Gypsy Groove: the World is a Dance Floor

Haven’t we all had that feeling of wanting to pick it up and move it along. Well, as history will have it, the nomadic people known as Gypsies, did just that and they seemed to add each cultures musical styles to their repertoire. This wayward traveling and moving allowed the Gypsies, or the Roma to become crafty musicians with no genre standing in their way of expression. This Putumayo release is a sure hit on the dance floors around the world. With mixes from some of the finest musicians in today’s scene, the roots of many lands grow strong through instruments foreign to perhaps too many ears. Gypsy Groove makes all colors of our one world dance together with toe tapping, house shaking and romantically wistful songs filled with that sense of wander, and connects regions to remind us once again of the common bond of sound that keeps us linked together. There are many standout tracks on this album but I will mention just one so you can use your own judgment. The album features the previously unreleased “Amari Szi, Amari (Remix)” from Luminescent Orchestrii, a Brooklyn-based group whose repertoire is a combination of Romanian gypsy melodies, punk frenzy, salty tangos, hard-rocking klezmer, haunting Balkan harmony, hip-hop beats and Appalachian fiddle. I invite you to put on your headphones and feel free to aimlessly roam with the ebb and flow of Gypsy Groove.

share the worlds dance floor.

Stratospheerius’ Joe Deninzon

Lead by electric violinist/vocalist/mandolinist Joe Deninzon, Stratospheerius unleash their fourth collection of songs. Hot on the heals of their acclaimed CD, “Live Wires“, “Headspace” brings their live energy into the studio. Vocal rock anthems like “New Material, “Old Ghosts“, and “Today is Tomorrow“, shout alongside some ripping instrumentals. From the bluegrass punk of “Gutterpunk Blues“, to the psychedelic roller coaster ride of “Mental Floss“, and the bigger and louder sequel to the Heavy Metal Hora “Heavy Shtettle II“. The disc also features a unique cover of The PoliceDriven to Tears“. This album is filled with memorable hooks alongside the ‘without a net’ instrumental jams the group has built its reputation on. Influences range from the Mahavishnu Project, Mr. Frank Zappa and the mighty Zeppelin, to Dave Matthews, Radiohead, Jeff Beck, and Bela Fleck.
I had the chance to chat with Joe to discuss the new album, the strangest billings he’s been a part of and….well just LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATION HERE.

with thanks to Anne at LeightonMedia

Roots & Blues..Taking a Cakewalk

Bibou, Daby Balde
Redemption Song, African Showboys
Cut my Wings, Seasick Steve
I’m in the Mood for you, Odetta
Courage, Vieux Farka Toure w/Issa Bamba
Cigil, Nuru Kane
Kik Ayittma, Toumast
Sou, Cheikh Lo
Nurnu, Issa Bagayogo
Fishing Blues, Taj Mahal
Manu Dayak, Tinariwen
Savane, Ali Farka Toure
N’gol Jimbo, Affrisippi
Baby Please don’t go, Big Joe Williams
Premiering unreleased new tunes from Pedro Arevalo
Hello my Friend, Pedro Arevalo
Oh Lord What have I done, Pedro Arevalo
Nemisis, Pedro Arevalo
Old Man, Johnny Trama
Footsteps, JJ Grey & Mofro
Turpentine, JJ Grey & Mofro
I’m Tore Down, John Hammond/G. Love
Eyes Behind your Head, John Hammond
Ninety Nine and one Half, Buddy Guy
Ain’t no Sunshine, Buddy Guy w/Tracy Chapman


40 years of Shan-non-na

Mindreader, Ten High
Take it Off, The Donnas
Girl you have Magic…, Outrageous Cherry
Indifference, Moby Grape
Knock ’em Out, Lily Allen
Soul Sucker, Sirsy
I Still Believe, Michelle DiAngelis
Sara Smile, Sara Wasserman w/Vernon Reid
Summertime, Morcheeba (live)
Sweet Life, Karen Gibson Roc
Messin’ Around, the Ramblers
Rough & Ready, the Ramblers
It Takes Two to Make Love, the Termites
Only Love Let’s Celebrate, Perry Farrells Satellite Party
Como MS, Cashman
Yes We Can Can, Davis Cohen
Put a Little Love in Your Heart, Stew Cutler
Jammer Time, Akaschic Record
**Conversation w/Beau Sasser of Akaschic Record**
Tune for Lou, Akaschic Record
NOrleans, Dr. Lonnie Smith
Creepin’ Poogie Bell Band
Power of Soul, Marcus Miller
Carried Away, Bassnectar
Into my Soul, Gabin feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater
Sweet Melody, Zap Mama
Ready to Ride, the Bomb Squad
**Conversation with Brenna Gethers of the Bomb Squad**
True Thang, the Bomb Squad
Gemini, the Bomb Squad
Space Rooster, Cosmic Farm
Sometimes, Johnny Katchoolik
Kumala, Michael Jost & the Dragonfly Project
the Constitution, Rufus Harley
Fanfare for the House of Panorama, Hermetic Science
Yulia, Stratospheerius

Beau Sasser of Akashic Record

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.


Om Records…caught my attention.

It’s true. Like I was picked off first base, my attention was grabbed by some of the funky underground scene in San Francisco. Om Records stands as one of the only true independent labels still surviving for the love and growing with the times. Such internationally renowned artists as Mark Farina, Miguel Migs, Kaskade, Marques Wyatt and many more have all got their start on Om. Branded the United Nations of Future Music, Om’s mission is to find and put out music that is refined, innovative and always pushing boundaries. Om Hip Hop. A subsidiary imprint of the well-known San Francisco-based electronic music label Om (home to superstar DJ/Producers like Mark Farina, Kaskade, Colette, Lance de Sardi, and numerous others), Om Hip Hop represents a bold leap into the future of urban music, as well as a return to its parent label’s early roots.

I have really been appreciated the sounds and vibe coming out of this musical environment and I hope you’ll take your open minds and thirsty earholes over to give them a check.

spin in this universe

A few of my Favorite Things…

Last Thursday, I was able to be a part of a the experience known as a Derek Trucks Band show. The venue, the Warner Theatre in Torrington, Connecticut is a beautiful spot to hear and feel such a blend of vibrant and alive sounds. You all know how much we like this band on the radio program, well when you remind yourself with a live performance, it really opens up many more avenues that remind us that genres don’t always have a place in the musical world. Kofi was multi-tasking all night long, Todd was all smiles as the notes proved to be an experiment at times. Count M’Butu was his classic self, dancing the robot and keeping the rhythm in all our steps while Yonrico made sure we got a significant amount of rock and roll flavors. Mike‘s voice is from a soulful planet somewhere I have never yet seen, but am thankful to be a part of, and it is even better live. There were moments during the show, but mainly during the solo/song ‘These are a Few of my Favorite Things‘, where I swear I saw both the ghosts of Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane peek around the curtain to see what Derek was pulling off out there. There was a moment where he struck a note or four, while bending the top string around the back of the neck of his guitar. Simply Amazing!

If you can,you should always go and see the Derek Trucks Band play live, as you will not come home disappointed. But I bet you knew that!


Kaya….a new friend is born.

This set will go out to our friends new one. Good health always.

Back Door Man, Mama Roo
Do the Do, Mama Roo
Heads in Georgia, JJ Cale/Eric Clapton
Thats what Love will Make you Do, Gov’t Mule (live ’06)
Smokin’ Hole, the Radiators
the Other Side, Scrapomatic
Raw Head & Bloody Bones, Scrapomatic
Fur Peace Rag, Jorma Kaukonen
Late Breaking News, Jorma kaukonen
Broken Down Piece of Crap, Brian Setzer
Everybody’s up to Somethin’, Brian Setzer
New Values, Pale Moon Gang
Race Car Driver, Girl in a Coma
Ganja, Michael Jost & the Dragonfly Project
Towering inferno, the Green Arrows
No Delay (bullitt), the Green Arrows
Ternura, Omar Sosa
Sister Twisted, Kinky
How do they do That?, Kinky
Alkher Illa Doffer, Cheb i Sabbah/Bassnectar Remix
Ali (Tapans deep blue mix), Midival Punditz
Love & Happiness, Marc Broussard
Tibidi Waka, Vusi Mahlasela w/Derek Trucks
Volunteered Slavery, the Derek Trucks Band
I’ll Find My Way, the Derek Trucks Band
Gutterpunk Blues, Stratospheerius
Dazed & Confused, the Yardbirds (live NY 2006)
Power of Soul, Billy Cox/Buddy Miles
Why you Wanna Bring me Down, Honeytribe
***Conversation with Pedro Arevalo***

Wine & Women, Pedro Arevalo
Blues for Luci, Pedro Arevalo
I’m Gettin’ Over it, Papa Mali
Paint my Masterpiece, Chris Whitley/Jeff Lang
Rebecca Rebecca, Mojo:Saint (live 2006)
Dirty Beat, Gert Wilder & Orchestra
Getting Blue, Gert Wilder & Orchestra
Boogie Hustlers, the Poogie Bell Band
Girls & Boys, Marcus Miller feat. Macy Gray
Funky Good Time, the Melvin Sparks Band


Embrace Bomb Squad’s Brenna Gethers

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Ms. Brenna Gethers, the front woman of the Connecticut based funk group the BOMB SQUAD. Some might recognize her name from being a finalist on American Idol a few years ago, but the future looks to be fortified with some straightforward attitude and a little down home happy funk that is sure to please all those true music seekers. Those seekers need to look no further than on June the 9th at the Danbury Music Festival in Danbury CT, and again on June 22nd at the Skybox in Fairfield. You know that I’ll be at one of these events and I will be looking for you. To tempt your open minds and thirsty earholes even further, I will be getting some new material to PREMIERE on the show in the very near future. So stay tuned in!!

Check out Brenna taking a moment to talk with me here.


Yardbirds: live at BB Kings New York

On July 19th of 2006, the legendary Yardbirds lived up to their reputation that they have carried with them for so many years….they tore up the stage with a non-stop set of blistering rock and roll and blues. This album contains 19 tracks of both the noticeable and memorable tunes like “For Your Love“, “Train Kept A Rollin’“, Heart Full of Soul” and “Shapes of Things“, and some newer tunes from albums released later on in this legendary band’s career.. The line up that held the stage to a group of fans and listeners that wouldn’t let them go looked like this: Founding members Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja, guitarist Ben King, vocalist John Idan and harmonica player Billy Boy Miskimmin. The fine folks at Favored Nations released this live and unforgettable show and I want to make sure we thank them by spinning this album for some younger fans just diving into powerful blues rock, and of course for those people that lived through the Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck Yardbirds…..just to remind them that these Birds are still flying.


Re-Visiting with Pedro Arevalo

Our good friend Pedro Arevalo will be visiting the area with Dickey Betts and Great Southern May 24-27 at the Ridgefield Playhouse and the Mohegan Sun Casino. I look forward to bringing you fine open minded and thirsty earholed listeners a first hand review of one of these shows, but strongly suggest you get out there yourself and get a feel for this rockin’ live show! In our visit, we talk about what has been going on in the last year, side projects and there are some real clear hints of some new, unheard recordings coming home with me to be spun just for you all…..stay tuned for the goods.

Pedro Arevalo and MisterG catching up here.

Pedro Arevalo

Titan Arum–the Corpse Flower.

The titan arum or Amorphophallus titanum (from Ancient Greek amorphos, “without form, misshapen” + phallos, “penis”, and titan, “giant”) is a flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. The largest single flower is borne by the Rafflesia arnoldii; the largest branched inflorescence in the plant kingdom belongs to the Talipot palm (Corypha umbraculifera). It was originally discovered by an Italian botanist, Odoardo Beccari, in Sumatra in 1878. Though found in many botanic gardens around the world it is still only indigenous to the tropical forests of Sumatra. Due to its fragrance, which is reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal, the titan arum is also known as a carrion flower, the “Corpse flower“, or “Corpse plant” (in Indonesian, “bunga bangkai” – bunga means flower, while bangkai means corpse or cadaver; for the same reason, the same title is also attributed to Rafflesia which, like the titan arum, also grows in the rainforests of Sumatra).
After a tasty lunch, Moustapha and I had a rare opportunity to see one of these giants of the stink at the UCONN greenhouses, it was reported that it was far more disgusting smelling the day prior, but man…the scent of rotten flesh was in the air.

Titan Arum–the Corpse Flower

Gimme Gimme Some of that there.

——–SET 1——–
Something Went Right, George Soule
Shoes, George Soule
N’Taka, Terrafolk
Nobody’s Fault but Mine, NO blues
Gotta Have Rain, sol
——–SET 2——–
Centre of Nowhere, LadyBUG Mecca
Revolution Eventually, Sugar Bitch
How do They do That?, Kinky
Urban Mbalax, Brewed by Noon
Moose, Toubab Krewe (live)
Samsara, Krita Yuga
Lost on a River (Ochos Rios mix), Euphoria
September, Celia Baron
I’m No Fool, Skeebo Knight/Marcus Henderson
Mountain, King Johnson
——–SET 3——–
Squadlive, Lettuce
Bootsy, Sam Kininger
Lapdance, John Popper Project w/DJ Logic
Papa, Angelique Kidjo
——–SET 4——–
New Values, Pale Moon Gang
Battle of Faomo, Southern Crush
Apple Pie, Southern Crush
I Drink, Southern Crush
New Agenda, Mis Led
Kitten Next Door, A Brokeheart Pro
——–SET 5——–
Niferitti, Adrian Legg
Loner’s Dream, Neil Schon
Human Cannonball, Webb Wilder (live)
Beer Soaked Couch Slug, John Lisi & Delta Funk
Po’ Jon, John Lisi & Delta Funk
I’m Getting Over it, Papa Mali
Brown Panther, Roni Zonca & his band
Mambo Chillun, Davis Coen
Let it Rock, Davis Coen
Funky Town, James Hinkle
Ferocious, Nikki Armstrong
——–SET 6——–
Let Side of the Brain, Gift of Gab
Burning Down the House, Marcus Miller
How Sweet it is, Jerry Garcia Band (live)


Dead items “Sold to the man in Tie Dye”

SAN FRANCISCO — An auction of Grateful Dead memorabilia Tuesday brought in more than $1.1 million for items collected by the band’s longtime road manager. The collection of Lawrence “Ram Rod” Shurtliff included a 1975 cream-colored Travis Bean electric guitar played by the main man, Jerry Garcia, which fetched $312,000, according to Bonhams & Butterfields Auctioneers. Deadheads bidding by phone and in the crowded auction room bid up prices for band photos, original album artwork, guitars and other musical gear RAM ROD collected over decades. A leather guitar strap worn by Garcia on stage about 1973 sold for $20,400 — 4 times the estimated selling price. A flight case containing Garcias picks, unopened guitar strings and other accessories sold for $16,800. RAM ROD died in 2006. He started as a truck driver for the band in 1967 and went on to become president of the group’s board of directors when the Dead incorporated in the 1970s.


Anyone for some FUNKY SAX?

A saxophone legend, Berklee alum, and all-around funk genius, Sam Kininger is building his fan-base and repertoire simultaneously at clubs across the country. Kininger has been in legendary funk/soul groups since the beginning, including, but not limited to Lettuce, Soulive and the Brotherhood of Groove. As a solo artist Sam Kininger has developed a distinctive, organic sound on the saxophone that is strongly expressive. He consistently demonstrates his technical dexterity and rhythmic precision while maintaining an honest and innovative exploration of musical improvisation.
Sam will be bringing his “knock the walls down” sound of funk and groove to the Main Pub in Manchester CT on May 19th and if you like you sax funky, I will see you there.

Check out Sam and I talkin’ turkey here.


Music that hits me right THERE.

Bei Bei is a Gu Zheng (Chinese Zither) virtuoso. She started to play the Gu Zheng at the age of seven. She received her professional musical training, majoring in the Gu Zheng at the Central University of Nationalities in Beijing, China and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong from several Gu Zheng masters such as Li-Jing Sha, Mu-Lan Hai, Chun-Jiang Teng, and Ling-Zi Xu. Bei Bei is a multi-award winner of many national and international competitions such as the 1993 National Chinese Instruments Competition and the 1999 College Students Art Festival in Beijing. Bei Bei came to United States in 2003 both to perform and study music recording. She has been collaborating with musicians from different genres such as Jazz, Alternative, Rock, New Age, Hip-Hop, and dancers. Bei Bei has been featured as an instrumentalist and composer at Revolution 626, the Chinese Moon Festival Concert, Knitting Factory Hollywood, Irvine Barclay Theater, UC Irvine Claire Trevor Theater, Ford Amphitheater, and more. The feedback that she has received as she has introduced American audiences to Gu Zheng and its broad and varied repertoire has been extremely positive. Her passion for her instrument and the beauty of her music have touched people across the world.

Folk Music Center/Upland CA

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If I knew half of…

Today, Mustapha was on the mic and making the breaks wittiful.(?) Soon, the Mowing Report will be up and running. I actually got the mower of the Mustapha out in the yard after the show and the report was favorable: LOTS OF GREEN.

Baby it’s You, Smith
Jeepster, T. Rex
It’s so Easy, Willy DeVille
Candy, the Charms
in the Background, Girl in a Coma
Try, ALO
I Won’t Leave you There, Scarecrow Collection
Groovin’ on a Feeling, Laid Back
Occapella (have a beer), Slavic Soul Party
Canastero, Gipsy Kings
Crazed, Rando Brothers
Look-Ka-PyPy, Derek Trucks Band
Transit, Furley
No War for Oil, Sam Kininger
Grandma’s Groove, Jake Shimabukuro
Beyond the Break, Jake Shimabukuro
Pegao, Tommy Emmanuel
Thank You Nation 1814, Janet Jackson/DJ Reset
New E, Liquid Soul
Words with the Griot, Eccodek
Hootchie Mama, Big Ass Truck
Lively up Yourself, Bob Marley & the Wailers (live)
Nutmeg, Johnny Katchoolik
Crossdresser Blues, John Carey
Broadcast to the Addicted, Drakes Hotel
Supergirls Complaint, Bourbon Princess
White Rabbit, Patti Smith
Rotten World Blues, Eels
Dog-Faced Boy, Eels
When I get Drunk, Pork Tornado
All American, Pork Tornado
Top Floor Bottom Buzzer, Morphine
Rope on Fire, Morphine
Porchswing, Bourbon Princess
Queen of the Highway, the Doors (’69 Elektra session)
Drinking Muddy Water, the Yardbirds (live 7/19/06)
Dazed & Confused, the Yardbirds (live 7/19/06)
Tell Me, Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble (live 1980)

a Saint of Rhythm..a drum for Passion

A few of my most spiritual moments have come with the explorations joined in accompaniment with the music of Babatunde Olatunji. I was fortunate to have been able to attend several shows and met up with this saint of rhythm while he put on a seminar at Central Connecticut State University many years ago. I wanted to share my memories of a healing time in my soul and found this video to help represent the man who brought insight to my mind.

Will Congress Rescue Internet Radio?

Internet radio broadcasts, jeopardized by a royalty payment ruling earlier this year, would get a reprieve under bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress. The Internet Radio Equality Act would roll back dramatic rate increases handed down earlier this year by the Copyright Royalty Board and instead charge royalty payments for Web-based radio broadcasting, or streaming, in line with those paid by satellite radio. Under the rules issued by the CRB, an agency charged by Congress with overseeing royalty disputes, streamers would be charged 8 cents a song retroactively to 2006 – a rate that would increase to 19 cents a song in 2010. For public broadcasters, the CRB set fees at a flat $500 a month but only for a set level of listening hours per month, one that many station owners said they would easily exceed and thus have to pay much higher fees. Internet streamers said the increases amounted to 30 to 300 percent increases over what they are paying now.

The new legislation, proposed by Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), would instead charge streamers a flat fee of 7.5 percent of their revenue through 2010. A companion piece is expected to be introduced in the Senate this week.

Advocates championed the bill as more in line with reality and a proper response to the public outcry from critics who said the ruling could kill Internet radio streaming. Inslee spokeswoman Christine Hanson said the congressman’s office alone received about 1,000 complaints about the CRB fees, and members of Congress had received more than 400,000 e-mails demanding the fees be changed, so the sponsors are hoping quick action can be taken on the legislation. Radio stations large and small as well as Internet-only broadcasters who have gotten into the streaming business were united in their opposition to the new royalty fees and had been preparing a court challenge. (Jeff Cox, contributing writer)

Well, I for one hope there is no hesitation to put this Legislation through, as it would overturn rulings that boosted Web radio royalties and align them with what satellite broadcasters pay.

This is one to watch.

check out PANDORA for more.