After some time on the radio and some gigging with rock bands (as a drummer) Tony Adamo moved to Los Angeles for several years. By day, he went to work putting up billboards; to workin’ on the rehab of the famous Hollywood sign; to joining the Studio Utilities Union where he worked in the background on TV shows. That gig led him to a job as a Hollywood agent at the Beverly Hecht Agency, where he booked TV commercials and models for print ads. But by night, Tony was out was performing with local bands. Heading back to San Francisco, Tony landed a studio gig and was introduced to Tower of Power original members Mic Gillette and Skip Mesquite, who agreed to record with him. Mic and Tony became fast friends, and Mic later introduced him to Stephen “Doc” Kupka, co-founder of Tower of Power and owner of Strokeland Records. Over the next few years “Doc,” Mic, Skip and Tom Politzer recorded on Tony’s early recordings with Mic writing all the horn arrangements. Somewhere in this mix of experiences Tony found a new groove – spoken word delivered with a full band. He had worked with drummer Mike Clark, and was very hip to the fact Mike could bring out the groove needed for his lyrics. Mike laid down some screamin’ drum tracks, and Tony improvised the rest. Tony’s Ropeadope Records release is titled ‘Was Out Jazz Zone Mad’, and he pays tribute to the greats, to the players behind him, and to the art of improvisation.
I had the hip pleasure of getting toGether with Tony to discuss the road that led him to right here, right now. How the brand new album came together and we even dissected a couple of the tracks to get you, the listener to wear his creative shoes. We find out who some of the key players on the release are, with a centralized focus on the co-producer of some of the work and friend of this program, Mr. Mike Clark. We also learn that if Tony was to come into the studio to do his thing and share some tunes with the listeners of greenarrowradio, I could probably walk slowly back to the studio since everyone would be in radio bliss.
Frank Catalano recently finished a successful tour of the United States, France, England and Japan and he has been releasing them as a series of live recordings on Ropeadope Records. His Savoy/Columbia recording “Bang!” debuted at #12 on the Billboard Jazz Charts. Frank’s recording, “Mighty Burner” was on the Billboard Charts for twenty straight weeks. Now forty years old, Mr. Catalano is the only known saxman to have performed with Miles Davis, Randy Brecker, Charles Earland, Elvin Jones, Stan Getz, Betty Carter, Von Freeman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett, Les Claypool and Louis Bellson while still in high school! This led to his signing to Delmark Records at age 18 and a string of critically acclaimed recordings. He has been heard by millions of people all over the world thanks in part to three Grammy-winning and eleven Grammy-nominated recordings with a wide variety of artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Destiny’s Child, and John Legend. He has also performed live on the Oprah Winfrey TV show with singer/composer Seal.
No stranger to adversity, Frank cut off his right middle finger in an automobile accident. After several surgeries and much effort, he relearned his signature technique, making him one of the most in-demand musicians today and regularly donates his musical services to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Also an entrepreneur, he has patented a devise that allows him to control his saxophone via midi components. Yamaha acquired the patent rights and in 2007 they received a Special Merit Grammy Award for Technical Achievement.
I had the pleasure of catching up with this man of many talents ahead of his October 6th show at Arts & Literature Laboratory in Madison. We spoke about who will be performing with him to round out the evening’s quartet, and just what kinds of sounds and grooves to expect. We reflect on what it is that allows Frank to be able and moreover, willing to play with all different kinds of musicians creating all kinds of different art. This is the part of the conversation that really had me diggin’ the person I was speaking to as it made me feel like he is ready to be ready at any time and that is what makes the moments of music fascinating for the creators, and sharers. We find out who he would share over the air on greenarrowradio for 30 min….err…we bumped it up to all three hours since the choices were so damn solid.
Credit: Andrew A Nelles/Chicago News Cooperative
For the first time in 15 years, legendary godfathers of reggae Black Uhuru have returned to the studio to record a new album. “As The World Turns” captures the band’s best, passing the torch even as Black Uhuru’s flames continue to burn strong. Featuring original songs and strong cameos, it is one of the first times in years Duckie Simpson, iconic founder of the band, has stepped out in front, his earthy, soulful baritone guiding the record. To support the album, the band is headed on a East Coast US Tour with stops in major cities New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Boston. Plans of a West Coast Tour will be in March 2019. The album was recorded half in California and the rest in Jamaica. Most of the production was done by Horace “King Hopeton” Campbell at his Double Lion Studio who tours with the band on keyboards. Leebert “Gibby” Morrison studio in Jamaica was used to overdub and voice the backing vocals by Nikki Burt. The album was mixed by Jermaine Forde who tours as the band engineer and Jay Edge William at Ajang Studio and the album was mastered at Music Works Anchor Recording Studio in Kingston. Band agent Mike Gener along with Derrick Simpson are the Executive Producers. The album was released September 7th and is available on all major platforms and distributed by Independent Distribution Collective based out of San Francisco.
I had the honor of speaking with Duckie and Andrew Bees of Black Uhuru about this latest release, “As The World Turns”, and the mini-tour they just wrapped up on the heels of it’s release. We got into what are similarities and differences between making music now and then. How the new album’s songs are being received by the audiences of today, and what are the demoGraphics of an audience at a Black Uhuru concert in 2018. This is some of that music that really shaped me as a listener and believer, and it was a complete thrill to get a few moments with these great guys as they continue to spread love around the world. Love to all.
With a career spanning sixteen years and almost twenty albums, Charlie Hunter consistently ups his game as an innovative writer and bandleader. He has worked with incredible and diverse talents like Norah Jones , Mos Def, John Mayer, and D’Angelo, just to name a few. He is widely considered the authority on the seven and eight string guitar, and continues to stun audiences with his ability to simultaneously bust out tasty bass parts, melodic leads and swinging rhythms. Charlie has previously recorded for the venerable Blue Note label, Concord, Ropeadope, GroundUP and others. His recent independent venture is steered by his motivation to release music that most inspires him. Critics have touted his genius technique, but it’s his profound artistic sensibility that propels his original music. His signature style of writing and performing has secured his place as one of today’s great guitarists.
I had the chance to catch up with Charlie once aGain ahead of his October 5th show at the Stoughton Opera House. We got into who will be joining him on stage for the show and we spoke about his new guitar. We tapped into how he stays hip with musical newness and what is what about that instrument and players that preceded him that inspired him to play every part of a song on it, like a one man band of musicians. It’s good to know as soon as he is set to release new music, he will be sure to get it over for me to share with you(s). We also find out what Charlie would play if given some time to take over the program.
A pianist with astounding technique and boundless imagination, Alex Mercado is acclaimed for his ability to write striking compositions and create vibrant sonic landscapes that have resonated with critics and audiences alike in his native Mexico. On Symbiosis, his second trio recording after 2012’s The Watcher, Alex takes us on a journey through a vibrant musical world full of engaging melodies and the dynamic improvisations that typify the finest in contemporary modern jazz. Featuring Antonio Sanchez & Scott Colley, and being selected as one of Downbeat Magazine Editors’ Picks for 2014, the album will introduce jazz aficionados outside Mexico to a virtuoso instrumentalist without peer in his homeland where he is the “1st Call” pianist of choice for Magos Herrera, Sachal Vasandani, Bryan Lynch, Camila Meza and other visiting artists. Alex’s career highlights to date include being commissioned in 2010 to arrange and perform as the featured soloist in the orchestral opening to Sir Elton John’s concert at Chichen Itza with the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra; participating in 2011 as an arranger/composer on singer Magos Herrera’s album Mexico Azul, recorded in NYC with John Patitucci, Adam Rogers, Tim Hagans and Luis Perdomo; and being chosen in 2012 by the Mexican government to inaugurate with a solo piano concert the iconic City Of The Books, one of Mexico City’s most important and historic landmarks.
I had the honor of speaking with Mr. Mercado ahead of his show on September 27th at Cafe Coda in Madison, Wisconsin. We spoke about the trio he has playing his music off of his four recordings. We dive mind first into how the music transcends entertainment and becomes a spiritual thing, each note taking on a different personality…. a rebirth, when different musicians join him, especially in a live setting. I found myself spellbound at times listening to Alex describe the nuances of a song’s journey, and how the energy that we create together, artists and listener, can create an adjustment to our spirit.
The trio for the evening of 9/27 in Madison is as follows:
Alex Mercado – Piano
Bob DeBoo – Bass
Rodrigo Villanueva – Drums
Alex Mercado & Wynton Marsalis
By now, The Record Company’s story is a well-known one: a trio of musicians grit it out on their own for years in bars and clubs, join forces in L.A., set up some microphones in a living room, and cut an album that turns their world upside down. Released in 2016, Give It Back To You spawned three Top Ten hits at Triple-A radio (including the #1 smash “Off The Ground”), earned the band a slew of festival appearances and sold-out headline dates around the world, and garnered a GRAMMY nomination. The group made the rounds on late night TV, shared bills with John Mayer, My Morning Jacket and Nathaniel Rateliff among others, and racked up more than ten million streams on Spotify. Even at their very first jam session, it was absolutely clear that the trio was on to something special. With a sound that blended the biting blues of John Lee Hooker with the charismatic swagger of the Rolling Stones, the band went from releasing their home-recorded debut to taking the stage at Madison Square Garden in the span of just eighteen months. As the group’s audience grew, so did their artistry, and when it came time to record All Of This Life, it was clear that their approach in the studio would have to take a big step up to reflect the maturation they’d undergone on the road.
I had a chance to catch up with singer/guitarist, Chris Vos about the upcoming show on September 26th at the Majestic Theatre. We get into the unforgettable beGinning stops on the Fall tour. Those new to the scene will find a band that brings not only the rock, but especially the roll to a live show. We talk extensively about the process of creating and sharing the music on the brand new release, All Of This Life, and how rare it would be for this band to not use a first or second take when recording. Which to me is both fantastic and incredible since this new album is such a great radio set-list building collection, one an architect like me has loved to build with.
Photo By: Cortney Armitage
If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group, Mike Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler, has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring around with some powerhouse groups like Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country. The band uses everything they’ve learned from their whirlwind journey to push their sound to new heights. That melds together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew that blends elements of virtuosic jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music. At their performances, the band now plays through what they call a “Reverse DJ” setup, in which the live sound from their horns runs through Ableton software on their laptops to process recorded effects onto the output. In addition, to flesh out their sound on the road, the band began utilizing Moog synthesizers, an EWI (an electronic wind instrument that responds to breath in addition to touch), and other more traditional instruments like clarinets. Mike has even added vocals to his repertoire on some tracks (something the subway never allowed him to do).
I had the chance to speak with Mike Wilbur about the groups upcoming stop in Madison on September 29th at the Majestic Theatre. We get into what both newcomers to the scene and people who have tasted the Moon Hooch earlier on can expect from the now version of the group. Which direction has that live sound taken in 2018? We get into how the new three track EP “Light It Up” got off the ground. BY the end of the conversation, I was wishing Mike was in studio with me helping prepare a setlist of music….as you will hear, he would play and arrange a show in a very familiar fashion as to what people expect on greenarrowradio.
Home is where you hang your hat, or so the old adage goes. For Justin Kauflin, critically acclaimed and accomplished jazz pianist and composer, the last few years of touring has found home to been many places. On the brand new release, “Coming Home”, Justin invites others to experience the world from his perspective as he sonically paints the homes he has found throughout his global travels. This is his third release, and second with the tastemaker imprint Qwest Records. With this album, he ventures into new sonic territory bringing in more modern influences of synths, electric guitar, and bass. From the start, recording “Coming Home” was electric. Mr. Quincy Jones and Mr. Derrick Hodge produced the album at Quincy Jones’ famous Westlake Studios (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Frank Ocean). Justin was joined by Chris Smith on acoustic and electric bass, Corey Fonville on drums and percussions, and Alan Parker on acoustic and electric guitar. The musicians had a blast bringing the album to life. Justin is planning a tour to support the new album. He is excited to get back on the road and create new experiences with his music and can’t wait to take these tunes in front of a live audience and create new life into them.
I had the honor of discussing the new album with Justin and how it grew from a newly planted seed and bloomed into a beautiful flower of sonic unity. We get into how “Home” was at times, redefined and what made the road have a comfortable feel. Of course, we had to find out what kinds of special touch working with both Mr. Quincy Jones and Mr. Derrick Hodge (as well as the other talented band members) brought out of each other during the process. And finding out what Mr. Kauflin would play on greenarrowradio if given the chance to fill in for me if I were to step out of the studio. He would easily take you, the listener, with him on a similar ride we attempt each time we get toGether through the airwaves. Check out this great person and artist in our chat, I think you’ll find he is someone to help guide us through.
Photo by John Lewis Marshall
I found a little time to chat with friend of the proGram, Joe Marcinek as he prepares to hit The Harmony Bar & Grill on September 15th with opening act, The Lower 5th. Joe and I get into what a newcomer to the ever revolving and moment to moment coolness of his Joe Marcinek Band, and on this night in Madison he will feature a couple of the members of local favorites, Natty Nation. We spend a few moments teasing the brand new album, “JM3”. We get into the two incredible musicians that round out that organ trio album and we find out if the crowd in Madison will hear any of the new material. Joe and I will be talking aGain in November when the album drops to get more insight into the process, the work and the goodness that turned out in this new sound.
P.S. I will be airing something off the new album this week on the show.
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!!