Alsarah and I snuck in a brief time to chat about the upcoming show as part of the 2016 Madison World Music Festival. The band goes on at 7:30pm and will energize the Madison scene with their stunning East-African Retro-Pop. We used our time together to paint the scene of the stage before they hit us with the richness of the groove they produce, as well as offer up some thoughts on how this music is a bridge to community forming, acceptance and dance dance dance. Alsarah shares her thoughts on the start to finish flow of the groups soon to be released new album, Manara, on Wonderwheel Recordings. While she is a part of a few different projects over the years, I wanted to find out what were some of the lasting experiences of working with the slew of inspirational and talented individuals like those attached to The Nile Project, which she was a part of recently. I think the answer will not shock you, but remind you of the value of time spent with others for a common good and how when you don’t get much time to be toGether, the importance of using it wisely. Alsarah & the Nubatones could be one of your good memories form this years Madison World Music festival, so if you can, maybe you should.
I had the honor of speaking with Mr. Johnny Kalsi, the founder and leader of The Dhol Foundation as they embark on their very first ever tour of North America toGether as a group. While they travel the globe with the mission to promote and expose the indigenous sounds of the Dhol Drum to the Masses, I am thankful that the 2016 Madison World Music Festival is one of their stops. We are so lucky. They will hit the stage at 9:30PM on Friday, 9/16 on the beautifully back-dropped Memorial Union Terrace. Always engaging the audience with the full Power and energetic performances. The Dhol Foundation have been wowing the crowds with their dynamics, whirling arms and thunderous beats. The group’s musicality is formed from a rich tapestry of culture, passion and their love for World Music. While they tour, they absorb influences from collaborators, record them on an album and deliver them on stage with the mighty muscle powerhouse that is The Dhol Foundation. Johnny and I had a chance to touch on what to expect from the show in Madison (although seeing i s most likely believing) , some of the history of the sounds created and the people who are influenced and influences as well as the process of the business and making art that sticks. We got a sneak peak into the new album coming out in early 2017, “Stick To The Drum” and we will be fortunate to hear a few of the tracks off it at this world music celebration. Johnny has been a part of many groups of artists that I have personally listened to and shared over the years, so the thrill of this chat was true and I hope you dive in deeper to this music if the spirit moves you.
I had the chance to chat with Jessica Kion and Ben Levin from the group Bent Knee as their 2016 tour stops include Madison’s Mickey’s Tavern on Saturday, September 10th. Bringing an array of musical worlds into one well behaved monster, Bent Knee is out in support of their debut release on Cuneiform Records, “Say So”. Per the band: “It’s rock for the thinking person. The group’s lyrics are dark and infused with themes focusing on the emergence of personal demons, unwanted situations and the difficulty of conquering them. Its mercurial sound matches its subject matter. It’s a thrilling aural roller-coaster ride with arrangements designed to make listeners throw their arms up in wild abandon as they engage with them.”
We discussed what the stage at Mickey’s will look like when they take it, introducing us to their members. This naturally led us into the album making process between this 2016 release and their 2014 album, “Shiny Eyed Babies”. Eating and sleeping IS IMPORTANT!!! How they balance working in the studio and working it out on the stage reveals an interesting insight into the make-up of this group, that speaks volumes to how true teams take an idea and see it through. We wrapped it up by relishing toGether over the facts behind what makes a record label, such as Cuneiform an integral part of the many moving pieces behind the faces we see on stage or hear on the album.
I am so thankful to the local venues here in Madison for bringing artists like this to our backyard.
As a mid-sized arts organization, Intermedia Arts relies on foundations and funders for their general operating supportâ€”foundations and funders who have lost enormous amounts of their assets in our current economic crisis. Intermedia Arts is in crisis. More importantly, small and mid-sized arts organizations all around us are in crisis. But here’s the thingâ€”crisis does not equal failure, and crisis does not mean collapse. It is our response to this crisis that will determine our future. Friend of the show and fellow mid-westerner, Desdamona and I discuss the impact this organization has had in her life and the inspiration and support they lend to so many exploring artists. While this particular art organization is housed in Minneapolis, the story is one that might just be a shared experience for many who care about a valued resource….for more on that check Dez’ blog. We did take a moment to discuss the scene that makes Desdamona such a cool artist, her workshops and tours and collaboration with Carnage as Ill Chemistry, and what new ideas they are putting down in the studio.
Check out my conversation with Desdamona right here.
On December 3rd at the Barrymore Theater, Sharon Jones and the Dap-kings will bring their high energy rhythm and soulful sounds into Madison. Ohh and Sharon will bring it so we can feel it…..From the rumble and grumble of thick funk jerking you to the dancefloor to the soaring soul guaranteed to make you sigh, one thing is for sure: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are legitimate heavy-hitters. I am thankful that Sharon was able to take a moment while at her moms after working on some new pieces to chat with me about the upcoming show, her appearance with Denzel and some interesting bits about Lou Reed’s BERLIN tour that might cause you to search the internet high and low. Opening the show will be Menahan Street Band, comprised of musicians from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (Dave Guy, Homer Steinweiss, Fernando Velez, Bosco Mann), El Michels Affair (Leon Michels, Toby Pazner), Antibalas (Nick Movshon, Aaron Johnson) and The Budos Band (Mike Deller, Daniel Fodder), I have a feeling that on the 4th of December, many around here will just have witnessed the show of the year.
Check out my conversation with Miss Sharon Jones right here.
Heading into Madison this Sunday is JJ Grey and Mofro..bringing that sweet Southern Soul to a place that’ll keep warm to music like this. JJ’s newest album Orange Blossoms is making a splash all around music, hitting the tops of charts all over and we spend a little time here visiting with the album and its relationship to one other album of Mofro’s that seems to have a similar feel. Orange Blossoms is another Alligator Records release and this one is finding JJ in full musical bloom himself. There are hard hitters and soulful swayers, it is a complete album that is comfortable in its roots and the main people behind its blossoming, JJ and Producer Dan Prothero. There is a beautiful bevy of bandmates on this release and all of them deserve the same recognition I give to JJ, as I am sure he would tell you—it wouldn’t be the same without ’em.
check out our chat here.
Just in time for the Trick or Treaters…Mister Rourke’s TERRORVISION made it’s devious little way to my doorstep and I have been scaring, I mean sharing it with you ever since. The scratches are rhythmic and rowdy and believe it or not…this is one scratch album that has a plot and a story. We also learn something very interesting about Rourke’s project Guvna Dub, there is a special sax player working on the new project—a friend of greenarrowradio no doubt? If you never thought you were one for it, try it. We also spend some quality time talking about life, Elf Music and a couple of different ways in which inspiration is gained thru the eyes and ears of this scratch sculptor Mister Rourke.
catch our catch up session here.
FESTIVAL!!! Man what a day it is going to be this Saturday November 22nd at the historic Congress Theater in Downtown Chicago. The Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival, a one day celebration of the roots of music will be taking place all day with doors opening at 11amCST. Aiming to help eradicate congenital heart defects in children, a portion of the eventâ€™s proceeds will contribute to the research efforts of the Chicago-based Saving Tiny Hearts Foundation. Until now, fans have had to travel far outside city limits and setup camp to witness a legend like David Grisman share a stage with the sceneâ€™s newest genre-defying sensations, The Avett Brothers, and a host of rising talents from the roots, blues, bluegrass, & jamband scenes.
The David Grisman Quintet
The Avett Brothers
Ha Ha Tonka
Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials
Blue Mother Tupelo
How Far To Austin
and many more…….
My conversation with Mike Raspatello, Director of the Festival.
What exactly is Intergalactic dirty guitar grooves for earthling weirdos. Razl (Raul Huelves) discuss that and more on his highly infectious guitar-and-beyond ridden groove-a-thon, Rotnova. We take the time to discuss the positives and let’s call them some learned experiences about putting out your own work, and we learn some insight as to who Razl would love to form a touring trio with, then the fun of imagining it begins. This album is for us earthling weirdos focused on funky fusion of a jazzed world experience meshed with the sound of maybe how Robots might play?
Listen it to find out more: Check out our conversation here.
From the man himself, Andrew McPherson we hear about some of the musicians that are behind the wide openness sound of SHIVA boom, the new release from Eccodek on White Swan Records. Andrew is a friend of the program and it is always a charge chatting him up–this time is no different. We spend time talking about the making of the new album, have I mentioned it’s called SHIVA boom(?), on-going projects and thoughts about potential and hopeful future fusion collaborators. Currently SHIVA boom sits at #13 on the CMJ charts in the World category…and the love is just beginning around here. Get yourself in a spot to take a direction unknown around the globe journey that album # 3 from Eccodek is ready to provide—a charm!
Listen in on Andrew and I chatting it up here.
Eccodek’s SHIVA boom White Swan Records 2008
Known for his work in the 80’s with Hanoi Rocks and current work in New York Dolls, Sami and I actually spent time talking about a recent project and new album: Mad Juana’s Bruja on the Corner is a different species of gypsy swinging rock, with mystery and an allure still undefined. We spend a little time talking about some of the previous gigs Sami has had in his career, including time with some of greenarrowradio’s pals, we also find out what Sami’s set-list built around Mad Juana would look like and when you might get a chance to see them live at a venue near you..and you.
Check out our conversation here.
This Thursday at the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center, the Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa will take the stage. Bamba Dembele leads this group of traditional musicians and dancers which together is accomplished and respected. It is a high-level orchestra comprising many percussionists, musicians and dancers. They create a rhythmic feast drawing on a variety of influences including traditional Griot songs, reggae, and the sounds of the kora, a 21-stringed instrument of the lute family used across West Africa. The ensemble also features percussion instruments from the djembe to dounsdouns and other balaphons, excellent dancers whose muscles seem to be capable of any movement at any speed, and a an elaborate visual ensemble with colorful, inventive costumes. In my conversation with Mr. Dembele (with great assistance from both Claude and Madelaine-merci beaucoup!!), we discuss the differences between the Song and Dance Ensemble and the Super Rail Band, how traveling to America has broadened his opinions and his time with both Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.
Listen in to our conversation w/translation here.
Who new that there are so many “different” uses for Tupperware? Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her uncatalogued, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm! Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’fashioned Tupperware Parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. She will bring her party to Madison from October 21st – November 2nd at the Promenade Hall, inside the Overture Center. Loaded with the most up-to-date products available for purchase, see for yourself how Ms. Longate became the #1 Tupperware seller in the U.S. & Canada as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products!
check out my chat with Dixie right here.
I had the chance to talk with Maggie Lakis who plays with puppets for a living….I know right…COOL. She spends a lot of her time hanging out in the neighborhood of Ave Q. That neighborhood will take shape on the stages of Overture Hall within the enriching walls of our Overture Center here in Madison from October 21st through October 26th. Maggie and I talk about the way she got this very cool and mind opening gig, something about the relationships between puppets and human (strictly professional) and why this show might just be that “something different” you have been looking for.
Listen to my conversation with Maggie Lakis here.
Maggie Lakis, Trekkie Monster, David Benoit
On Tuesday October 21st, L.A. Theatre Works, a top radio theater company for the last two decades, invades Overture Center for an evening of harrowing audio drama. The original 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds by Orson Wellesâ€™ Mercury Theatre of the Air sent the nation into hysterics over what they thought was an actual alien invasion. L.A. Theatre Works recreates that experience in gripping detail. The Lost World, based on a story by Arthur Conan Doyle, follows the expedition of a group of scientists to a remote part of the Amazon jungle locked in prehistoric times, complete with dinosaurs! I had the opportunity to chat with Susan Loewenberg, the founder and Producing Artistic Director of L.A. Theatre Works about the work involved in making these productions, the work her organization accomplishes to preserve and produce significant works of dramatic literature on audio with public access to all. We also talk about how we, as people can download a weekly nationally syndicated radio show, the Fund for Independence in Journalism and of interest to all, the Center for Public Integrity. Susan is an incredible person in my opinion and I am thankful for people like her keeping our radio histories alive for generations to discuss.
my conversation with Susan here.
Thanks to Ruth, Lucy and Susan for making this interview possible
Our good friend and songstress Sara Wasserman recently took off from her normal (yeah, whatever that is) world and set off for Puru to spend time and learn from a group of special people at Casa de Milagros. Casa de Milagros (Home of Miracles) is a children’s home in the Sacred Valley near historic Machu Picchu, Peru. It was founded by the Chandler Sky Foundation to heal the mind, body and spirit of many of the thousands of orphaned and abandoned children living in poverty on the streets of Cusco, Peru and surrounding towns. Over 3,500 children live on the streets of Cusco many abandoned by families that could not feed them. Malnutrition, infrequent bathing, and inadequate care cause widespread health problems including skin infections, bronchitis, tuberculosis, rickets, and chronic intestinal infections. But the loneliness and fear experienced by these children forced to live on the street alone are the most painful afflictions of all. in this conversation with Sara we learn what a typical day for the children is like and just what inspiration she walked away with from this amazing experience. The Chandler Sky Foundation aims not only to heal the street children, but to educate them so that they may be able to return to their communities equipped with the skills and the spirit to heal the area’s economy. In addition to saving the lives of many needy children, the Foundation helps to conserve one of the world’s most biodiverse rainforests. Through teaching children methods of farming that allow the land to be used over and over again, there will be a decreased need for migration into the precious rainforest reserves that we, as a planet, need for survival. These programs, developed from a progressive global consciousness, place the Casa de Milagros in a category of its own. To help raise awareness and monies for these children, Sara is organizing a benefit in her home town of Mill Vally California with 100% of th efunds heading to Mama Kia….thusfar (and we’ll keep you updated, Sara has confirmations from her father Rob Wasserman , Bob Weir and Jay Lane many other fantastic people will follow in their footsteps so stay tuned.
Listen to Sara tell us more about it all right here.
Lovely Chara & Mama Kia (in the hat)…creator of the orphanage.
I had the great honor to kick back (as much kickin’ as be can done on the telephone) with MR. Jamal Thomas. Perhaps best known as Mr. Maceo Parker’s drummer for 16 plus years and his longstanding work with R&B powerhouse The Sounds Of Success Band (the SOS Band) which left him with 4 gold records. After all these years of working with one of the hardest working people out there, Jamal has finally gotten a chance to be the mastermind and ear behind his very first solo album entitled, Family. I am personally excited for him and for all of you who tune into my show to catch these tracks as they will be spinning here very soon. This conversation couldn’t have gotten off the ground if not for one of the finest men in Macon, in music and in both Jamal and my life, Mister Skeebo Knight. So drop on thru and listen to my time with a FUNK original and learn who hi sfirst major gig was with, as well as a quick hint into who Jamal is most likely voting for this November…(Oh yes he did!!)
Listen to Jamal and I talk about FAMILY here.
Check out my conversation with Jason here.
EOTO will bring its amazing improvisational bass-n-drum-tastic dance in your house all live and non replicated, this once in a moment (or sort of) show to Madison on Friday October 3rd at the High Noon Saloon. In our conversation, Jason and I dive into what makes this unique musical experience different and how a live show is arranged and how surprises can show up in many forms. Known for his work in the String Cheese Incident, Jason team up with fellow string cheeser (ahh we love ’em in Wisconsin) Michael Travis to bring rare grooves and smashing dance beats to those ready to dance, and sometimes bend….with more than the body. We share some musical friends and speak about his time with Vinx, where he might dream drum if he could and also how this whole thing got started and where is has already taken them as musical artists and most importantly, as people.
It’s always refreshing to spend time chatting with Xavier Rudd. He is such a laid back cool cat and I always feel like we are sitting on top of our boards just chillin’. Anyhow, this time was no exception and we had a chance to dissect a few tracks off the new album released on Anti entitled: Dark Shade of Blue. This dissection revealed some way cool and super heavy info on one of the mates in his touring posse and we learn who helped produce this raw rocker of an album. Have no fears, there are certainly great moments of world music fused in there along with mind consuming awareness lyrical content. Xavier was involved in a project recently with Matthew McConaughey, a movie called: Surfer Dude and of course we discuss one of the socially and globally important issue on his mind that you might not even have known existed.
Check out my time with Xavier Rudd right here.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews is an amazing artist. Playing with everyone from U2 and Lenny Kravitz to the band down the corner of a N’Orleans street side, but what really resonated like a perfect low note, was how grounded he is. He is cool and collected and and wise for his short time physically upon the earth. At 22 years old Troy has already experienced more than most musicians three times his age, and he has the chops to prove it. Having traveled extensively in the United States as well as globally, Troy’s music has reached innumerable music lovers who will never forget his amazing live performances. He will bring his amazing spirit and band Orleans Avenue to the Union Theater here on the beautiful campus of the university of Wisconsin on October 2nd. In on conversation we talk about everything from the NBA to what music he is currently sporting on his Ipod. I hope you find a moment to check out our chat and become more familiar with the person known as Trombone Shorty.
Listen to Troy and I converse it up here.