Jake Shimabukuro’s wholly unique approach to the ukulele started early. As a youngster growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, he started playing the instrument at the age of four, learning the basics from his mother, Carol, and then developing his craft further by studying the likes of musical masters such as Eddie Kamae, Ohta-San and Peter Moon. As he matured, Jake also found inspiration from guitar players, drummers, pianists, and singers. Even athletes helped fuel the intensity of his artistic fire. Jakes’s records have topped the Billboard World Music Charts on numerous occasions, and as a live performer he has become one of the hottest tickets around. He’s played with world-renowned orchestras and at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House, and has dazzled audiences at music festivals including Bonnaroo, SXSW, the Playboy Jazz Festival and Fuji Rock Festival. He even performed for that rarest of audiences: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Not too shabby for a humble young man from Hawaii and his trusty ukulele.
Jake and I have spoken to one another since the very beGinning We have offered each other our thoughts on all the music. I look forward to my yearly conversation with him to see where he is being inspired by and how direction-different he is able to make that ukulele go. This time is even more special as we get to talk about his upcoming show on September 24th at The Overture Center For The Arts, right here in my backyard of Madison, Wisconsin. We get deep into his brand new album, “The Greatest Day” and how it developed into a split of six originals and six covers. Take a listen to our chat and hear how one Hendrix tune is crafted into another Hendrix tune to weave a magical sound masterpiece. And to personalize it a little more, we learn what Jake might have done for a career if music was not the path he was fortunate (ad so were we) enough to make a living doing.
Naia Izumi is an independent guitarist, bassist, drummer, singer songwriter and producer based out of Los Angeles and recipient of the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest. Creating music and playing for people on the streets, watching and feeling those who pass by and making sounds that resonate within the moment when the heart feels it. Many of the shared moments of creation are interpreted elegantly with a guitar through an intricate uniqueness that is refreshing, soulful and downright bizarre at times with haunting undertones reminding you that magic exists.
I had the chance to catch up with Naia shortly before the September 8th show on the beautiful Terrace at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. We take some time to let people who go to the show know that the moments that will be shared will be unlike anything you may have seen online that features Naia. Feeding off the atmosphere and the audience has been a key to the growth of this artist. We walk through a timeline from when that first sonic experimentation to the moment in May when Naia won the annual NPR Tiny Desk Contest. Can you believe that it may have actually slipped his mind that he even entered the contest? We dissect the song he entered, “Soft Spoken” and discussed being born with something to say, and when that right moment to be heard showed up. I listen to A LOT of music of all sorts, and it is hard to find something/someone that truly fits into that “unique” category, but with Naia Izumi, I think I have found it.
Photo By Beck Harlan/NPR
Lemon Bucket Orkestra are Toronto’s original guerrilla-folk party-punk massive. The multi-award-winning ensemble has been heralded as a groundbreaking, genre-bending phenomenon by media and fans alike, and over the past 8 years have performed all over the world from WOMAD in New Zealand and Pohoda in Slovakia, to Festival D’Été in Québec City, and Luminato in Toronto. Equal parts exhilarating precision and reckless abandon, LBO’s live shows are a truly immersive experience – ranging from the ecstatic to the cathartic and all points in between – and they have expertly captured that unique blend of energy and emotion on their new album “If I Had The Strength”. Released in Canada through Outside Music in late 2018, it’s set for worldwide release via a new deal with Six Degrees Records this September, and includes guest appearances from famed soprano Measha Brueggergosman, rising Latino rapper Boogát, sing-a-long phenoms Choir!Choir!Choir! and more. The band will be busy touring the Canadian festival circuit this summer, and are heading out on a 12 date US tour in support of the Six Degrees release this fall. Along with the worldwide release of the new album, LBO will also be premiering a new live video for the song “Freedom”. Filmed with multiple cameras at Toronto’s legendary Opera House earlier this year, it captures the band doing what they do best – taking the audience on a joyful, impassioned ride through the Balkans and beyond. Don’t miss your chance to see this dozen strong juggernaut if you can.
I had the chance to catch up with Michael Louis Johnson, trumpet player of Lemon Bucket Orkestra to discuss what people at the Madison World Music Festival can expect when they show up and bring the party. We get into the creation of the new album from seed to blooming flower, and the vision and fuel behind the making of the video for “Freedom”. I found that we painted a great picture of what a show will be like and how the album and video were made, but hearing who Michael, on behalf of himself and the band, might choose to put on a festival bill with them if he could choose from any artist ever really opened my mind to the who behind the what.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra
Grammy Award winning children’s artist Dan Zanes and Haitian-American vocalist and music therapist Claudia Eliaza present the freewheeling musical world of the Night Train 57, an engine powered by fifteen original singalongable songs. In this Sensory Friendly comic folk opera, the husband-wife duo are joined by Mexican percussionist Yuriana Sobrino on a collection of festive tunes played with an amazing array of diverse instruments, and of course their voices. This recording is intended to be enjoyed as a stand alone listening experience for families and early childhood educators as well as fans of the comic folk opera. Night Train 57 was significant in the Theater for Young Audiences genre in that it was the first entirely Sensory Friendly work to be commissioned by The Kennedy Center which for several years has been the leader in the movement towards greater accessibility. The show premiered in the Fall of 2017 and will be touring North America for the next several years. Claudia and Dan are at the forefront of the emerging Sensory Friendly movement which aims to help performing arts venues provide conditions that are welcoming to a variety of families, including those who have children with special needs. Night Train 57 is the 22nd release from Dan’s Festival Five Records, a label specializing in all-ages music for kids and kid sympathizers. The label’s first release was Rocket Ship Beach in 2000. For the past 2 years, in addition to Night Train 57 performances, Claudia and Dan have been performing as a duo – and sometimes a trio with Haitian jazz vocalist Pauline Jean – in venues large and small across America and Canada. In concert, their soulful take on family folk music includes selections from Lead Belly, Baby!, an award winning 2017 Smithsonian / Folkways release, as well as hits from Dan’s deep back catalog and, more recently, some traditional tunes from Claudia’s Haitian heritage.
I had the honor of speaking with Claudia and Dan about this project and how we all share the “inclusion is a cool thing” thinking. We get into how the songs were developed and nurtured by a new found toGetherness, and how the first experience of a sensory friendly event has left not only Claudia and Dan with a real satisfied feeling, but what it has shown to mean for the variety of people in attendance. Variety. Diversity. Everyone.
Performing Arts centers are catching on and I am sure the one closest to you does not want to feel left out, so share this concept, share this interview and share these people with them and hop on the Night Train 57 engine that can, for all.
Photo Credit: Anna Zanes
In his early twenties, Lipbone Redding migrated from North Carolina to New York City with his guitar. After a brief stint as an actor, carpenter, bartender and producer for the Museum of Sound Recording, he promptly became a subway musician. From the swampy farmlands and beach towns of coastal North Carolina. Lipbone was steeped in the musical tradition of Soul, Boogie and Blues. Early on in his career, Lipbone honed his guitar and people skills among the underground caverns of New York City, In 2002 his craft allowed him to travel and make a living wherever life took him: India, Europe, South America, New Orleans, San Francisco. Along the road, he forged lifelong collaborative relationships with producers, DeeJays, artists and masters around the globe. Since 2012, in order to maintain a lifestyle of 200 engagements per year, Lipbone has returned to his roots and has sprouted new shoots. An uncanny vocal range, a nylon string guitar, a wooden spoon duct-taped to his foot and a lifetime of stories are all he needs to get the party started. While he mostly tours as a solo act, he is known to collaborates regularly with other musicians and his trio, The Lipbone Orchestra. He has shared the stage with many great artists including Marcia Ball, John Mayall, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Tab Benoit, Cyril Neville, Jimmy Hall, Jonathan Edwards, Rita Wilson, Shemekia Copeland, Tommy Castro and others. Lipbone has taken his singular vocal instrumental style to a new level by playing guitar and producing all of the instrument sounds while simultaneously singing and storytelling without the use of electronic effects nor a loop pedal. This might just be the kind of thing you want to check out?!
I had the chance to catch back up with my pal, Lipbone before he heads to Madison on August 31st to play a special House Concert at an East-Side bungalow. Sounds like the right place for him. We get into what people who have not heard him can expect from this nomadic music warrior, as well as a quick backstory of how he got from there to here. He gets to go to so many amazing places in his ‘Beautiful Flying Machine”, so we get to find out a stop or two that recently blew him away and where he likes to retreat off to in order to just refresh and retool himself for the next portion of his organic journey. What would Lipbone play to the listeners if given the opportunity to take over the show, find out by clicking into our conversation and then check out where he is playing next that is close to you.
Photot By: Margaret
Some live albums are so good they become the recordings those artists are known for. Frampton Comes Alive and Cheap Trick at Budokan were monster hits and catapulted the groups to rock superstar status. Cody Diekhoff, too, has big hopes for his first live Chicago Farmer first live album, Quarter Past Tonight, a two-disc set that was independently released on August 3. A touring musician for twenty years with a quarter century of writing songs under his belt, he has seen the type size for his moniker grow steadily larger on festival posters over the years. He called his 21-song 2005 debut album About Time, and the same title would have fit for the new live album, recorded December 1-2, two sold-out nights at the Apollo Theater in Peoria, IL in 2017. This is a solo record with Cody being the only performer, singing and playing guitar as well as harmonica as Chicago Farmer. Fans have requested a live album for years with a love for his stories and banter as much as his songs.
I had the chance to catch up with Cody to discuss the new album as well as the Brewgrass Fest event he is playing with Charlie Parr and the No Name String Band on August 31st at The Edgewater in Madison, Wisconsin. We talk about how stories and storytelling became a big part of his life and how the people in his small town became the center of his attention as he created his delivery on presentation these tales. We also get a chance to hear just how he felt about finally getting a live album out there for himself and his followers. What was really great was learning about some of the heroes of a small town kid who is able to put himself in the shoes of others and keep it real and easy to relate to. Take a listen to our chat and I have a feeling you might go out and take a look or listen to more from Chicago Farmer yourselves.
Photo By: Scott Preston
Grand Funk Railroad laid the groundwork for such bands as Foreigner, Journey and Van Halen with its signature hard driving sound, soulful vocals, muscular instrumentation and forceful pop-rock melodies. The fact that Grand Funk’s legacy still reigns over the Classic Rock landscape forty years after its 1969 birth in Flint, Michigan is a testament to the group’s influence and staying power. Internationally acclaimed Grand Funk Railroad has toured the world, selling out in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and South America. A 1971 performance at New York’s Shea Stadium even sold out faster than the Beatles. The group’s widespread appeal is also evident in its prestigious recording achievements. Over their career, Grand Funk has had 19 charted singles, 8 Top 40 hits and two Number One singles (We’re An American Band and Locomotion, both selling more than one million each). The group has now accumulated 13 gold and 10 platinum records with record sales in excess of 25 million copies sold worldwide. The most recent gold CD award was presented to the band for their greatest hits package Grand Funk Railroad The Collectors Series. This top selling and legendary American rock group of the ‘70s is “COMIN’ TO YOUR TOWN TO HELP YOU PARTY IT DOWN.” Grand Funk Railroad is extremely excited to be touring in 2018 marking a 49 year milestone. After playing to millions of fans on the band’s tours from 1996 to 2017, Grand Funk’s 2018 Tour will continue to reach both new and long-time fans.
I had the honor of talking with founding member and legendary drummer, Mr. Don Brewer about the multi-talented band that will be coming to The Dodge County Fair in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin on August 18th. Mr. Brewer shares with me what to expect at a 2018 show from the classics everyone is familiar with all the way to tunes no one has head before. We discuss some of the differences between the then and now of the business and what advise he would give to emerging artists. The story behind one of the most played songs out there, “We’re An American Band” is walked through from idea to necessity all the way to how it is at the tips of most of our musical minds. Check out out chat to find out what Mr. Brewer and his wife enjoying doing with some of their extra time and what two bands Don would play to the listeners if he had control over greenarrowradio for a bit.
Photo By: Jim McGuire
Sunny Jain is an American dhol player, drummer, and composer. He is recognized as a main voice in the burgeoning movement of South Asian-American jazz musicians. His seven albums have all received international acclaim for their “groundbreaking synthesis” (Coda Magazine), as he brings together the ancient sounds of his cultural heritage, America’s greatest original art form and a myriad of other sounds. In 2008, Sunny founded the Brooklyn Bhangra band Red Baraat. In 2011 Red Baraat performed over 100 club shows and festivals across the world, including Bonnaroo Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, and a performance at the White House and the Paralympics closing ceremony in London. The title track from their debut album, Chaal Baby, was used as the background music for commercials during the TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. After the group’s performance at the 2011 globalFEST, they were featured on PRI’s “The World”, NPR’s “All Songs Considered”, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Mother Jones magazine. With a new album freshly out and more gigs lined up, Red Baraat is building a brand new musical bridge that is sure to bring people from everywhere closer together.
I had the chance once again to chat with my man Sunny fr all the right reasons. He is bringing Red Baraat back to Madison on August 16th to close of the Central Park Sessions – The Globetrotter Sessions. We get to find out about how the sounds of the band and personel have changed over time and where it stands as they prepare to make musical moments happen with us in Madison. We learn a little about the variety of places the band has gone and how open people are to a potentially very unfamiliar groove. Sunny shares the artists he would share to the listeners if given the opportunity to take over greenarrowradio, and man, you all will really like him as your host. Not only will we get to hang in person, but there’s a brand new album from the group, “Sound The People”. We dive into the how these songs were born as well as the many special guests/friends perfectly chosen to represent the bridge building that I believe is a sonic guide to a more tolerant world. Sound the PEOPLE, indeed
Photo By: Mark Jaworski
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