On Wednesday, September 27th at the High Noon Saloon, I am pleased to say that Antibalas is heading to Madison. They will arrive on the heels of a brand new release that is drenched in traditional form but also as current that the air we breath today. While the wait for the new album might have seemed long, it is certainly well worth it. Where The Gods Are In Peace released Friday September 15th on Daptone Records, pays respect to the forefathers of Afrobeat with compositions spanning nine to fifteen minutes in length. With a blessing from the Fela Kuti legacy early in the band’s career, Antibalas has long been blessed to be re-popularizing and re-energizing the classic Afrobeat sound while adding their distinct New York City grit into the mix. Influences of punk rock, free jazz, and hip-hop are known to seep into their expansive works to define a truly 21st century translation of the Afrobeat genre and beyond.
I had the privilege to have a conversation in support of the show and the album with AMAYO (Vocals & Percussion) to get the vibe and mindset balanced with the ears and entire body. We spoke about the way the new album came together through real life moments that glued the pieces toGether that were floating around the band’s sphere for years. The feeling and power of the energy behind the music shared with other beings was something we seemed to really get, the way the music does form a bridge between spirits of people, and connect them by the Afrobeat grooves. We spent a good chunk of time talking about our mutual friend, and AMAYO‘s brilliant colleague, Miss Sharon Jones and how she was a force, like a guiding lightning bolt that navigated the process of the musical shifts all artists face. We got into how the artists of the Daptone family were altered by her mere presence and that she was the leader of the house of soul. I love it!!! This conversation admittedly was one soul’s opinion and vision of how it is, in order to get an even better feel of how it all pieces together into a severe mind & body changing groove, there are man opportunities to catch them live.
Antibalas – Where The Gods Are In Peace – Daptone Records
Get ready for a new sound you won’t soon forget! The Groove Master, Paa Kow (pronounced Pah-Ko), fuses rhythm and artistry from his home in Ghana with Jazz and African Pop. Fans from all over the world agree that Paa Kow has extraordinary talent and holds “the perfect groove.”
I had the privilege to of talking with this original rhythm creator, Paa Kow before he brings his band to Madison on Wednesday, August 30th at The Frequency. We discussed what people who go get into the sounds live in person will see and hear and feel when this show takes off the ground. We talked about the process of making a new record and knowing when to release it to the people to find out what they think of it, and how striving for that perfect sound can be fine tuned in many settings. The process talk led to words about the soon to be released album, “Cookpot” and how the crowd in Madison will be catching the album release tour, so they’ll taste the newness of these grooves when they are at their freshest. Similar to his other two releases, the album takes listeners on a journey that boldly explores the music of the African Diaspora by fusing Ghanaian Highlife with Jazz, and funk to create his original Afro-Fusion sound. Towards the end of the conversation, we find out what he listens to in order to stay inspired and allow his mind to be opened to the possibilities of creating and composing something completely different.
As the son of legendary drumming icon Ginger Baker, Kofi Baker has a name that’s synonymous with drumming excellence. Kofi certainly lives up to his namesake; with his outstanding skills, drive, and dedication, he continues the great Baker legacy.
Kofi’s first live performance was with his father on the UK television show “The Old Grey Whistle Test” – at just six years of age he proved he had inherited more than just his fathers name.In the early 80’s, Kofi and his father played drum duets throughout Europe, amazing audiences with complex African polyrhythms. Later, Kofi toured with the miGhty John Ethridge (Soft Machine), and gigged in London with Steve Waller (Manfred Mann), and with Randy California (Spirit). He also toured Europe with Steve Marriot’s Humble Pie.
On Saturday, July 29th on the Madison Heritage Stage at 4:15P.M., Kofi brings the Cream Experience to Madison Wisconsin to help celebrate Summer with a good strong, innovative jam as part of AtwoodFest. I had the opportunity to talk with Kofi about what those in attendance will see and hear, more than the original sounds accustomed to the band, Cream, there will be other interpretations of Hendrix, Blind Faith and even The Beatles. Kofi hope to meld the older crowd who dig his father’s legendary music with a younger festival going crowd to take this Jam Band scene to the next level. Sounds like something to be a part of as it is equally exciting for the band while turning on a family friendly, open-minded Madison crowd. Rest assure, Kofi states that while the backbone of the familiar is there, the spirit of Cream as being a founding Jam Band scene creator, will be in full bloom with in the moment improvisational music making. We spoke about how he has high quality musicians stashed throughout the U.S. for touring and creating purposes and in Madison, it’ll be obvious that he always picks the cream of the crop.
It is always nice when family comes back to town for a sweaty squeeze. I cauGht up with my brother Manny Sanchez of GrooveSession as they make their way back to Madison on Friday, June 23rd at the Alchemy. I am proud to call these grooveanauts my family as their vibe of spreading goodness and love through music is a contagious thing that hopefully catches on with you, the listener and the ones who see them live in concert. Clearly, each time they head out to a venue, they will loudly threaten you(s) with a good time!! We spoke about what a GrooveSession is and how sweaty does one have to be to know you are doing it right. Manny shared some thoughts on this years Steel Bridge Songfest that they had a chance to be back and a part of, as well as when we might be expecting a new release. Ultimately, you can read about and listen to this group and get the idea, but it isn’t until you go sweat and dance and become friends with this power trio that you fully “get” their true mission of spreading kindness through their grooves.
On Saturday, June 24th at 8pm, Arts & Literature Laboratory presents “Silver Ochre’s Hot Pursuit of Happiness with Thollem Electric”. Silver Ochre’s Hot Pursuit of Happiness is a rapid fire live audio/visual experience of an epic journey throughout the continental U.S. by videographer ACVilla and composer/keyboardist, Thollem Electric. Always somewhere between being pursued and pursuing, the bitter sweet existence in 21st century America. This is a distillation of the U.S. and its conflicts between security and liberty and competing ideas of freedom. Thollem and ACVilla have both been traveling around the country for decades and are currently working on a 3 year endeavor called “Who Are U.S.” Silver Ochre’s touring stateside from April 6th – November 19th.
With Thollem on an unruly electronic beast of vintage keyboards, stomp boxes, a microphone and occasional special guests, the music is an amalgam of infinite possibilities bringing together sounds and musics heard around this country. A sonic celebration from the immense array of diversity in our multi-cultural society amid the present and historical struggles for liberty and justice for all. Sometimes it will sound like a million people screaming from which distinct voices percolate, twist, turn and evolve into and out of everything else; a parade of characters that intermingle in love and fury.
I had a chance to catch up with Thollem to discuss this project and what it has turned into and what the future holds in store for both he and ACVilla as this journey adapts and grows. Find out more by listening in to our shared time and maybe even find out how you can experience the “what’s happening” around you.
Find out more here as well.
Thollem & ACVilla
In anticipation of the 20th annual WORT Block Party, this Sunday, May 21st from 11am – 7pm on the 200 Block of Martin Luther King Jr. BLVD in Madison, I reached out to Joey B. Banks to chat about Dr. Clyde Stubblefield and the Clyde Stubblefield All Stars as they will be headlining the party and hit the stage at 5:50pm. Joey B. and I got into the reasons a man like Clyde is so deserving of a tribute band, and how “The Original Funky Drummer’s” legacy will be kept alive and pulsing within the community here in his home of Madison Wisconsin since 1971. We got into discussing the Coalition for the recognition of Clyde Stubblefield and how the music impacted the entire world community and is still, and will always be impacting artists of now and the future. As much of an impact as Clyde was/is with music, he was also a strong believer in giving back and it starts with the youth, which is what make the Madison Area Music Association Clyde Stubblefield Scholarship such a priceless honor to have bestowed to our smiling friend. The music this ALL STAR band will treat the WORT community (which we hope to grow grow grow) to at the Block Party will be many of the easily recognizable and down right FUN-KAY tracks that were worked out with Mr. James Brown, as well as original tracks Clyde had put toGether over the years, so this will be a wide array of grooves that will finish off this event in style.
Clyde & Joey B. Banks – Phot Credit: Sweet William Images
On Friday, April 21st, we in Madison will be fortunate enough to take a musical journey together at Arts & Literature Laboratory. Those in attendance will exist in a space of time shared as one, with Karuna: Hamid Drake & Adam Rudolph. With their new Karuna duet Drake and Rudolph bring their unique and evolved rhythm languages to the fore, reaching to inspire any audience though spirited dialogue.
The name Karuna reflects their ongoing research into the connection of the inner life to musical expression and speaks to the idea of creative action as a gesture of compassion. To help get a sense of the show, I spent a little time with Hamid talking about what those in attendance could expect. We talked about the sounds, the spirit and the sharing that will take place, with percussion and human interaction being the vehicle that drives us to a place of one. Hamid explains the process as he and Adam, who have known one another since the age of 14, create a unique experience that is sure to open the mind’s doors. Both Hamid and Adam have worked with some incredible forces in the scene, from shared time with Don Cherry and Pharoah Sanders to Bill Laswell, Yusef Lateef and Omar Sosa. These two innovators find the pulse of music from all lands, wide and far and translate those into a language that shines down into and onto the listeners. I am thankful to call both these creators friends and am pleased to bring you some of Hamid’s word straight from him.
Karuna, the new duet of percussionists Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph, performs at Arts + Literature Laboratory on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9 pm. This event is sponsored by 89.9FM WORT.
All the years of being a part of the family that radio provides has done my mind and soul quite well. I get to discuss art with artists and every now and then, I locate a being that is a similar being as I. I talked with Adam Rudolph for the first time on air a couple years ago and we hit it off like old friends, with the music being the guide. Well, Adam has a new album out with his Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures project called “Glare Of The Tiger” on Meta Records and through M.O.D. Technologies. You can imagine my delight when setting up another chance to run through this sounds existence from start to finish. We talked about how the relationships of the musicians transforms the music into something else, a research and development model based off concepts Adam has in mind and heart. How to take the music and feelings of then, and turn them into something fresh and traditional as the now. We talk about the feeling of the music created, not just how it makes you feel inside, but a way to truly relate to the sonic adventure the music catches you in ans where it can take you. Being able to share the work of people I believe in is something I hold high above my head, I wear it like a crown I am proud of, and Adam reminds me of why I always found a home next to a radio, music and the sharing of ideas toGether. It’s the people who share what’s within them that matter so much to me, and when I get time to bring the vice of the art to you, not just the saleable commodity, it truly feels like the circle is complete. Please enjoy this half hour conversation about the new album, but know that it is as much about living as it is about this particular moment in art, or art history.
Had the chance to catch up with our friends Janet Schiff and Victor DeLorenzo of Nineteen Thirteen as they prepare to put on two sets this coming Friday, October 28th at Arts & Literature Laboratory. As Halloween approaches, it will be quite the thrill to have the mystery and surprise of cello and percussion to hold your hand through the evening hour. In this conversation, Janet and Victor will tease you into needing to know more about the sound they create that has left audiences on their feet and momentarily weeping with emotion. We talk briefly about the growth of the music and compositions prepared and tinkered with by the duo as they create a sonic banter with the ease of friendly conversation. It’s these real people that make this for us. Together we explore how the newest album, “The Dream”, set to be release on 11/11/2016 and the release just put out on May 13th of this year, “Music For time Travel”, have been both a guide and a direction. As I have offered up an opinion when asked what this music is like, and we have had the pleasure of Janet and Victor’s time on the proGram often…..I can honestly admit that it is like nothing else I have ever soaked in, and it tickles your insides through each ear on its way down to your souls. But of course, who am I to tell you about it? Check out this conversation for a clue, and maybe we will see you down at Arts & Literature Laboratory to share in the mystique.
Check out of conversation here:
I had the pleasure of discussing life and music with Mr. Tony Moreno as his latest project, released on Mayimba Jazz, “Short Stories” is ready to hit your ears. The record is the culmination of over four years of playing with a group made up of close friends and artistic companions, and in many ways it represents a piece of the process of rebuilding for Tony. It also represents Tony’s gratitude — the recording itself was made possible by an outpouring of love and support from the wider musical community, from friends and strangers alike. Hurricane Sandy put a giant dent into the world of so many, and it certainly did a number on many musicians, Tony being one of them. In our chat, he talks about some of the people and ways people made a difference in his ability to continue on in his chosen career and love of music. We talk a walk down Jazz history lane when Tony reveals how he first met Mr. Elvin Jones and the ease in which they became fast family…..love. We learn of a unique bond between him and his mother, who always kept music as the pulse to their lives. There are many revealing moments in our conversation, from ballads to rebuilding, but most of all it is the true story telling nature of an educator, drummer and man who understands what makes the difference in this world….LOVE. Over the years I have had the honor of speaking with many people who show a love for what they do, I can add Mr. Moreno to that list of an appreciator of people, art and the sounds that bridge us all together. I hope you’ll take time to go enjoy his album as well as checking out this moment in time shared by two people who dig the stories, both short and long.
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 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.
I had the chance to speak with Brian Haas of the group Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and was quite pleased to have done so. Brian seems like the type of person I could sit with and talk about music with, and learn a bundle from. JFJO will be bringing its usually progressive post-modern jazz into Madison on June 26th at the Memorial Union Terrace starting sometime around 9:30. In this conversation you will learn what they intend to do differently this time around on stage, the concept and creation of the new album Little Tae Rides Again on not just one but 2 different types of labels, just what to do in case a person named Jacob Fred calls your daughter in the middle of the night.
Check out my conversation with Brian Haas here.
Akashic Record is the funk brainchild of drummer Tom Arey and hammond organ whiz Beau Sasser formerly of the perennial Boston jamband , Uncle Sammy. The group began as a trio, utilizing the guitar work and composition skills of Roman Zeitlin(Zap Mama), and quickly gained national notoriety with a performance at the 2003 New Orleans Jazz Fest. Morphing into a quintet lineup in 2004, the group solidified with frontman Brian Thomas on trombone, Timo Shanko on tenor sax and Johnny Trauma on guitar.Playing consistently in the Northeast, their floor shakin’ live show continues to thrill capacity crowds night after night. Beau and his band mates will bring this family friendly funking good time to Tyrone Farm in Pomfret CT this Sunday May 27th. Hey boo boo bring yer pic-a-nic basket.
Check out my chat with Mr. Sasser here.
Poogie Bell‘s drums is what you hear on many of the world’s finest jazz, neo-soul, R&B and hip-hop records. Performer, record producer, composer, and arranger, you’ve heard his work with artists including Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Roberta Flack, Erykah Badu, David Bowie, John Scofield, David Sanborn, Angelique Kidjo, Al Jarreau, Vanessa Williams, Victor Wooten, and Randy Crawford. Native of New York and a second generation musician he has been immersed in music since he was born. Taking cues from his father, a jazz musician and professor of music, Poogie has always had an inherent connection to music. As hard as it may be to believe, he started playing at the age of ten months old and made his concert debut when he was two and half at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Hall with his father. By the time he was five he’d already appeared on The Mike Douglas Show with Pearl Bailey. As a kid it wasn’t unusual for Poogie to see the likes of drummer Max Roach, saxophonist Ornette Coleman, pianist Marylou Williams, bassists, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter and Richard Davis in his living room jammin’ with his father. Poogie is doing his own project with The Poogie Bell Band!
You can catch the Poogie Bell Band at the Main Pub on Saturday night, April 28. Listen to my conversation with Poogie RIGHT HERE.
Well, here’s the deal. Both Billy and I had a scratchy reception. We forged ahead as it was the only time that would work for us. There was some good chatter back and forth about the visit to The Wolf Den on March 18th 2007, the latest Little Feat excursion to Jamaica, and I do try and pry a little into what Billy is up to in a solo artists vane. Payne, who co-founded Little Feat with the late, great Lowell George 35 years ago, has been Little Featâ€™s keyboardist â€“ and its pilot â€“ throughout the bandâ€™s existence, writing and singing such beloved classics as â€Oh Atlanta,â€œ â€Day or Night,â€œ â€Time Loves a Heroâ€œ and â€Gringo,â€œ while â€steering a ship that was rudderless,â€œ as he puts it. Heâ€™s also contributed to hundreds of records as a sideman. The list of the artists Payne has recorded with is as lengthy as a small-town telephone book, ranging from Jackson Browne to Beck to Jimmy Buffett â€“ and thatâ€™s just some of the â€Bâ€œs. Although the quality of this recording is sub par, I still wanted to make it available.
Check out our scratchy chat here.
Born and raised in New Orleans (and living there still, when heâ€™s not on the road), Stanton Moore is very much a product of geography, culture and creative networking. He grew up in the thriving music scene of his hometown that included Professor Longhair, Dr John, the Meters and countless other Big Easy mainstays. In the early â€˜90s, Moore hooked up with guitarist Jeff Raines, bassist Robert Mercurio and keyboardist Rich Vogel and saxophonist Ben Ellman to form the New Orleans-based â€œsteam-rollerâ€ funk band known as Galactic. There is so much to one of the hardest working guys in music, be it educating kids, being involved in multiple side projects (His Trio and Garage a Trois), Moore is credited on so many great diverse albums out there, it was just a matter of time before I got a hold of him as a new found friend of greenarrowradio.
Check out our conversation here.
friend of the greenarrowradio program and one heck of a drummer, Mr. Skeebo Knight is featured in todays set. Check out our conversation and listen to his grooves.
Rock me Amadeus, Mariposa
Stuyane/Male-Le, Transglobal Underground w/Trio Bulgarko
Kara Kum, Banco de Gaia
Connection, Brewed by Noon
Sangare, Vieux Farka Toure
Ernie, Fat Freddys Drop
Food in the Belly, Xavier Rudd
Mana, Xavier Rudd
I’m Tore Down, John Hammond/G-Love
Vishnu Dub, Club d’Elf
Straight Healing Song, Gerald Primeaux Sr.
Beauty, Wax Poetic
La Temperatura, Ozomatli
Unrock, Gabriel Rios
the Chamber, Neil Schon
Neighbor Neighbor, Gregg Allman
***CONVERSATION WITH SKEEBO KNIGHT***
I like’s That< Skeebo Knight
Richard’s Amazing Riding Mower, Skeebo Knight
Dana’s Lick, Ripplegroove
Interplanetary Love Song, Chris Spies
42, Krita Yuga
Black Flames, Chick Corea
Innocence Lost, the Jamie McLean Band
Hilario DurÃ¡n, Andrew Schloss, and Irene Mitri combine Afrocuban jazz with live electronics and interactive computer music to create a sound entirely their own. While DurÃ¡n is a world-class jazz pianist and composer from Cuba, and Mitri is a lyrical violinist who has expanded into Latin Jazz. This musical experiment, putting together contemporary Afrocuban jazz and traditional Cuban music with the newest computer music augmentation, has toured across Canada and the U.S.. I had a chance to catch up with Dr. Schloss to discuss the upcoming show and more.
Andrew Schloss is a pioneer in new musical instruments, and a virtuoso on an instrument dubbed the Radio Drum. He has received numerous awards and fellowships: Fulbright Scholar in France at IRCAM/Centre George Pompidou, collaborative composer’s grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, research fellowship from the BC Advanced Systems Institute (ASI), Research/Creation Grant from SSHRC (Social Science and Humanities Research Council), commission from the British Columbia Arts Council, among others. He has been a JUNO Awards judge in the World Music category for several years, as well as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, and other organizations. He has also focused his work on performance and composition with this instrument, using it to explore interactive computer music and improvisation. As a percussionist and computer musician, he has performed with such legendary figures as Tito Puente, Chucho ValdÃ©s, and more recently with Rickie Lee Jones and Joe Jackson at the EMP (Experience Music Project) opening concert in Seattle. in my conversation with Dr. Schloss, we will also discuss his business venture called Physiosonics and his involvement with Public Art installations collaborating with several other artists on major installations.
CHECK OUT OUR CONVERSATION HERE.