Steven Sapp of “Universes”

Heading to the stage of the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center for the Arts on Friday, May 2nd at 8pmCST is “Universes: Live from the Edge”. I had the opportunity to kick back with one of the founding members of Universes, artist Steven Sapp. Universes is an ensemble Company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who fuse Poetry, Theater, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Politics, Down Home Blues and Spanish Boleros to create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. The group breaks the bounds of traditional theater to create their own brand, inviting old and new generations of theater crafters as well as the theater goers and new comers to reshape the face of American Theater. Take a moment and check out what Steven has to say about this show, a cool moment in Chile and Justin Timberlake(?)!!

Listen to our conversation here.


This side of that way

A beautiful morning, some funky sounds and snacks for all.

Piena for my Grundle- Garage a Trois
Soul Kissing- DJ Logic
You Don’t Need a Dance- Breakestra
Musicology- Prince
Crabwalk- Nero
Showdown- Ben Neill
The Stalker Prt II- Ben Vaughn
I feel the Earth Move- the James Taylor Quartet (live)
Don’t that Bring you Back- Diane Durrett
Gary’s Song- Alice Smith
My Man is a Mean Man-Sharon Jones & the DapKings
Love Sweet Love- Morcheeba feat Mr Complex
Hound Dog- Macy Gray (live)
I say Hey- Kinky
Hot Sticky Nikki- Chow Nasty
Good Friends, Good Music- Skeebo Knight
*Snippet of my Bobby Ricketts Conversation*
The Way You Move- Bobby Ricketts
Prime Time- Bobby Ricketts
MoFongo Raincheck- Secretary
Gambler- Beyondo
Up for the Downstroke- the Clinton Administration
Mr. President- “Clinton”
Cissy Strut- the Meters
Soul Island- the Meters
This Land is Your Land-Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters
Spend a Little Time- Barry Adamson
Funky Kingston-Toots & Maytals/Bootsy Collins/the Roots
Mambo Sinuendo- Ry Cooder/Manuel Galban
Ladies Man- Keith Kilgo

What my Ears have Heard..

Recent times have been way to busy in my personal world, but I have managed to put together a list of some NEW(er) albums I have been listening to. Check it here:

Jim White- Transnormal Skiparoo
Stanton Moore Trio- Emphasis (in parenthesis)
Fantastic Merlins- Look Around
Tommy Emmanuel- Center Stage
Willie Nelson- Moment of Forever
Bobby Ricketts- Skin to Skin
Beyondo- Gambler EP
Telepathique- Love & Lust
Jeff Coffin & Charlie Peacock- Arc of the Circle
James Taylor Quartet- Live at the Jazz Cafe London
Da Cruz- Nova Estacao EP 1 & 2
Jamshied Sharifi- One
The Fly Brothers- live @ Sidelines
Chin Chin
Eric Sardinas & Big Motor
Victor Wooten- Palmystery
The Attic- In the Red
Uri Caine– the Classic Variations
Albert Castiglia- These are the Days
Jordon Zevon- Insides Out
Mochipet- Microphonepet
Jacky & Strings- New Era
DJ Logic/Jason Miles- Global Noize
Jimmy G Pop- Kids Totally Rock
Sounds of OM V.6
Om:Miami 08
Putumayo Presents: African Party

Who is Bobby Ricketts?

Well, as you will learn in this conversation, Bobby Ricketts found himself while working on his latest release, Skin to Skin for Third Wave Entertainment. Phoning in from Copenhagen, the beginning of our talk is a little technologically off, but that goes away in no time. We discuss Skin to Skin in slight depth, making sure to leave a lot of room for the potential listeners to explore it on their own, Bobby plans for tours and travels, and I had to find out just how he produced such a sexy album! If you have skin, I am thinking this album is for you and for you to share with that someone you love who has the skin for you.

Check out my conversation with Bobby Ricketts here.


African Children’s Choir

Last night in the grand Overture Hall, the African Children’s Choir presented Journey of Hope. The moments I shared watching these kids work magic with their stories through song and dance made me remind myself that I too have yet to fully live. True soul was the sound that captured me, unlike any I have sensed at shows in the past. Once I was able to gain perspective and then leave it slightly behind for a moment, I realized I was a part of this Journey of Hope, these moments shared made me feel vulnerable. With 13 girl performers and 9 boys, there was an energy of excitement and an allure of the unknown…each story invited the audience to join Africa in her quest to remain the homeland. One moment that stays etched in my mind is when those 22 kids introduced themselves with a quick “Hello” and a mention of “When I grow up I will be”…solidifying my connection with these children for more than just one night in Madison. There were 3 adult performers as well, each a former member of the choir and each doing there role in educating Africa and others about her. Since the Children’s Choir has expanded its operations to serve children and families in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, the Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and South Africa. The relief, education and music programs currently support over 8,000 underprivileged (truly) children, ranging from school of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan, to the teachers’ colleges, to the literacy schools in the inner city, to support centers for AIDS orphans in South Africa, to university sponsorship programs to former choir members. For more information on the African Children’s Choir.

Be a part of Africa.


Thomas Dolby ReMixes Radiohead

Influential electronic musician Thomas Dolby has produced a stunning remix of Radiohead’s current single ‘Nude’. The dreamy, semi-ambient mix is reminiscent of Dolby’s work as a collaborator with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Prefab Sprout and Joan Armatrading. Continuing the innovative marketing approach for their album ‘In Rainbows’, Radiohead has allowed users to download individual ‘stems’ of the song to create their own remix, and upload it for public listening and voting. Thomas Dolby has never met Radiohead, and his remix was unsolicited. Instead, he simply downloaded to song parts from iTunes for $0.99 each and created his own mix, submitting it to along with nearly 2000 other fans. Most of these remixers are amateur enthusiasts and virtually unknown, but Dolby is perhaps the best-known participant to date. He explains how it came about: ‘I was trying out my new wireless router to see if I could get reception down on the beach in front of my house,’ said Dolby. ‘Sitting there shivering beside the North Sea with my laptop, huddled in a blanket and listening to Radiohead’s ‘Nude’ stems on iTunes, with the waves lapping the shore and a crowd of seagulls fighting over a crab shell, I got an idea for a lovely remix.’ Entitled ‘Nude (Bathing In The Icefloe Mix)’. There are no plans to release it commercially. Thomas Dolby—these days often regarded as the original steampunk–made a return to touring last year after a hiatus of nearly 15 years. During this time his technology company Beatnik Inc was responsible for engineering the ringtone synthesiser embedded in nearly 800 million mobile phones made by Nokia and other manufacturers. In the mid-90’s Beatnik also powered the first ever Web-wide remix contests for artists like Queen Latifah, Britney Spears, N’Sync and David Bowie. How does Dolby feel about being on the ‘other end of the wire’ and submitting his own Radiohead remix along with thousands of fans? ‘Well as a fan myself I’m happy to pay homage to Radiohead just because I adore their music. But objectively, it’s great that a band of their stature would open up their intricately crafted music to regular users. And I love the fact that anyone with affordable music software gets to have a go, and might end up with the most votes. It’s a true meritocracy in this amazing age of YouTube and MySpace, where big record labels and stadium rock bands are on level playing field with the hordes of brilliant amateurs out there who have never had an audience of their own.’

Hear Thomas Dolby’s ‘Nude (Bathing In The Icefloe Mix)’ at



Weaving & Awaiting- Huong Thanh/Nguyen Le
Seeing Hands- Dengue Fever
Mwafwako- Mapumba
Rhumba All the Way- Louis Mhlanga
Abataka- African Children’s Choir
It Takes a Whole Village- African Childrens Choir
Belly Up- Brothers of Baladi
Beatles Medley- Tommy Emmanuel (live)
Don’t Stop til you get Enough- Keller Williams (live)
Dance on your Head-Leftover Salmon w/B. Fleck/J. Coffin/R.Wynans
Country Ghetto- JJ Grey (live in Studio 92)
my Beloved Monster- Eels
Late Breaking News- Jorma Kaukonen
Funky Good Time- the Melvin Sparks Band
Dr. Epstein- the Macpodz
Blast!- Marcus Miller
the Awakening- Les Claypool & the Holy Mackerel
Let it Rock- Davis Coen
Anytime you Want- Sean Costello
Told me a Lie- Sean Costello
Girl- Sol Creech Band
Prime Time- Bobby Ricketts
the Plain Truth- the Karl Denson Trio
Strance of the Spirit Red Gator- MMW
Everything and More- Sara Thomsen
the Spider & the Fly- Jamie Leonhart
Ain’t no Sunshine- Stryke (G-Corp Remix)
Swallow- Supreme Beings of Leisure

Jerry Wennstrom meets Uakti

Artist Jerry Wennstrom‘s latest sculpture was created from a castoff old piano, with original cedar scupltures, and pounded copper. The piano’s foot pedals are rigged to open the hands and turn the head, which opens to reveal a laughing skull. The music is “Mapa” by Uakti, from their MAPA album. A Point Philips album.
Slideshow created by Carol Wright using program called Photo To Movie, then processed via Mac’s iMovie HD 6 to a .mov file. The opening of dissolves in the title sequence was made using separate images created in Photoshop.

Let’s Have an African Party

And the first guests to invite would be the fine folks at Putumayo. They have assembled together many great artists stretching from the Ivory Coast to South Africa. The album also celebrates the 15th anniversary of Putumayo and the work of its founder Dan Storper was strolling through Golden Gate Park when he was transfixed by the uplifting sounds of the African group Kotoja. This experience inspired Dan to launch Putumayo World Music as a platform to introduce people to the joyous international sounds that moved him on that day. This album takes me to Mr. Storper’s Golden Gate Park moment and transcends it into my living room…allowing full comfort in surroundings and sounds….and allows me to get away while staying home. There is no way to stop yourself from feeling alive when the African Party is on!! African Party features the inspirational band Kotoja & Oliver Mtukudzi, who released several popular albums on the Putumayo label. And a personal favorite of mine is the final cut: Mulemba Xangola by Bonga from Angola….seeing him once in a live setting helps me to remember that there is magic in this world.

Cover Art:Nicola Heindl/Putumayo 2008

R.I.P. Sean Costello

One of Atlanta’s most popular blues guitarists and singers, Sean Costello was found dead on Tuesday. Instead of gathering for a birthday celebration (Sean would have turned 29 today)his friends and fans will be at Northside Tavern Wednesday night for a musical tribute. This Howell Mill Rd. blues bar was Costello’s second home; he began playing there while still in his teens. I know I have several friends in Atlanta and the surrounding areas that are traveling with heavy hearts and I of course wish them happy thoughts during this sad time.

RIP 1979-2008

MLB celebrates 5th “Jackie Robinson day”

Major League Baseball today announced that the national celebration of Jackie Robinson’s entry into the Major Leagues will take place at Shea Stadium on Tuesday, April 15th, the league’s official “Jackie Robinson Day. Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s wife,(who I had the honor of fetching water for at a JRF event) and Sharon Robinson, Jackie’s daughter, will join Bob DuPuy, President and Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball, in an on-field recognition of Jackie Robinson’s legacy prior to the start of the Washington Nationals-New York Mets game. Four Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars will accompany them on the field for a special recognition. One scholar also will have ceremonial first pitch honors. The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides four-year college scholarships to minority students with records of academic distinction and leadership capacity. It strives to cultivate future leaders who will be ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s guiding life tenet, “A life is not important except in its impact on other lives.” Major League Baseball and its Clubs have a long history of supporting the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Since 1996, financial support for the Jackie Robinson Foundation from Baseball and its Clubs has been nearly $10 million. Clubs playing at home on Tuesday, April 15th will commemorate “Jackie Robinson Day” with special pregame ceremonies in their ballparks, all of which will feature Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars and will showcase activities that reflect Robinson’s legacy. Clubs that are not playing on April 15th will hold “Jackie Robinson Day” celebrations at a later date. Clubs will also be using ceremonial home plates, base jewels and lineup cards that will include the “Jackie Robinson Day” logo. On April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s entry into Major League Baseball, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced that Robinson’s Number 42 would be retired throughout baseball and would never again be issued to on-field personnel. He temporarily suspended the retirement for the 60th anniversary and will do so again for this year’s 61st anniversary. The way to treat a true hero and his legacy.

Check out my past conversation with Della Britton-Baeza, the President/CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation here.

Today I had the Blues

It still hasn’t gotten warm here….yesterday the sky was once again gray and there was plenty of chilly flurries waving thru the Madison air. I decided that Today, I had the blues….(mostly)

What’s he Building- Tom Waits
No Such Thing- Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers
Tappin’ that Thing- Jas Mathus & Knockdown South
I am the Cool- Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Handcuffed to a Fence in Mississippi- Jim White
Rough Justice- the Rolling Stones
Rock Candy- the Fabulous T-Birds
Love you Like a Woman- Koko Taylor
I Love a Lover Like you- Koko Taylor
Boot Knockin’ Boogie- James Cotton
Gonna Change my way of Thinking-Bob Dylan/Mavis Staples
Voodoo Chile-Angelique Kidjo/Buddy Guy/Vernon Reid
Calypso- Robert Randolph band
Gonna Move- the Derek Trucks Band (live)
My World is Round- Alvin Youngblood Hart
Nobody’s Fault but Mine- Alvin Youngblood Hart
the Game Band Strut- Henry Butler
I got a Woman- John Hammond
Blow Wind Blow- Jimmy Rogers Allstars/Jeff Healy
Boom Baby Boom- Elliott Sharp’s Terraplane
I go Ka- Ali Farka Toure
Awa L’Akoya- Akoya Afrobeat
Get Up- Keleta & ZoZo Afrobeat
Nightime is the Right Time- Albert Castiglia
if it ain’t slow- Thaddeus Hogarth (live)
Dear Prudence- Phish (live)
Shadow of Death Hotel- Barry Adamson
Sifu- Victor Wooten
Going to California- Jake Shimabukuro

Victah Victah Victah

Last Night at the Barrymore, Victor Wooten and his band kept the smiles wide with a soulful-funked up-jazzified-bass-thumpin’ “school is in session” romp into our musical imaginations. There are times when I listen to Victor play when I feel like I am listening to a familiar tale, like a children’s rhyme I recall from years gone by and other moments…well, its like the earth is quakin’-n-thumpin’ in directions never sensed before. That certainly was true last night. When you come to town with a guitarist like ” the Teacher” Regi Wooten, the streets of style matched with sound creation have yet to be paved, but man does he start trailblazing right before your eyes. There are moments of fantastic drumming effects that have to be seen and not told. “The Voice” Saundra Williams brought that sexy and soulful element to a show where sounds kept tempting and taunting……what lurks around the next corner…….bass solo!! This was another one of those shows that I had high hopes for..and I am elated that once again those expectations have been exceeded.

Don’t forget about Victor’s Bass/Nature camps.

My conversation with Victor.


Joe Pitts: Just a Matter of Time

Slide over, no really SLIDE on over and listen to this. Joe Pitts can create a powerful storm of sound with a ghostly shadow of style reminding myself and many of the dear Duane Allman. Not afraid to rock a love song or tell that fantastic story, the album Just a Matter of Time, (Kijan Records 2007) takes a ride on the southern side of rock and keeps plenty of room for some of that sweet soulfulness of the blues. He has pulled influences from yesterday into today and has been compared to guitarists like Warren Haynes, Larry McCray and Walter Trout. Although his influences range from Duane Allman and Jeff Beck(ice cream cakes) to Roy Buchanan(Nickle and a Nail), he is becoming known worldwide for his slide guitar work. He uses his slide work to create tone-filled licks that both glide and soar over the music. And I am starting to wonder who is calling him their influence. He is also heavily inside the groove with really funky rhythmic improvisations, which as a listener you can get that true feeling on the final track, Funked Up…but be patient–coming out of the shadows of that track is the ghost of song greatness…..(lone me a dime) the great Fenton Robinson tune with the easily treasured slide work of Duane worked over with precision and pride…Thanks Joe.


Back to the Cat: Barry Adamson

Barry Adamson was bass player in post punk band, Magazine between 1978-1982. He then went on to become a founder member of Nick Cave’s illustrious Bad Seeds in 1984. Since 1989, with the release of debut album ‘Moss Side Story‘, Adamson has forged his own highly acclaimed solo career with a series of distinctive and thematically linked soundscape albums, he has also worked on film soundtracks for David Lynch. In 2002, Adamson left his long-term label, Mute Records, and started his own “production home“, Central Control International. In 2006, he released Stranger on the Sofa, to critical acclaim. And this year, the release of the soulful funky sounds of Back to the Cat take listeners down a funky road of soul-slides and real wording. Soaked in a gravy of mood & sophistication, this album will catch on easily with the soul of your listening, and the enjoyment of your mischievous side…ENJOY!!!!


1 The Beaten Side Of Town (4:49)
2 Straight ‘Til Sunrise (4:59)
3 Spend A Little Time (4:29)
4 Shadow Of Death Hotel (4:21)
5 I Could Love You (3:33)
6 Walk On Fire (4:32)
7 Flight (4:54)
8 Civilization (4:18)
9 People (3:23)
10 Psycho_Sexual (5:53)

For Anthony Michael

Zazu- Moodafaruka
Izniknami Badem Drvo-Mike Watt/Masina
Oye Como Va (extended Mix)- Kinky
Duke of Hazzard- Blockhead
World Without Fear- Antibalas
the Johnson- Four Finger Five
Webspan- the Nucleus
Wosoubour-Vieux Farka Toure/Chris Annibell
Kwenda- Zap Mama
Shake Everything you got- Maceo Parker (live)
Come to me- Robin Trower/Jack Bruce
Wing- Patti Smith (WCRW studios)
Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road- Robert Wyatt
Dinah- Preservation Hall Hot 4
Chocolate on my Tongue- the Wood Brothers
Atlas- the Wood Brothers
What a Man- Soul Summit (live)
Burning Down the House- Marcus Miller (live)
Earth Jam- Bela Fleck & the Flecktones
*Conversation with Victor Wooten*
Left, Right & Center- Victor Wooten
Ease Up- Wooten/Howe/Chambers
What is Hip- Marcus Miler
Rock el Casbah- Rachid Taha
Bullet the Blue Sky- Vieux Farka Toure
Candela- Novalima
You Know I’m no Good- Amy Winehouse
Funplex- the B52’s
I don’t Know Why- Lovewhip
Ramblin’ WOman- Cat Power
Already Fried- Widespread Panic
Ol’ Orleans- Baghdad Scuba Review
Love Henry- Bob Dylan
Broke Down Engine- Bob Dylan
I’m Sticking with you- the Velvet Underground
I Feel Good/I’ve got the Feeling-Soul Summit (live)

Wayne “Frosty Freeze” Frost

Wayne “Frosty Freeze” Frost, a hip-hop pioneer whose acrobatic performance with the legendary Rock Steady Crew in the 1983 movie “Flashdance” helped set off a worldwide breakdancing craze, has died. He was 44. Breakdancing emerged from the Bronx and Harlem in the early 1970s, part of the hip-hop culture that also included graffiti, MCing or rapping, and disc jockeys scratching and mixing vinyl records on turntables. Frost was known for many things including his energetic style, intricate choreography and fearless moves including back flips & head spins. One was even dubbed the “Suicide.” Frost got his start back in 1978 with the Bronx-based Rock City Crew. In 1981, he became part of the Rock Steady Crew, joining such acclaimed breakdancers as Ken Swift and Lil Crazy Legs. Frost toured the world with the Rock Steady Crew and other hip-hop artists, including Fab 5 Freddy, Futura 2000 and Kool Lady Blue. Graffiti artist and close friend Zulu King Slone, who knew Frost for 15 years, said he was “like a walking hip-hop culture encyclopedia.”

Victor Wooten takes a moment

The day after his newest solo album, Palmystery was released on Heads Up and his book, The Music Lesson was released by Berkley Publishing Group/ A Division of The Penguin Group USA — I had the chance to discuss the new album/book and the tour which makes its way to Madison at the Barrymore on April 11 with Victor Wooten. We know VICTAH as an innovator and a Flecktone but this album is an eye opener and keeps it so real that you might just have to check with yourself after listening. During our conversation, we discuss the report that Marcus Miller gave us earlier that he, Victor and Stanley Clarke are working on somethings together and I think you’ll be surprised by the response.

Check out my time w/Victah here.


One Love, One Woman-Sister Carol

The presence of someone who is all about good is easily recognizable by the radiant glow, and Sister Carol certainly brought that presence to the Majestic last night. Known as the “Black Cinderella” and “Mother Culture,” Sister Carol has led the way for women in reggae. Her music is rich with cultural heritage & infused with a vital social consciousness that permeates every aspect of life in the new illennium. Who knew that the thriving dancehall scene in New York City in the 70’s would lead Sister Carol to a path that would include movies, albums, television appearances and a Grammy nomination for her highly regarded 1996 release, Lyrically Potent. Having won talent contests in both Jamaica and New York, Sister Carol was offered an opening slot for one of Jamaica’s finest vocal trios, The Meditations, who had provided harmony vocals for Bob Marley. Bringing her greater recognition and a wider audience, as well as firmly establishing her as a cornerstone of the dancehall/dj movement, this opportunity opened the door for her to record her first two records, Liberation for Africa & Black Cinderalla. The energy from the evening is still strong within my spirit and the blessing of one love, one people has been brought to life by Sister Carol’s being, see her when you can.