We Banjo 3 is a band from Galway, Ireland that plays a blend of traditional Irish, old time, and bluegrass music they call “Celtgrass”. The band is composed of two sets of brothers, Enda and Fergal Scahill and Martin and David Howley. Their debut album Roots of the Banjo Tree was released in 2012 and was named “Traditional Music Album of the Year” by The Irish Times. This was followed by the release of Gather the Good in 2014. Siobhan Long, music critic for the Irish Times, writes “We Banjo 3 are a musical Betty Ford Clinic, almost single-handedly rehabilitating the much maligned banjo in 4 short years.” In 2016 the band released their fourth album String Theory which debuted at Number One on the Billboard Charts and they also were selected to play for President Barack Obama and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the annual “Friends of Ireland” luncheon held in Washington, DC around Saint Patrick’s Day. President Obama praised the band’s show calling it, “Great music. Incredible performance.”
I had the chance to speak with David Howley (Banjo, Vocals, Guitar) about the groups return appearance at this year’s Milwaukee Irish Fest on August 17. We discuss why Milwaukee feels like a second home to the band and what people in attendance can expect once they hit the stage. We also dive into the creation of their brand new album, “Haven” and how it came to be created and what some of the underlying sentiments are base don feedback and conversations with fans and listeners. At the end of out time toGether, you will find out what bands David would steer us to if we wanted to get a deeper sense of music that is similar to the sounds of We Banjo 3.
Photo: Amos Perrine
Started by four friends from Lima with a shared passion for traditional Afro-Peruvian music and global DJ culture, Novalima stands in the common ground bridging past and future, uniting tradition and innovation.
From their humble start, file-sharing musical ideas and producing their first album in separate countries at the dawn of the internet, Novalima is now a live musical force revered worldwide for breaking boundaries and uniting seemingly irreconcilable genres, communities, and generations. They have created an inspiring movement and revolutionized the music scene in their native Peru by bridging a longstanding divide between the mainstream and the minority Afro-Peruvian community, who have struggled against discrimination and cultural dissolution for generations. Taking a year off from touring during 2017, Novalima went back in the studio to explore and experiment with new sounds from Peru. This time around, the influences came not only from its African heritage but also from the exploration of ancient sounds, languages and instruments from the Andes and the Amazon. On this new album called Ch’usay (Voyage in Quechua, the native language of the Inkas) to be released on September 2018 on Wonderwheel Recordings, Novalima goes one step further to enrich their sound by collaborating with new generations of local artists from the peruvian music scene. The release of the new album will also coincide with Novalima`s 15th Anniversary which will include a special color vinyl release of all their previous albums on July 1st and a European and US Tour on mid July.
I was fortunate to catch up with Rafael Morales in Lima shortly before the group heads over to the United States to beGin their fifteenth anniversary tour and celebrating this fantastic new release with a set of music at the Central Park Sessions- The Novalima Select Session on August 1st. We get into what a newcomer to the scene can expect out of this powerhouse group of innovators, the new album and how it came to be and we find out how happy they are to kick things off in a new place to call home…Madison.
Photo by: Vito Mirr
Fea is the continued ferocity of Girl In A Coma’s Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva, joined by lead vocalist Letty Martinez and guitarist Bobby Rivas. Their melodic brand of Riot Grrrl Chicana Punk immediately caught the attention of Joan Jett who signed them to her label Blackheart, and Iggy Pop who sang their praises to Rolling Stone which has since been echoed by many! Producers on their debut LP (self-titled) include Lori Barbero (Babes In Toyland), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), and Alice Bag (The Bags), all of whom perfectly compliment the band’s fierce exploration of societal, cultural and gender-related issues. Mixing humor with agency, English with Spanish, Fea empowers listeners and inspires dissidence. Resistance has never sounded so infectious!
The other day I had a chance to have friend of the proGram, Phanie Diaz back on to talk about the upcoming Fea show on August 5th at High Noon Saloon with Agent Orange. I have had both Phanie and Jenn on a different times when GiaC where in Madison, but oh what a thrill to get a chance to have this straightforward, say it like they see it from their perspective Chicana Punk scene hit this city. Phanie and I talk about what a newcomer to the band can expect at any of their shows, including the who’s and what’s. We do touch on how she found about about Iggy Pop’s comments about Fea..what DO you do with that?! We get into the creation of new tunes, which those in attendance at the High Noon gig will get a first ear taste of, as well as the right now, in this moment, meaningfulness behind these tracks. We also find out how wide a net both Phanie and Jenn probably would cast musically, if given some time programming greenarrowradio for a bit. No better way to get to know about the band then to go and check out a live event!!
Jaedyn James is the lead of the eight piece ‘Raw Funk & Aggressive Soul’ band, The Hunger. Consumed by her passion at 23 years old, James quit her full time job and assembled a group of musicians based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. JJ’s work ethic, energy, and music reflect the stylings of James Brown, Etta James, Lucille Ball, Marina Abromovich, and ee cummings. The combination of a powerful, modern woman using vintage sounds and attitudes is not only refreshing, but cause to celebrate. Within three years of managing & fronting The Hunger, she sent the band on regional tours, recorded the 14 track album,”RAW”, produced four music videos, and received national radio play. The last of the video series, “Set You On Fire” gained over 25,000 views in the first two weeks of release. Never a stranger to challenge, Jaedyn is setting the stage for 2018 to be one of the band’s biggest years yet.
I had a chance to catch up with Jaedyn as Jaedyn James And The Hunger make their way to Madison on 7/28 to move and groove with the crowd at AtwoodFEST. We let folks who don’t know, know what to expect from the band in a live setting. We get into the world of new music and the amazing people who are assisting in creating the very distinct sound Jaedyn is seeking. JJ also shares the vision she has for the group from this moment onward into the unknown future and we learn what she will air to my listeners when she comes and hangs out in studio with me to WOman the board.
Photos – Alexander Just
Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal‘s combination of soul, funk and R&B is in a word, electric. Best displayed in their high-energy live show, the blend of honest lyrics and rich, intensely soulful vocals merged with a top-notch band create an undeniable chemistry. Formed in 2012 in famed blues town Lincoln, Nebraska, the award-winning five-piece band includes some of the area’s most revered and accomplished musicians. Inspired by the historic sounds of Stax, Motown, Muscle Shoals, New Orleans, Philly and San Francisco, the band continuously crosses musical boundaries both in style and era, and joins forces each show with a common goal – to have the crowd dancing so much they forget even their smallest troubles. In 2017, Josh was featured as a contestant on ‘The Voice’, and the band completed their first European tour; a 27-city stint capped with a live album release from their show in Brussels, Belgium.The hard working band completed several national tours from 2015-2017, playing more than 150 shows in 32 states each year, including opening for friends of the proGram, Mr. George Clinton and Mr. Charles Bradley (rest in soulful peace). Their year-round touring schedule took them from coast to coast, including several major summer music festivals.
I had the chance to catch up with Josh before he and Soul Colossal head to Madison to bring that goodness to Atwoodfest on July 28th. The band takes playing on The Clyde Stubblefield Stage very seriously as you’ll hear in this conversation, so we are expecting this to be “one of those shows’ people talk about for years. Josh and I talk about the upcoming album to be released first overseas, where Soul Colossal will be off to shortly after, and those in Madison will be treated to some of these new tunes in advance. When asked what artists he would share if given an hour of greenarrowradio to proGram, he did not hesitate his answering. Find out who would be on his playlist by clicking play above.
Listening to the soul sounds coming through his transistor radio in the late fifties and early sixties, Lee Fields was hooked. Through the seventies, he made his living touring the legendary Chitlin’ Circuit alongside some of the greatest names in blues and soul history. He landed a gig with Kool and the Gang before their rise to fame. But, as the seventies came to a close, disco began its reign and Lee’s soul career plummeted. For decades, he thought his music dreams were dead. But with one phone call, everything changed…
Interspersed with striking, never-before seen performances of new and classic Lee Fields songs, the Lee Fields Film (working title) takes us through Lee’s memories from the moment soul music began to his hard-won present-day success – and shows how 50 years of changing technology has conspired to create one beautiful but fleeting moment in music history.
I had the honor of discussing this documentary with the film-making duo responsible for bringing this five year project to the finish line. Jessamyn Ansary and Joyce Mishaan talk with love about how this project took off from a moment’s notice and how it has grown into a flower almost ready to bloom for all to enjoy. That’s where we all come in. I share the love of Mr. Fields’ music, have had him on the proGram and understand what real feels like to me. Take a moment and check out the project’s Kickstarter Page and see “what the soul” is going on!!! Don’t just take my word, listen to Jessamyn and Joyce share their dream with you.
UPDATE: Because of YOU, the SOUL will go on. Goal reached and surpassed. THANK YOU(s).
Photo By: Mike Canzoniero
Graphic Design By: Ashley Marzulla
Los Lobos came to Madison to show Fete de Marquette an incredible time. One of my favorite outdoor festival bands, heck, one of my favorite bands to see live because of all the different sounds they manage to share to open minds everywhere. Over the years I have seen them in intimate settings, big festivals and now here at our hometown community festival where the stage is or front door to the neighborhood. Steve Berlin has been with the band since 1984 or so and I have grown to appreciate him as a member of Los Lobos, but also as a producer or new sounds with other artists coming on to the scene. I am not usually surprised when I find out an album I am diggin’ on and ready to share with the listeners has passed through Steve first. So it was a thrill to be able to hang out with him during the Making Movies set that preceded Los Lobos. We talked baseball for a bit, but we relished in deep enjoyment in the music we were seeing at that very moment. Of course, Steve produced these cats and also joined them on staGe for a few tunes. Priceless.
Shortly before they hit for the evening’s show, Steve and I caught up to put something quick on record. We spoke about what it is like making music in 2018 versus when the band got it first going back in what we now get to call, the day. We also get to talk about some of the new bands Steve is working with, including Making Movies, and we even find out about a group he wishes he was even more a part of. We both agree that music unites and there is still a good reason to be exited.
Big thank you to Susana and the entire Fete team for helping make this a go and for letting me fit in to the scene.
Steve Berlin & misterG
An enigmatic sound, a storyteller’s narrative and a live performance style oozing with Rat Pack moxie – singer and songwriter Robin McKelle is like a genre-blurring musical alchemist, taking listeners on a sonic trip to the old South, sprinkling in hints of the Motown Era or even the smoothness of Sade album, and mixing it together to create her inspiring ‘Melodic Canvas’ of Soul, Jazz, Gospel and More. On her most recent album, Melodic Canvas, which dropped late April, she embracing her genre-blurring style and no longer trying to fit into a box. The result is a deeply textured, rich, authentic collection, a mix of timely social commentary, intimate lyrics and a thoughtful call to action. A savvy songwriter and a powerhouse vocalist, Robin has long found a home where soul, jazz, pop, gospel, blues and the American Songbook cross paths. For the new album (which she produced), Robin sought a more ‘acoustic’ vibe with a focus on percussion, to allow the subtleties of her voice to shine. In her songwriting and in the arrangements/production of the album, she mixes her varied influences together with strength and grace.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Robin once again to discuss the new release. We get into the making of the songs and the hands on, hands off approach taken to get from a starting point to a finish line. Last time Robin and I spoke, we talked about her work with friend of the proGram, Mr. Lee Fields and how working with him opened up new directions in her path, so naturally I followed up with finding out since then some of the newest collaborators that have inspired. Robin even sings a line from one of the songs she might choose to air if I gave her some time programming greenarrowradio for you…seems like her and I would have fun making radio toGether. Take a listen above for the insights.
Jon Spencer, THE BLUES EXPLOSION MAN who put the BELLBOTTOMS on BABY DRIVER!
The Top Cat who spread the Secret Sauce in BOSS HOG!
The Rockabilly Right-Hook from Heavyweight Outlaws HEAVY TRASH!
The Swank-Fucking Master of PUSSY GALORE!
Often imitated, never duplicated, the original NYC underground-rock legend returns from the wilderness with twelve red-hot hits, each more powerful than the last! This is Garage Punk for Now People! A wizard’s brew of rhythm & blues and subversive dance grooves, weaponized with sci-fi skronk and industrial attitude, calibrated for the Revolution, a ball-peen hammer of sound guaranteed to destroy any post-modern hangover! Pulsing with energy, clanging with excitement, and dripping with radioactive soul and raw emotion, Jon Spencer opens up his heart like never before, exploring man’s modern condition with caustic guitars and outerworld crooning, asking and answering the musical question, “Is it possible to torch the cut-throat world of fake news and pre-fab, plastic-coated teen ennui with the cold hard facts of rock’n’roll?”
THE ANSWER IS YES!
SPENCER SINGS THE HITS! This is the truth serum America has been craving, the beginning of a rock’n’roll special counsel that takes no prisoners and puts the squares on ice!
I had the great pleasure of chatting with Jon about the upcoming album, as well as the July 30th show in Madison at the High Noon Saloon supporting Melvins. We get into the making and creating of the new tunes, and how doing it as a “solo” artist took on meaning. We paint a quick picture of what a newcomer to the scene could expect from the music of Jon Spencer as a solo artist and the people who are working out on tour helping him bring the fire to us. I have to admit that Jon’s music in all the bands mentioned above have always held a special place in my musical shaping existence, so getting to discuss the hows and whys and such with Jon was a thrill. We also find out just what he would spin if given 45 minutes of this radio show to program.
Photo Credit: Michael Lavine
“Moist” Paula Henderson is a baritone saxophone player. She is a longtime member of the constantly shifting collective I call family, Burnt Sugar Arkestra Chamber. She has performed with Melvin Van Peebles‘ group Wid Laxative and has also played with The Roots, Gogol Bordello, Amanda Palmer and TV On The Radio, with whom she appeared on the David Letterman show. There are so many bands, projects and art I could connect Paula to, from Secretary to Nick Waterhouse, from Moisturizer to her work with Reverend Vince Anderson. But the truth is, we met, we made friends and I am so proud to be a part of each and every thing she puts her mind and talent to.
I had the chance to catch up with Paula after a trip overseas to talk about an upcoming cassette release party for her newest work, Actually Electric Experiments and Adventures on EWI. We get into what a EWI is and how that has translated into some new individual mind opening for Paula as well as the way the entire “project” became an event. The journey of this music is an interesting as the music itself. Whenever we get toGether, we relsih on our very first time making acquaintance and I for one, hope you feel more a part of that as yo ulisten in to our conversation. We should all plan a reuninon of our sporits, and this is a great place to start.
She comes from New York, he lives in Paris – her name is Nicolle Rochelle, his name is Antoine Chatenet, and against all the odds of their physical locations, they found each other. After four years of touring Europe with the director Jerome Savary, Nicolle stumbled upon Antoine’s productions on Internet. Instantly upon hearing his songs, she recognized herself within the sound and fell in love with his musical style. That very same evening they met by pure chance in a Parisian jazz club, and GINKGOA was born. From Pop Music, to the Swing of old New York with a mix of Electro-French touch beats, they only have one thing in mind: to make generations of people dance, sway, and sing along to melodies that stay in your head long after they leave the venue. Frequently described as a modern version of the electro-swing heavyweights ‘Caravan Palace’ & ‘Parov Stelar’ due to their energetic live shows and ability to make any audience dance; critics and audiences everywhere agree that GINKGOA has rightfully earned their own place at the top of this list.
I had the thrill of chatting with Nicolle about the upcoming set in Madison on July 14th & 15th at the ever-popular Fête de Marquette. It is really nice to hear how Madison is remembered by artists as they come and go, and Nicolle shares some really nice words about the people who danced with GINKGOA‘s thang last time they came to town to festival up. We set the stage for anyone who missed out last time they were here with a quick nutshell painting of the who and the what. We talk about the brand new (well timed) thumper of an EP “One Time” and how it went from an orb of idea and energy into the beats and story I happily will Summertime share with you. We also learn a little about what would be in a setlist aired out for you if Nicolle had the board on greenarrowradio.
Bent Knee is a band without frontiers. Its borderless sound combines myriad influences from across the rock, pop, minimalist, and avant-garde spectrums into a seamless, thrilling whole. Its latest album, “Land Animal” the groups first for InsideOutMusic/Sony, takes its sound to a new level. It offers a suite of songs full of addictive hooks, lush melodies and enthralling twists and turns that capture the reality of life in the 21st Century—a reality of people and nations in the midst of tumultuous change. It also communicates a ray of hope and desire for listeners to embrace the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles. The band has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Its last two albums, 2016’s “Say So” and 2014’s “Shiny Eyed Babies”, were hailed as significant art-rock achievements. The group has performed hundreds of shows across the world to date. With “Land Animal”, Bent Knee has elevated its storytelling ambitions to create narratives that reflect and refract the currents we’re exposed to in the news every day. But wait…there’s more….
I had the chance to reconnect with members of Bent Knee in support of their upcoming event in Madison at Art In. Spent some time aGain with bassist, Jessica Kion and first timer on the show, violinist, Chris Baum. They will be heading here on The Paper Earth tour, which we find out, has been anything but a wild ride. We spoke about the differences/similarities in the process developing the “Land Animal” and this new work which Madison will get a taste of first hand. I am always thrilled to share tales of learnings about ourselves when we stretch into new circles, and Bent Knee latest work performed with the Boston Conservatory Percussion Ensemble, will prompt you to go check out the YouTube video and leave you wanting to check it all out in different shapes and forms.
Image by: Chris Anderson
Igor Yuzov was born in Germany, raised in Ukraine and studied in Russia. He grew up in the former Soviet Union, where folk music was the norm and rock’n’roll was illegal. A rebellious streak, however, led him to seek out the forbidden music. As soon as it became possible, Igor left Russia for America with his “Folk’n’Roll” band Limpopo and was personally greeted by Ronald Reagan. In 1993, Limpopo won Star Search and their popularity began to blossom. Igor dreamed that Elvis Presley came to him and told him to start playing rock’n’roll. Igor and his Russian friends became Red Elvises and gave street performances on Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade. As their crowds grew larger, the City of Santa Monica ordered them to discontinue their street performances. Evolving over the years, Igor’s music has been labeled “Siberian Surf Rock” which contains humorous lyrics and grooves that forces his audience to dance. Over the past 20 years, Red Elvises have constantly toured all over the world with occasional breaks to record new music and to participate in film and television projects. No matter where they perform, Igor & Red Elvises always bring the party with them.
I had the opportunity to chat with Igor ahead of the July 11th show in Madison at High Noon Saloon. We give new comers to the scene an idea of what to expect from the a Red Elvises‘ show and who will be on stage rockin’ you. Igor and I talk about the party that naturally ensues with their style of music and if you ask me, Madison sounds like the perfect place to get a party started. Igor and I compare the shared international discussions and feelings both World Cup soccer and a musical bridge provide those who are paying attention. I think you will also find it interesting to hear what artists Igor would share with the listeners if given a portion of the show to proGram.
Photo credit: Emily Butler Photgraphy
Larry Keel is described by music critics and reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. He has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to playing amplified, acoustic guitar and composing original music. He’s also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it’s a tune written by a fellow song-writer/musician friend, or a surprise cover from any number of musical acts all over the map. The combination is pretty irresistible, and has earned Mr. Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic and jam rock musicians alive, and some now, sadly, gone. Larry Keel has a variety of musical formats he presents throughout the year; especially look out for his core band, The Larry Keel Experience.
On Friday, July 13th, The Larry Keel Experience will be making the good times and good luck happen at The Edgewater in Madison, Wisconsin. I had the honor of catching up with Larry about the upcoming event, and what a newbie to the scene can expect when they make their way out. We spend a little time talking about some of the fellow musicians he has been privileged to work with, learn from and call friends throughout the years and what things rub off from those moments. We also learn about a potential timeline on a new album that is currently in pre-production as well as some of the music Larry would share with my listeners if given control of the board for a bit. Also, I think it is pretty cool to know that he will be thinking about me and Mustapha when he cuts the grass. Check it out, the chat and the show.
Photo By: Jim Dimitroff
Edgar Winter is a true music legend and pioneer. He has been celebrated across the globe since his 1970 solo debut, Entrance. Even now, with over twenty albums, top hits “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride,” and numerous collaborative efforts to his credit, Edgar Winter has not been satisfied to ride the wave of popular music stardom. His music is always evolving and he is a master at stretching his skill and imagination to produce amazing results. You can get a sense of that continual growth as you go through and listen in to his complete discography. The evolution is real and ever-shaping. He continues to thrill audiences with his live performances, always remaining on the cutting edge of music and style. Mr. Winter is now, just as before, at the very top of his game, and his future looks even brighter than his past.
I had the complete honor of talking with Mr. Edgar Winter as he prepares to rock and roll with the crowd in Milwaukee on July 1st at the world’s largest music festival, Summerfest. We start off putting who and what to expect if you happen to be on your maiden voyage into the music and scene of The Edgar Winter Band. There are always new fans to be had. It is a thrill to listen in on how Edgar has gone about and goes about listening to, feeling and sharing all types of instruments and music. The evolution is real and ever-shaping. We get into how the respect of all things musical happened to him and how much of an influence his brother Johnny truly was on his being. We find out what music Mr. Winter would share with you, the listeners if give as much time on the proGram as he wanted, really. And towards the very end of the conversation, we get an idea of a new project in the pipeline that pays homage to Mr. Johnny Winter, is brother, mentor and inspiration and how it went from being a for profit idea that was not to get off the ground into a “do it your way” respectful offering that will get to our ears in the soon to be.
Photo By: PAUL ZOLLO
When you think of New Orleans, the city’s foremost flambeaux-lit traditions of Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, voodoo, Po’ boys, beads, gumbo, and second line undoubtedly come to mind. You can also count Big Sam’s Funky Nation amongst those NOLA treasures. Known for a boisterous blend of funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, nothing short of seismic live “experiences,” and a whole lot of Southern charm, Big Sam’s Funky Nation might very well be The Big Easy’s best kept secret. Big Sam, the frontman, personally draws on over two decades in the game, spanning everything from 300 shows per year during his days in Dirty Dozen Brass Band and gigs backing up Widespread Panic and Dave Matthews Band to recording and touring with Mr. Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello. Additionally, he was sought out for a recurring role on the critically acclaimed HBO series Treme.
I had the pleasure of catching up quick with Big Sam in advance of the Funky Nation heading to Madison on June 28th to play the Ruby Lounge. We spoke about what kinda party will be happening when we all get together to celebrate. We dive into the new album, “Songs In The Key Of Funk Vol. 1”, and how not only is it a New Orleans sound, but it heads knee deep into a funk that is beyond one area of the world. Big Sam’s Funky Nation bring their sound to all sizes and shapes of people including the kids….as I recall a great album FUNKY KIDZ….where they get down to the Hokey Pokey. That’s what it’s all about.
Photo Credit: Andy Goetz
As the phenomena of instant connection and the need for constant self-improvement further implant their tendrils into our culture, the ability to truly connect with each other and ourselves has begun to fade. As we all reach for our smartphones to gaze upon the manufactured perfection of the lives of those we admire, we lose sight of what makes our own lives important. Nashville’s Langhorne Slim interlaces this theme throughout his new album. “Everyone’s searchin’ for something better around every corner, but it’s already right here,” he says. “We’re all born whole — through livin’ we fall apart…” The songs on Langhorne Slim’s newest album, “Lost At Last Vol. 1”, which dropped November 10, 2017, challenge the idea of social rigidity: the attitude that there’s a “correct” way for us to live and a side we should be on. He urges the world to see through the idea that by following that path and focusing only on fitting the mold, one will have lived a good life. He re-interprets the sound of the free-spirited yet vulnerable every-man heard on 2015’s “The Spirit Moves” and brings forth anew the call for us to abandon “the fold” and re-connect with ourselves and each other.
I had the complete pleasure of speaking with Langhorne Slim about this latest release and how it grew from the seed to it’s own unique flower. We paint a water-colored picture of what the people in Madison, specifically what a newcomer to the scene can imagine will occur on June 23rd at the High Noon Saloon when Langhorne Slim And The Lost At Last Band come toGther with Madisonians. There is a moment of reflection where thinking about a special space to get away or create is contemplated and who or what might have rubbed off on the skill of connectable storytelling. When we discussed his recent playing and relationship with our friends (family), Victor and Janet of Nineteen Thirteen, we get a tease of the potential of something real different being in the works for consumption in the near future. If you’ve been wondering, ‘What is Langhorne Slim listening to these days’, well guess no further, just check out the entire conversation, as it will be sure to pry open your mind into a real cool cat.
Photo Credit: Dawn Hamilton
The story goes that the Big Wu, bound for rock stardom, sold their souls for a case of Old Style beer one thirsty night long ago. The legend and the band live on. Still rocking their powerful, moving, and energizing original music for the fans. A jam band with a unique style and presence, the Wu combine strong, free flowing sonic improvisations and vocal harmonies, with finely crafted songs for all tastes. Oh, and their fans are famously friendly.
I had the chance to catch up with Padre of The Big Wu to talk about the upcoming event on June 6th at the Majestic Theater with opening act, The Grasshoppers. Padre and I talk about the potential of what is and what could be when it comes to the moments leading up to a show, such as the one on the 16th. We get into the new music that will soon be in my hands to share with all you listeners, the upcoming Big Wu Family Reunion, which is August 17 and 18th and this year it is back to being a home game. Finally, we somehow get to talking about how Robert Randolph is the butter on Prince‘s bread…err…something like that. Check it out out for yourself.
Photo Credit: Wandering Skunk Photography
There are many voices and styles of the versatile Shana Morrison. She has been placed in the category of pop with a side of blues and a side of rock. However, it is her ability to add a wide array of diversity to her musical brew that always caught my ear. She has been known to include other ingredients, like country, R&B, and jazz into the mix. Her material seems to be ever-changing and hard to pin down categorically. She began performing with her group Caledonia in the San Francisco Bay area in 1996. Her debut CD, Caledonia, was released on her own label, Belfast Violet Records, in 1998 and picked up by the Monster Music label in 1999. Vanguard Records signed Shana in 2001, and 7 Wishes was released in 2002. Each album received favorable reviews from media outlets across the country while getting solid airplay coverage and support. From there she has toured internationally, shared the stage or played with a long list of incredible artists, ranging from Joe Cocker to Bob Weir. In 2108, Shana is on the new release from her father, Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco, adding a whole lot of beautiful soul to an already powerful album
I had the chance to spend a little time with Shana to discuss her upcoming tour stops in Wisconsin. One June 8th, she will at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison and on June 9th, she will be at Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall at The Marcus Center For The Performing Arts in Milwaukee. She’ll be opening for Leo Kottke both evenings. We get into what folks who go and check out her set will be in store for, from material to the other artist joining her. We talk about the new album with her father and what kind of moments of “WOAH” sometimes happen when working with him, and how excited she is for how well the album is charting. We talk about her work with Roy Rogers and what living in Mill Valley provides in the way of influence. At the end of the chat, we find out what music Shana would share if I gave her a half hour of the show to proGram…looks like I have a perfect sub to call to fill in.
Van Morrison & Shana Morrison-Oct 8th 2010-Photo: Art Siegel
MOKOOMBA brings audiences an electrifying blend of Afro-fusion and tantalizing traditional Tonga rhythms. Their mix of Zimbabwean rhythms, Afro-beat and Afro-rock generated exuberant scenes in over 75 concerts in 2017: from New Orleans Jazz Festival to the Sziget Festival. This force of global sound was also featured in/on many popular music media outlets such as Songlines Magazine, Arte TV, Afropop, just to name a few.
The name MOKOOMBA stems from the deep respect that the Tonga people have for the Zambezi River and for the vibrant life that it brings to their music and culture. This exciting Tonga group from Zimbabwe certainly has a unique sound that is set to take the world music scene by storm! Their music is rooted in the local traditions and life in their hometown of Victoria Falls, a town on the Zambezi River named after the spectacular waterfall. MOKOOMBA has brought a unique flavor to a vibrant global music scene that was dominated by sungura, reggae and dancehall, urban and afro-jazz bands at that time of their conception.
I had the wonderful pleasure of talking with bassist of Mokoomba, Abundance Mutori about the upcoming events we in Madison are fortunate to get a chance to be a part of. On June 1st, they will be at North Street Cabaret and then again on June 3rd at the Central Park Sessions. Abundance and I painted a quick image of what newcomers to the sound and scene could expect to see and hear at either event. We discuss the energy and tradition of the group as well as how the group ended up toGether doing what they love. Can’t wait to share in the vibe of Mokoomba as they head back to a place that already loves them….Madison, Wisconsin.