The Easy Star All-Stars are a collective family of some of the finest reggae musicians in the New York area. The band features a rotating cast drawn from a talented pool of players, meaning that every show has its own nuances and its own life. The masterminds behind the All-Stars are Easy Star musical director Michael Goldwasser (a.k.a. Michael G), his production partner Victor Axelrod (a.k.a. Ticklah), and his two Easy Star label partners Eric Smith and Lem Oppenheimer. These four were the team behind the album Dub Side of the Moon (2003), which was a complete reggae re-vision of Pink Floydâ€™s Dark Side of the Moon. That record has been locked on the Billboard charts for over 3 years.
Three years laterâ€”while the album continues to register on the Billboard Reggae Catalog Chartâ€”Easy Star is released their concert DVD, Dub Side of the Moon Live, on June 27, 2006. While over thirty musicians contributed to the Dub Side CD, the DVD finds a tight and crystallized live touring band. Following this release came Radiodread on August 22, 2006. The long awaited reggae version of Radiohead’s OK Computer.
Take a listen to Michael G and MisterG talking about music here.
Oh it is true. If you recall, my very first conversation was with Pundit Ravi Shankar, almost one year ago exactly. Ms. Shankar is as talented as she is beautiful, and I feel honored to have the opportunity to chat with her while she was relaxing at home in California. The eastern leg of her RISE tour begins mid-October and if you can find a way to make it, you must. Learn more about it at Anoushka‘s website.
Please treat yourself to our conversation here.
Coming to the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts October 24th, Matisyahu brings his uniquie sound of Jewish reggae music to Storrs. Matisyahu is currently getting some success in the mainstream with the live version of the song ‘King Without a Crown‘, which has broken into the Modern Rock Top 10; an accompanying video and new album – ‘Youth‘ – produced by Bill Laswell were released on March 7, 2006. On March 16th Youth was Billboard magazine’s #1 “Digital Album” and as of April 4th stands at 16th on iTunes’ top album. Also, his most recent accomplished output of exposure was his live showing in front of over 80,000 people at the Bonnaroo Music Festival 2006. In November 2005 Matisyahu was among the top 5 members in the American Jewish community in The Forward . Matisyahu was given an Esky for Most Lovable Oddball in Esquire’s 2006 Esky Music Awards. The magazine called him “the most intriguing reggae artist in the world.” In an interview with Chabad.org, a popular Jewish website, Matisyahu states that “All of my songs are influenced and inspired by the teachings that inspire me. I want my music to have meaning, to be able to touch people and make them think. Chasidism teaches that music is ‘the quill of the soul.’ Music taps into a very deep place and speaks to us in a way that regular words can’t.”
Listen to our quick chat here.
Tom Rush is a gifted musician and performer, whose shows offer a musical celebration…a journey into the tradition and spectrum of what music has been, can be, and will become. His distinctive guitar style, wry humor and warm, expressive voice have made him both a legend and a lure to audiences around the world. His shows are filled with the rib-aching laughter of terrific story-telling, the sweet melancholy of ballads and the passion of gritty blues. Rush’s impact on the American music scene has been profound. He helped shape the folk revival in the ’60s and the renaissance of the ’80s and ’90s, his music having left its stamp on generations of artists. James Taylor told Rolling Stone, “Tom was not only one of my early heroes, but also one of my main influences.” Country music star Garth Brooks has credited Rush with being one of his top five musical influences. Rush has long championed emerging artists. His early recordings introduced the world to the work of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and James Taylor, and in more recent years his Club 47 concerts have brought artists such as Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences when they were just beginning to build their own reputations. Tom will be singing, playing, and story telling October 6th at the Riverside in Danielson. This is a must see event.
Take a listen HERE to our conversation.
Some of you might know Mike Mattison as the voice of the Derek Trucks Band. Well, he also has a project with music partner Paul Olsen called Scrapomatic. With a brand new release set for Oct 10th called Alligator Love Cry, Scrapomatic will be on the stage of the infamous Toad’s Place Thursday, October 5th. Oh, you can hear some of the artsist that have been inspirations along the way, this is a fresh sound that reminds you why you like music in the first place. A raw blend of blues, soul, and sometimes silly that I am sure will be even better live and in person. Listen to greenarrowradio for tunes off the new album and a review of the show if you cannot make it. Thanks to Blake and Nancy for helping set this up and thanks to Mike for being flexible in his schedule.
Listen to our conversation here.
Paul and I went back and forth for weeks, perhaps months setting up a chance to chat. I get so many calls on the show whenever I play Morcheeba. Those on the other side are asking “Who is this?” so I thought I would bring to you, one of the Godfrey brothers, who create the foundation of chill; the center of cool and when they want to, the entire jar of jam. In case the name Morcheeba is an unknwon for you allow me a moment. This band is so groove oriented it feels good to hurt. They work with sweet/soulful and seductive female singers to bring you many different looks. You can listen to Morcheeba in the dead of the night or the wake of the morn, in the still of sadness or the wide-opened eyed happiness you only feel as a child. If you are reading this, this music is for you.
Listen to Paul and I talk about Morcheeba here.
When have I ever led you astray??? Do me a favor. No, correction, do yourselves a favor and check out www.myspace.com/desireebassett. Desiree was an in-studio gust the other day and I couldn’t be happier that she chose to hang out on greenarrowradio. Just 14…..yeah….I’ll wait for you to stop shaking your heads…..Just 14, she plays Purple Haze, All Along the Watchtower and rocks Santana’s SMOOTH with sister Jessica, all on her birthday. During Purpple Haze, she swung he guitar over her shoulders and played, during Watchtower she would be seen fingerplucking many notes and during smooth, she completed the deal by singing with a rock and roll emotion that made me go home and plug in that air-guitar and brush off the dust.
Don’t believe me….listen to her visit here.
Desiree & Vernon Reid
I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out on the phone lines with Salvador Santana. Yes, of THAT Santana family. Keyboardist and composer Salvador Santana‘s vibrant music mixes hip-hop, jazz, rock, Latin and other world idioms into a uniquely individual and totally contemporary style. He likes to call the richly textured grooves he creates with the Salvador Santana Band, “a new blend, a sound reinvented.” Salvador explains, “It’s a mix of all my favorite music, the best of what’s impacted my life, all coming together in a new genre.” Salvador Santana’s artistic chops are also, of course, colored by-and a continuation of-his family’s awesome legacy. Salvador’s maternal grandfather was African-American blues pioneer, tenor and guitar legend Saunders King, his paternal grandfather is celebrated violinist and mariachi bandleader Jose Santana, and his father is 10X GRAMMYÂ®-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Carlos Santana. Salvador‘s lyrics and inspired spoken word poetry reflect the gift for writing he shares with his mother, Deborah Santana, whose first book, the memoir Space Between The Stars, was published in 2005. The audio book version of the title features music that Salvador and Carlos composed together; previously, they collaborated on composing the GRAMMY-winning track “El Farol” from the smash 1999 Santana album Supernatural.
Listen to Salvador talk about his vision with creating music.
Salvador can be seen opening for Santana on September 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in uncasville CT and on September 22nd at the Chevrolet Theatre in Wallingford CT. Go experience this generations Santana.
I want to thanks the fine folks at Santana Management, as this interview can be found on Salvador Santana’s homepage www.salvadorsantana.com
Havens first rose to fame in the Greenwich Village folk music scene that also fostered Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. In 1967 Havens became one of several Village-based artists signed to Verve Records & released several albums to mostly local notice. In 1969, Havens opened the Woodstock Festival. His performance received continuous ovations and kept playing encores until he ran out of songs. Finally, he decided to improvise a version of “Motherless Child” to which he added a verse with the word “Freedom” repeated over and over; this song was featured in the Woodstock film fastly becoming an international hit. He followed up this success with the 1971 release of Alarm Clock, which featured a popular rendition of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun“. Often noted for his guitar skill; some of his recordings feature a drum sound which is actually his foot tapping on the floor. His guitar playing makes extensive use of open tunings and an unconventional thumb-fretting style. John Lennon said about Richie Havens during an interview for Rolling Stone in 1971: “He plays a pretty funky guitar.” Still maintaining his status as a folk icon, as he continues a busy schedule touring the globe with fiery performances. Connecticut welcomes Richie to the Strawberry Park Folk Festival in Preston, CT on September, 15th.
Listen to what Richie has to say here, and go see him play.
If you have been wondering where Thomas Dolby has been, take a listen to out chat. He will be heading to the Iron Horse in North Hampton MA on September 27th for his ONE MAN SHOW sort of thang. By the sounds of it, it will be a truly innovative and unique event. So, for all of theose with a sense for the unique…check it out. Also, hear what albums T.D played on but was credited under a different name..it is a weird name, yes.
Listen to our talk here.
Who else but Little Steven can bring a Rolling Rock and Roll Show, that’ll simply blow your minds and eyes and Thirsty Earholes Away. Coming on Sept 19th to Foxwoods Casino, get yourselves ready for a show that beats ’em all. The Zombies, The Mooney Suzuki’s, The Woogles, and even The Downbeat 5. The show will return once a month with a new lineup. Tickets are a reasonable as can be, like this show was made for college students. So c’mon UCONN, lets fill the Foxwoods Casino up with Huskies. A little history lesson first: You may know Steve from The Sopranos (he plays Silvio Dante) or as the longtime guitarist from Bruce Springsteenâ€™s E Street Band. Now you can get to know him as the coolest DJ in the country, a proud throwback to the late-night hipster jocks of long-gone 1960s and â€˜70s FM radio. He is an acclaimed record producer for artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Artists United Against Apartheid, Darlene Love, Lone Justice, Gary U.S. Bonds, and the Arc Angels. A gifted songwriter, he has written songs for artists including Jimmy Cliff, Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, Brian Setzer, and Darlene Love. In addition, Steven is a well-known musician in his own right, performing as a founding member of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as well as w ith his own band Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul. He has worked to further human rights since the early 1980’s, spearheading the hugely successful anti-apartheid Sun City project, and establishing the Solidarity Foundation in 1985 to support the sovereignty of indigenous peoples. He has been honored twice by the United Nations for his human rights achievements, and received the International Documentary Association Award for his film The Making of Sun City. Little Steven’s Underground Garage, which debuted on April 7, 2002, continues to garner rave reviews from journalists and listeners alike. The program launched with 20 affiliates and has grown to an unprecedented 140 affiliates in 200 markets across the United States and Canada. It can locally be heard on 104.7 WMOS / New London Sunday nights at 10pm,
99.1 WPLR / New Haven on Sunday mornings at 8am.
LISTEN TO STEVIE TELL YOU ABOUT THE SHOW IN HIS OWN WORDS.
Local student Tyler K. decided to spend 10 months of his junior year of high school abroad. So, he ended up in Spain. He was part of an intercultural exchange program set up by the American Field Service (AFS). This program hope to assist in forming a better world of understanding. Now that is what I am talking about.
Take a moment to get Tyler’s perspective on this cool experience.
Kenny Laguna is a long time member of the music community, as performer, songwriter, and producer. His body of work spans many genres, demonstrating his versatility and ability to create artist appropriate music. Through his multifaceted talent, his style is always apparent. Kenny started his career as a performer, having hits with music greats such as The Ohio Express and The Lemon Peppers. At sixteen, he was producing Bill Medley and churning out Bubblegum hits. During his sessions with Bill Medley, he met and began working with Darlene Love, Phil Spectors legendary lead voice (â€œLeader of the Packâ€ and the Lethal Weapon movie series). He went on to produce the soundtrack to an Andy Warhol movie called Lonesome Cowboys. He was a member of Tommy James and the Shondels as the keyboard player and background singer. Kenny produced Jay and the Americans, Tony Orlando, and Edwin Star, as well as for The Who’s record label in London. n the late seventies, he wrote and produced new wave punk hits for the legendary Beserkley Record Label with artists such as Jonathan Richmond and Greg Kihn. Kenny was asked to produce Bow Wow Wow. The outcome of these sessions was a hit called “I Want Candy.” Around the same time, he began working with Joan Jett. This collaboration marked the beginning of a long-standing partnership between Kenny and Joan. He has been with Joan from the start of her solo career as a producer, co-collaborator, and musician. He has worked with Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill (the riot-girl band) as well as a project called Evil Stig. For this project Joan Jett took the role of Lead singer for the band The Gits, who lost their own lead singer to rape and murder. The murder was unsolved, thus Evil Stig was born, a CD from which proceeds would go to the investigation to find Zapata‘s murderer. Mia Zapata‘s words live on through Evil Stig. Listen to Kenny tell it how he sees it, as we discuss the new Joan Jett & the Blackhearts album SINNER, the current administration and to be or not to be a producer.
It is a pleasure to speak with Kenny Laguna at any time. Hear it Here.
If when you hear, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, you think that they are involved in baseball or merely giving money to needed young adults, well than this conversation is for you. If you thought, like I did, that there IS a museum dedicated to Jackie Robinson‘s life in baseball and his triumphs and battle in society, then you need to check this out. If sometimes you only think of yourself or feel like the world is going in the wrong direction, take 26 minutes to learn more about what the JRF is up to and how you can pitch in to assist those students who have the leadership qualities and dedication to work harder than most and become important voices in our future communities. And I am not talking dollars and cents, more like thoughtfulness and comon sense. I hope you will take the time to listen to the Foundation’s charismatic and energetic President/CEO, MS. Della Britton-Baeza, and always remember to think about others……it only takes some time.
DELLA AND MR.G CONVERSATION HERE.
I want to thank Della and Gary for helping to make this talk happen, as well as the work they accomplish each day.
Hammond B3 player Merl Saunders has recorded with numerous renowned artists since the early ’70s and has led many of his own dates in a variety of genres from jazz to blues to new age to rock. Born on Valentine’s Day, 1934 in San Mateo, CA, Saunders began learning to play the piano at the age of 10. He was a classmate and bandmate of Johnny Mathis through junior high school. Saunders decided on music as a profession after seeing how much fun was had by audience and performers alike at concerts by such musicians as Cab Calloway. He apprenticed early on with Jimmy Smith for a time, and attended various music schools. Starting in the 1960s, Saunders collaborated on and off with Jerry Garcia, and the Grateful Dead. He also began working as a jazz keyboardist in the early ’70s, and since has performed and recorded with Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Paul Butterfield. One of his several albums with Jerry Garcia, Blues From the Rainforest, hit the Top 5 of the U.S. Billboard New Age charts in the early ’90s.
If you don’t already know, you need to find out. Check out the MERL SAUNDERS WEBSITE.
Listen to my conversation with Merl Saunders Jr. Here.
Tonight, August 17th from 6-9PM, Vinx will be bringing his One man. One voice. One drum style art to the floor of the REAL ART WAYS in Hartford Connecticut as part of their alternative multidisciplinary arts CREATIVE COCKTAIL event held every third thurday of each month. It is written that once upon a time (1990) in Santa Monica, CA, a famous musician (that would be Sting) wandered into a club to wait out the rain and was so enthralled with the performer on stage (that would be Vinx) that he signed him to a record deal and helped produce his debut album (that would be Rooms in My Fatha’s House). Although he had a gig back in 1978 as a percussionist for Taj Mahal, Vinx was a world-class triple-jumper. In fact, in 1980 he posted the second best jump in the world, but the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics, and after an injury at the 1984 Olympic trials in Los Angeles, Vinx embarked on his musical career as a vocalist and percussionist. He recorded and toured with the likes of Ernie Watts, Rickie Lee Jones, and Toni Childs before forming his own band of drummers and hitting Europe, where he played the Montreux Jazz Festival between Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter.
The list of talented musicians that Vinx has collaborated grows as I type, be sure to check him out in Hartford or any other place you get the chance.
LISTEN TO MY CHAT WITH VINX HERE.
New Riders Steel Pedal Guitar man and I chat promoting the upcoming show at the Riverside Club in Danielson, CT. Check them out here.
Listen to our “R” Rated Conversation here.
As one of the New Riders of the Purple Sage (replacing Jerry Garcia in 1971), Cage has sold over 4 million records. As an independent recording specialist, he has performed on over 10 gold & platinum records.
For Bob Dylan:
* “Blood On The Tracks”
* “Official Bootleg Tapes”
* “Panama Red”
* “Home, Home On The Road”
* “Gypsy Cowboy”
* Recorded w/Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart & GD lyricist Robert Hunter (“Tales Of The Rum Runners”), * 4 multi-platinum albums w/Anne Murray and the partnerships and success go on. Check out more online
I had the distinct honor to chat with Mr. Toby Marks (A.K.A. Banco de Gaia) about his new album FAREWELL FERENGISTAN as well as where he lives and a little about the attempt to Free Tibet. Here is a bit of info for you and then listen to our conversation.
We live at a time when we face some of the greatest challanges of our history. Can we afford to lose a people and culture which has understood and lived for thousands of years in harmony with an eocsystem which we seem to be fighting a losing battle with? Can we afford to let a vast repository of spiritual and human understanding which could benifit us all be destroyed to make way for more mines and factories which would only benefit some? The Tibetans will not use violence in their opposition to their oppressors – can we afford to wash our hands of them and accept that it is alright for the strong and ruthless to dominate the weak and principled? Our governments may not be prepared to stand up for what they say they believe in – freedom, human rights, democracy – for fear of rocking the trade boat, but we as individuals can; we can show our support for the Tibetan people, we can push for our public servants to do something to help, and at least the Tibetans will know that they are not alone in their fight to preserve their culture and beliefs, that others around the world also believe in the spirit, the heart and the dream of a world free of power-weilding bullies and their silent allies who look the other way.
For more information on the historical and present situation in Tibet, and details of what you can do to help, contact:
International Campaign For Tibet
1735 Eye Street
NW, Suite 615
Tel: 202 785 1515
Fax: 202 785 4343
Free Tibet Campaign
1 Rosoman Place
London EC1R 0JY.
Listen here to our conversation
Melvin Sparks is the Essential Guitar Player! Heâ€™s The Master Of The Groove! The Acid-Jazz Pioneer! The Originator of Soul Jazz, Old School Acid Jazz & BarbecueFunk(FUNKJAZZ). Sparks recorded seven albums of his own and played on over 100 other albums. As a session man for Blue Note and Prestige Records, Sparks laid his signature guitar work on many other musicianâ€™s albums without ever being in spotlight. It was during this time that Melvin defined the jazz-guitar sound of a generation. Melvin Sparks is still a much sought-after studio player, both new and old talents seek him out now more than ever. He continues to perform with the greats of this genre such as Leon Spencer Jr., Mike Clark and Idris Mohammed and is now breaking out his legendary guitar wizardry with many younger bands and artists such as Galactic, The Greyboy Allstars, Karl Denson’s Tiny Univers, Derek Trucks and Robert Walter’s 20th Congress. Melvin is geared up to show us all what he does better than anyone else. Groove hard and in the pocket. Melvin Sparks has perhaps the most inspiring and soul-energizing guitar chops on this planet or another. He is admired by many performers, and audiences old and young alike, but continues to be a hidden treasure for music fans worldwide. He is Soul-Jazzy and Funky to the core!
Listen to Melvin Sparks and I talk about his shows here.
Galactic was born in the early ’90s, after two Washington DC punks â€“ guitarist Jeff Raines and bassist Robert Mercurio â€“ relocated to New Orleans and found themselves intoxicated by the sounds of the scene that nurtured The Meters, Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers and Dr. John. Galactic has created a far-reaching canon informed by ongoing influence from a wide range of genres, including hip-hop, blues, pop, and electronica. Now, with six albums and countless landmark live shows to its credit, now, once again headed to new territoryâ€”for now, as an instrumental powerhouse. While the band has always embraced stylistic changes and relished its musical adventures, its instrumental chops have never wavered. On the road and in its own New Orleans studio, Galactic continues to reinvent itself, inspiring its ever-growing fan base with ongoing artistic evolution, synthesizing the most thrilling elements of vintage and contemporary styles to keep the party rolling. Galactic will be at Toad’s Place Friday July 21.
Listen to Jeff talk about Katrina and music.