help tell the Grateful Dead’s epic tale through large, bold imagery.
Jay and I played a little catch up since last time we spoke. We got into how this book came to be, the process of picking and choosing moments that represent each time time period/era of the band as well as a few interesting morsels of coolness discovered while researching and pieces the whole project toGether. Take a listen to find out the why and what the image chosen for the cover represents to Jay and Josh and which image even Phil Lesh said” “I’d Never Seen That Before”.
Inti-Illimani is the modern face of the Chilean Nueva Canción movement, a modern world music genre that celebrates a renewal of Latin American folk music in response to the dominance of American and European influence in Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s. After over forty albums, the group is celebrating fifty years of exploring human rights, imperialism, democracy and the Latin American identity through traditional Chilean folk music with an edgy twist. Inti-Illimani was formed by students at Universidad Técnica del Estado at Santiago, Chile in 1967 and became popular in Chile for their song “Venceremos (We shall win!)” which became the anthem of the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende . In 1973 as they were on tour abroad, General Augusto Pinochet launched a coup d’etat and took power. Having heard of the numerous extra-judicial killings of many fellow artists by Chile’s army, they took up residence in Italy, resulting in “the longest tour in history” as they remained in exile while continuing their efforts supporting Chilean democracy. In September 1988, days after they were no longer banned from Chile, they returned and started touring in the country again. They helped organize the voting down of the referendum that would have re-elected Pinochet.
I had the honor to talk with Mr. Jorge Coulon again recently to promote the Sunday, October 22nd event here in Madison at the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall. We talked about what someone new to the group could expect as well as spending time discussing the latest release, “El Cantos de Todos”, a celebration of the musical traditions and songs of Violeta Parra. Mr. Coulon and I talk about the process of taking these historically important songs and giving them a slightly more modern touch/feel. We talked a little about how it feels to land in the USA of today and I would have been remiss not to bring up a least one of the humanitarian efforts this dynamic group has made a difference in the world by getting involved with. Find out what Mr. Coulon has to say about these things by clicking play above.
Even though its members are originally from Timbuktu, Mali, the band formed in the city of Bamako after they were displaced from their homes in 2012 during a civil conflict. They decided to start a band to play music for their fellow refugees. In 2015, Songhoy Blues released their debut album, Music In Exile. The new album, Résistance, released on June 16th via Fat Possum Records, shows the bands maturity as artists and melds their vast traditional sounds with the elements of soul, R&B, hip-hop, and rock. The album is full of imagery that takes a listener through the African places built on what feels like foreign tradition, but can be as known to the rest of the world as a stroll down their very own community streets. The album takes the energy of the art and culture and combines it with the groove to make the energy move with its creators and listeners alike. There is even a guest appearance from Iggy Pop to add to the uniqueness of the stories being told.
On Friday October 6th at 8:00 P.M., Songhoy Blues will bring this energy and their musical bridge to Madison at The Sett, Union South on the campus of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I had the opportunity to talk briefly with lead vocalist, Aliou Touré about what the people in attendance are in for at this upcoming event. We spoke about the energy, and the power of of music and how traveling the world has opened up so many eyes; the band, the listener come and go sometimes with different views and feelings than when the day started. We got into the new album and how the vibes may at first sound like they come from so far away, the meanings, similarities and differences are universal.
On Wednesday, September 27th at the High Noon Saloon, I am pleased to say that Antibalas is heading to Madison. They will arrive on the heels of a brand new release that is drenched in traditional form but also as current that the air we breath today. While the wait for the new album might have seemed long, it is certainly well worth it. Where The Gods Are In Peace released Friday September 15th on Daptone Records, pays respect to the forefathers of Afrobeat with compositions spanning nine to fifteen minutes in length. With a blessing from the Fela Kuti legacy early in the band’s career, Antibalas has long been blessed to be re-popularizing and re-energizing the classic Afrobeat sound while adding their distinct New York City grit into the mix. Influences of punk rock, free jazz, and hip-hop are known to seep into their expansive works to define a truly 21st century translation of the Afrobeat genre and beyond.
I had the privilege to have a conversation in support of the show and the album with AMAYO (Vocals & Percussion) to get the vibe and mindset balanced with the ears and entire body. We spoke about the way the new album came together through real life moments that glued the pieces toGether that were floating around the band’s sphere for years. The feeling and power of the energy behind the music shared with other beings was something we seemed to really get, the way the music does form a bridge between spirits of people, and connect them by the Afrobeat grooves. We spent a good chunk of time talking about our mutual friend, and AMAYO‘s brilliant colleague, Miss Sharon Jones and how she was a force, like a guiding lightning bolt that navigated the process of the musical shifts all artists face. We got into how the artists of the Daptone family were altered by her mere presence and that she was the leader of the house of soul. I love it!!! This conversation admittedly was one soul’s opinion and vision of how it is, in order to get an even better feel of how it all pieces together into a severe mind & body changing groove, there are man opportunities to catch them live.
Antibalas – Where The Gods Are In Peace – Daptone Records
2017 marks the return of Dub Gabriel with his 5th full-length solo album entitled “ADSR DUB” on his pwn record label, Destroy All Concepts. After his critically acclaimed 2013 album, Raggabass Resistance, he locked himself away in the studio and went into complete isolation in what he refers to as “one of the most prolific times of his 20 year career ”. Mixing his love for classic dub productions with vintage analog tape echoes, spring reverbs and tubes, with his love of krautrock and his collection of Moog, Arp and Korg analog synthesizers, to provide the listeners with one of the most original albums to come out in recent memory.
The album Features guest performances by Addis Pablo, son of the legendary Augustus Pablo. Ranking Joe, who rose to prominence in the 1970’s on such legendary labels as Studio 1, as well as his collaborations with King Tubby. And, The Spaceape, who became the voice of U.K. Dubstep through his groundbreaking work with Burial, Kode 9 & The Bug. Recorded in San Francisco at d/a/c Laboratory for Research & Development, mastered by the legendary, Kevin Metcalfe, at Sound Masters in the U.K. and cover art by acclaimed French illustrator, Olivier Bonhomme.
We took some time to dive into the new release, how for me it takes me out and away from the current state of the real that seems to drag me down. We talk about the balance one must find within creation of a project from start to finish and starting and making a family of three when it once was two. I have been listening to creations of Dub Gabriel’s for a long time and it was nice to hear about his take on what my thang (taste maker) involves as well as which toys from his studio would he choose if he could only have a few. We talk about the flow of the music and art and how as creators, we have to let the story, the narrative speak for itself. Check out our conversation to take the canoe ride within the story.
cover art by acclaimed French illustrator, Olivier Bonhomme.
When last we spoke with Joe Marcinek, he was coming to town with friend of the proGram, Dr. Bernie Worrell. What a treat!! This time around he will be bringing the Joe Marcinek Band to the 5th Annual Schenk’s Corners Block Party on Friday, August 18th.
This stop through, Joe will be bringing an ALL-STAR cast (as usual) with him! Featuring Joey Porter from The Motet on keys, Pete Koopmans from Family Groove Company on drums, and Buddy Pearson from FREEK JOHNSON on bass. Joe tells me of the contributions each of these folks have played parts in throughout the history and the present of the band. We paint the funky landscape of what could be expected in an ever-evolving set from these cats and how the vibe of the people, those who go and show, create the newness of today while the jammin’ is happening.
Joe and I spend some time talking about the newest album, “Slink” and how it came to fruition, the impact of his circle of fans and friends alike to make this latest musical story complete, and how doing it in a way that fits right for the pieces of the puzzle, makes all the difference in an album’s creation. The band will be featuring much of “Slink” while here in Madison and as someone who has been sharing those grooves to the listeners, this is a much set get-down-to-the-sound event. It is clear that Joe appreciates the scene and those wo make it up here in Madison, so let’s return that love on the 18th.
We are always so lucky here in Madison when the summer rolls around and we are fortunate to have culture travel to us. This coming weekend, La Fête De Marquette will once aGain provide a great opportunity to catch some acts you might not otherwise get a chance to bump into. One such act is out of the Czech Republic, Mydy Rabycad. They create and electro-swing or glamtronic sound that has people around the globe up and moving their bodies. I had a chance to chat with Mikulas and JohnyD of the band from Canada, as they are making their first trip to North America and we are going to get a dose of them this weekend. We talked about what the festival goers can expect from their sound, their audience interactions and the music they create and how it translates into a wild time o=f dancing. I assured them that Madison is a home for some eclectic dance moves. We talked about how it is more likely for a group out of the Czech Republic to get known better once they leave town and broaden their listener-ship, as well as how their relationships together have strengthened their live and produced works. We touch briefly on how times have changed for them as they are working on studio album number three, and how the growth of a band and the doors that get opened by others really assist in making it all happen.
I am thinking the dust will fly this week end, and the group will have a few more reasons to head home happy and with more fans as they leave North America behind, but not until we give them a taste of Madison first.
It’s always nice to catch up with friends from times aGo. Had a chance to do just that with Sunny Jain, as Red Baraat makes their way back to Madison on July 15th at the Union Terrace and then July 16th at La Fête de Marquette. We spoke about what a newcomer to the band could expect to see and hear when checking our Red Baraat at either of these Madison stops. We had a chance to walk down memory lane and discuss the difference of landscape between when the group first came here years ago versus where they are at sound-wise and production-wise today as they released “Bhangra Pirates” in March of 2017. It is always a pleasure to learn how the paths have changed throughout the years and how life plays into the way we do what we do, musically and otherwise.Madison holds a special place in this group’s heart, and I am sure we will return the love on the upcoming weekend. Comprised of eight musicians who can whip a crowd into a frenzy with an unprecedented, high energy, gut-busting fusion of jazz, hip-hop beats, rock muscle, funky go-go, and scalding hot bhangra. A horn section blares, percussionists pound, the guitarists rips, everybody shouts, and the group’s charismatic leader, Sunny Jain, holds the explosive songs together with rhythms from his dhol – the Indian double-headed drum played slung over the shoulder that provides bhangra with its frenetic heartbeat. This energy blast is always opening the door to newness in front of crowds, let’s have Madison respond in similar fashion by being itself, ready for anything. And if you were wondering what Sunny would air if I gave up a half hour or so of the proGram, well he clues us in at the end of this conversation..some interesting stuff, as I would expect.