Rainer Ptacek (KUAT Profile and 'Worried Spirits')

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I posted about Tucson’s (by way of Chicago by way of East Germany) Rainer Ptacek back in August, featuring two live sets from the Live Music Archive.

Rainer is one of my favorite musicians, especially his instrumental tracks and his dobro playing, but that’s probably another post. He plays the same instruments as a lot of other people, but he doesn’t play them like a lot of other people. For now, let’s watch a 1997 KUAT feature profile.

The video’s Youtube page says: “A feature on Rainer Ptacek produced for KUAT-TV's Arizona Illustrated in 1997. Includes interview footage with Howe Gelb (Giant Sand).”

This profile aired some time in 1997 which would have been about a year after he was riding his bike to work at a guitar shop and suffered a seizure which revealed that he had a brain tumor. After surgery, and almost unbelievably, Ptacek re-taught himself how to play guitar. He talks about the weight of the experience in this profile. Plus a quite young looking Howe Gelb.

Knowing that he didn’t make it, the moment he gets his daughter Lilly a cookie, gets me every time.

And next we have the ‘Worried Spirits’ video. The video’s page says: “Worried Spirits -- previously unreleased video. It was intended to be released with the CD 'The Best of Rainer - 17 Miracles' as a bonus video.”

  • Visit Rainer Ptacek’s official website.

  • Purchase Rainer’s music at Bandcamp.

  • Purchase Rainer’s music at Amazon.

  • Visit previous posts about Rainer.

Kern! Live! And Pre-Popped!

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In case you missed it, The Kernal just released a fantastic live album, Kern! Live! I haven’t yet been able to see The Kernal live, but my friend Taylor has and he wrote the following on Instagram:

“Forget lawyers, guns, and money! Send The Kernal instead! This live album! It’s a beautiful portrait of the characteristic moments of unchecked poetic aggression and rapturous absurdity that we have come to love about The Kernal’s shows. I’m at a real loss for words to describe how glad I am to listen in on this performance.”

With the exception of ‘Where We’re Standing’ which originally appeared on 2011’s independently-released (though Bandcamp says 2013), Farewellhello, the live album draws heavily from 2016’s Light Country and includes previously unreleased tracks. The band is tight and the harmonies soar above the old-school country twang without ever sounding kitschy. Quirky, definitely, but never kitschy.

The Kernal combines folk, rock, soul and even a little bit of funk but the foundation is always and unashamedly old-school country. The Kernal’s father used to play guitar for Del Reeves and used to wear the very same red suit that has now become synonymous with The Kernal. That Grand Ole Opry vibe hangs heavy over the album without ever becoming suffocating.

Preview the track “Just The Other Side of Nowhere” from Kern! Live!

Before he was known as the Kernal (his “fake name” as he jokes on Live!, the Kernal went by his real name, Joe Garner and put out two independently-released EP’s. With The Kernal’s permission we are celebrating the release of Live! by looking back at these earliest releases. Garner now says that these are not “his favorite” releases, which is understandable given the more raucous direction his music has taken, but the strong songwriting voice and unique attention to detail is undeniably already present, especially on songs like ‘They’re All Gone’ and “Bury the Hatchet” on Mourning Birds, his debut release.

In 2008, my same friend Taylor wrote the following about the “Mourning Birds” EP, the debut release from singer-songwriter Joe Garner:

Recorded at a mountain studio in east Tennessee and released independently, Garner's is a sound definitely grown from the ground. Earthy, honest and plaintive; Mourning Birds beckons back to the folk ballads of a simpler time and at the same time casts a shadow of unease on its own mirth. Compiled with a handful of friends giving sparse and simple accompaniment to his guitar, Garner's first effort includes six tracks that display the enigmatic range of moods that make this burgeoning songwriter and storyteller a haunted soul not soon forgotten.

Mourning Birds Tracklisting:

  1. They're All Gone

  2. Bury the Hatchet

  3. High School Devotion

  4. June and God

  5. The Ballad of Gypsy Jack

  6. Coyote Cry

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Garner followed the strong debut with a very Independent EP 2009. It was hand-packaged and came as a CD-R. I was lucky enough to get a copy but I’m not sure how many people can say the same.

The shift towards old school country is what’s most interesting about the EP, though the songs are still strong. Listening to these back-to-back, the shift to a full band leaves the sparseness of Mourning Birds behind but the Twang hasn’t fully taken over. It might be better classified as alt. country but the shift towards more traditional Country is already apparent. It’s like watching someone finally embrace who’ve they’ve been all along. The EP includes an early version of Farewellhello’s ‘Homicide’ at a slower pace but the core of the song is already worked out.

2009 Tracklisting:

  1. Goodtime Charlie’s

  2. Homicide

  3. Coat of Arms

  4. Reason, What Reason

Though these releases might not be The Kernal’s favorite, they are terrific postcards from the journey of a songwriter finding his voice because he has lots to say.

  • Visit The Kernal’s profile at Single Lock Records.

  • Download the Mourning Birds EP at Noisetrade.

  • Support The Kernal at Bandcamp.

  • Purchase The Kernal’s music at Amazon.

  • Download Mourning Birds as a Zip file.

  • Download 2009 as a Zip file.






Medeski Martin and Wood Live at The Georgia Theater (09/18/93)

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We’re pulling from the live recording stash again today. This time, going way back to a great sounding 1993 Medeski Martin and Wood soundboard recording. This is early material and the group is in fine form. I’ve had this CD for probably close to 25 years. It was one of the first ones I traded for through the mail after switching from cassettes to CDRs. Enjoy!

Medeski Martin & Wood

Georgia Theater, Athens, GA

Saturday, September 18, 1993

The notes that came with the show read as follows:

- One Set -

01. [10:07] - It's A Jungle In Here >

02. [09:12] - Beeah

03. [06:30] - Syeeda's Song Flute* >

04. [08:55] - Worms > Open Outro >

05. [11:48] - Chubb Sub

06. [09:44] - Bass Solo > Bemsha Swing/Lively Up Yourself [@1:57]

07. [11:41] - Listen Here+

08. [15:04] - Moti Mo, 'Billy Speaks' [@13:41]

* spills over onto start of following track

+ Beeah teases c.6:43-7:03

Enjoy.

  • Visit Medeski Martin and Wood’s official website.

  • Follow Medeski Martin and Wood at Facebook.

  • Follow Medeski Martin and Wood at Twitter.

  • Purchase Medeski Martin and Wood’s music at Amazon.

  • Download the show as a zip file.

Baba Sissoko: Amadran

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Baba Sissoko’s Facebook page simply says:

“Born in Bamako (Mali), Baba Sissoko is the undisputed master of tamani (the original talking drum).”

Sissoko’s official website adds:

“Born in Bamako (Mali), Baba Sissoko is the undisputed master of tamani (the original talking drum), that he started to play since he was a child (thanks to the teaching of his grand-father Djeli Baba Sissoko and Djeli Maka Sissoko and Djatourou Sissoko) and from which he is able to extract all the notes simply with a one, natural movement. Baba Sissoko plays also ngoni, kamalengoni, guitar, balaphon, calebasse, Hang and… he sings!”

Sissoko recently released his new solo album Amadran and I’ve really enjoyed it. Minimal accompaniment lets the songs shine. Sissoko says of the album:

«I dedicate this album to my family, all the Sissokos in the world!
There is just one Sissoko family, wherever you are (Mali, Senegal, Gambia or Guinea), if your name is
Sissoko, you are part of the same family, because we are all descendants of Fakoli!
Fakoli was a prince and one of the founders of the Mandinka Empire. He was a man of his word, who was
very involved in the social scene. As a legacy, he passed down to us all of his energy and force. As his
descendants, we all received a piece of him. My family received culture, tradition and music!
My grandparents who were also my best buddies, Djeli Djatourou Sissoko, Djeli Makan Sissoko, Djeli Baba
Sissoko, had all lived with the energy and force of Fakoli, humanly, culturally and musically speaking.
I had the chance to know all of my grandparents and I learned a lot with them at the beginning of my
childhood. I grew up with my father Djeli Madou Sissoko, a great Ngoni player; my mother Djeli Mah
Damba Koroba, traditional singer; and with my uncle Mama Sissoko, a great Ngoni and guitar player, who
completed my training and showed me the way to my mission. My family left me a baggage full of songs
and I can live anywhere in the world with my musical experience.
In our family we start to play music with the Tama, and then we learn how to play the Ngoni. The Tama and
Ngoni are all instruments of the Sissoko family and belonged to us even before the birth of the Mandinka
Empire.
For me, this album is a journey, a souvenir…it’s life! This album comes from my heart and I recorded it
with all the love and respect that I have for my family because I learned from them that the most beautiful
things are the simplest ones.
This music and album are timeless.»

Baba Sissoko

Watch the video for the title track.

Watch the video for ‘Baba Ka Foli’.

  • Visit Baba Sissoko’s official website.

  • Follow Baba Sissoko at Facebook.

  • Follow Baba Sissoko at Twitter.

  • Support Baba Sissoko at Bandcamp.

  • Purchase Baba Sissoko’s music at Amazon.

Alan Namoko and Chimvu Jazz

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Last year I did a weekly 30-minute music podcast dedicated to overcoming Xenophobia by exploring music from all over the world. I did 52 episodes and loved every minute of it.

One of the joys of doing something like the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow (find out more about the podcast here and/or stream/download every episode here) is discovering terrific music from all around the world. One of the downsides of doing something like the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow is not taking good notes which results in not remembering where you came across certain albums, especially in the digital age.

Allmusic says:

Here's a gem indeed -- an acoustic quartet: two singers, guitar/banjo, drums -- with music closer to the grass roots than anything since Africa Acoustic and From the Copperbelt. Namoko hews to a pure rural acoustic string sound: precious people music. The packaging of this privately issued CD is odd, but the sound is fine.

I don’t know where I got this album and informationa about Alan Namoko is sparse, even in this abundant internet age. I featured the title track "Ana Osiidwa (The Orphans)" from Namoko’s 1992 album on Episode 04 of The Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow and here’s what I wrote at the time:

Alan Namoko was a blind blues and jazz musician from Malawi. Namoko played the banjo and sang in the Lomwe, Chewa and Nyanja languages. Namoko became an influential figure in Malawi's music scene in the 1970s and 1980s and around the world with the Chimvu Jazz band and was even featured on several episodes of the John Peel show.

Namoko’s music is folk blues that transcends borders. The music is nostalgic and familiar (in the best way) despite the language barriers (at least for me). The album cover says that it was put out on Pamtondo Records, but the Pamtondo website doesn’t appear to be a record label or store of any kind. The page listing their titles says: “At first a small amount was put out on cassette and CD format for sale but now most remains as a collection for research purposes.”

According to Wikipedia, he put out 9 albums, but I haven’t had much luck tracking any of the others down. Maybe you can do better? In the meantime, stream or download the album here.

Tracklist:

  1. Achilekwa (Mr. Chilekwa)

  2. Gitala Kulira Ngati Chitsulo (Playing Guitar Like A Ringing Bell)

  3. A Namoko Akulira (Namoko Mourns)

  4. Kakhiwa Miyene (And When I Die)

  5. Lameki (Lameck)

  6. Ana Osiidwa (The Orphans)

  7. A Chilenga (Mr. Chilenga)

  8. Mwandilanga (You Have Punished Me)

  9. Mwalimba Mtima (You Can Be So Heartless)

  • No purchase or artist links available

  • Download the album as a zip file.

Mississippi Fred McDowell: Blues Maker

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From the video’s Youtube page:

Fantastic documentary which shows Mississippi blues singer, Fred McDowell, singing and talking about his blues. Producer: Univ Of Mississippi; Dept Of Educational Film Production

It’s actually not quite a documentary, more like an extended musical profile. McDowell plays several pieces and they show lots of film from his life and surroundings with a short narrator explanation of his playing style. But still, at just shy of 14 minutes, you have time for this, especially with the live footage of

  • Visit the video’s page at Youtube.

  • Purchase Mississippi Fred McDowell’s music at Amazon.

Raquel Denis: KJZZ Tiny Desert Concert

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Back in September I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion for a live Makers and Mystics podcast recording. One of the other panel members was Raquel Denis. Raquel is an Arizona poet, musician, artist and activist and I was encouraged and challenged by her voice and I was blown away by the performance piece she shared.

Denis recently met with local NPR station KJZZ for a live performance. KJZZ says:

Some of us are lucky to be professionally talented at one thing, whether it’s a sport or dance or photography, but few of us are lucky enough to be that talented at multiple things.

Raquel Denis is a practicing poet, writing about her life as an Afrolatina in Arizona and the experiences her community faces, and she is now about to put out her first EP as a musician.

The Show had the chance to speak with Raquel in a green room at the Van Buren in downtown Phoenix for a Tiny Desert Concert.

  • Follow Raquel Denis at Facebook.

  • Support Raquel Denis at Bandcamp.

John Mark McMillan: The Road, The Rocks, and The Weeds

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John Mark McMillan has released his first new music in two years. The track is called ‘The Road, The Rocks, and The Weed'.

When I pastored, I loved when the musicians would do ‘Death In His Grave’ and ‘Skeleton Bones’ on Sunday mornings, but that’s neither here nor there. McMillan has a deep and rich catalog that I highly encourage you to explore beyond those obvious picks. I’m very excited about new music from him.

McMillan says on Twitter of this new song:

“The Road, The Rocks, and The Weeds is the first single from the first album recorded in my own home, mostly over the summer of 2019. It’s close to my heart because it’s a song about finding my way home, my way back to honest faith: “gratitude without denial.

I think it sets the tone nicely for the story of this record. Which is a story about the dreams of God, that these dreams are people, and what it means to believe that our world is “peopled with dreams. Also, you’ll probably notice it features vocals from one of my little dreams... my 7-year-old daughter Louisa. Thank you for taking the time to listen. I’m excited to share this and more with you in the coming weeks.”

Listen to the track and watch the official lyric video:

  • Visit John Mark McMillan’s official website.

  • Follow John Mark McMillan on Facebook.

  • Follow John Mark McMillan on Twitter.

  • Purchase John Mark McMillan’s music at Amazon.

Ode To Joy

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I keep thinking about what it means that Wilco titled their 11th album ‘Ode to Joy’. 

The album often finds Jeff Tweedy in a reflective, even meditative, if not somber state. The topics aren’t exactly what you’d bring up at a dinner party (Or, if you did, most people wouldn’t invite you back).

Whether being startled out of staring at the knives in the kitchen drawer by the sound of the front door ringing through his guitar against the wall (‘Bright Leaves’), or feeling his blood run cold at the passing through of the sad ideas of losing a loved one (‘White Wooden Cross’). But if Tweedy is stuck inside his head, at least he lets us know what he’s thinking about. Life is hard. Relationships are hard and sometimes a person just feels stuck. I’m not sure I can change. I’m not sure you can change, but somehow, deep down, I know it’s all worth it, even if I don’t know why.

It’s a meditative, spacious record that doesn’t work as background noise. It is best heard either through headphones or really loud. It’s a record that asks for and rewards your attention. It’s not a big rock record but neither is it a quiet folk record. Anchored by Glenn Kotche’s skittering percussion, the record traffics in restraint (every guitar is denied) and asks you to immerse yourself. Largely eschewing cymbals, the album feels is initially jarring because it leaves out the high/bright splashes we’ve come to expect from so many records. It leaves us looking up in places we didn’t expect.

If relationships are the currency of life, then Tweedy understands that sometimes the account feels overdrawn. Relationships often feel more taxing than anything else. The album opens with Tweedy lamenting “I don’t like the way you’re treating me” and recognizes that sometimes when we argue, we’re not even sure which side we’re on, we’re just stuck in relational holding patterns that feel like we can never change (‘Bright Leaves’). So much so, that Tweedy recognizes that “Deep inside everyone hides some of the time” (‘Everyone Hides’).

But what happens when we’re tired of hiding? That seems to be a theme Tweedy is interested in exploring. Sometimes we know we’re stuck. Sometimes we know we’re not helpful and we certainly know that we don’t have the solution, even if we’re convinced that one exists. The album opener ends with the blunt statement: “You never change,” forcing us to ask whether we are prisoners of our own nature. Are we doomed to unhappy lives with unfulfilling relationships? Tweedy picks up this thread in ‘One And A Half Stars’, singing:

“There is no mother like pain

I'm left with only my desire to change
So what I stay in bed all day?
I can't escape my domain”

Even if we want to change, it feels like we can’t escape our natures or our circumtances.

But for all the isolation Tweedy might feel, there is also the notion that we cannot live alone, even when it frustrates us. Tweedy says in ‘One And A Half Stars’: “You mean too much to me I'm angry I could need so much.” Even when he is alone, he is/we are tied to those who have come before us (‘Before Us’) and we’ve got family “out there” (‘Empty Corner’). We all feel alone and yet we are all tied together.

This sense of what to make of our need for others is a theme throughout the record. ‘White Wooden Cross’ finds Tweedy again in his thoughts, but this time wondering to what he would do if a white wooden cross on the side of road meant that he had lost someone dear to him; even someone he’s angry that he needs. Even when we feel weighed down by our relationships, we’re not sure we would want to be without them.

Death, loss, failed relationships, the inability to change our circumstances; they are all present. And it’s not just relationships that seem to weigh Tweedy down. The album addresses riots, never-ending wars, the inability to change ourselves (or others), and self-deception. It’s not just inter-personal relationships that get us down because Society is made up of relationships. It’s all about us. We’re all in this together. And sometimes it feels like society is a mess. It’s easy to think in depressing terms. Vice says “The music is weary.” Vulture chooses the word “glum” while NPR says the album has a “heavy atmosphere.”

But the beauty here is that there is beauty to be found at all.

The full Vice quote reads: “The music is weary, but it's also the prettiest entry in the Chicago outfit's vast discography, one that synthesizes every era of the band's career into something forward-thinking and essential.” As my friend Jason Woodbury points out at Pitchfork, Tweedy “populates the album with surprise flashes of brightness, too. These are love songs about possibilities and the way our vision may be limited by our vantage point.” This leaves us to ask: “What might a shift in position reveal?” What if we don’t give in to despair?

I keep thinking about what it means that Wilco titled their 11th album ‘Ode to Joy’. 

Of course there is the reference to Friedrich Schiller’s poem which was co-opted by Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9”, whose opening stanza reads:

“Joy! A spark of fire from heaven, Daughter from Elysium, Drunk with fire we dare to enter, Holy One, inside your shrine. Your magic power binds together, What we by custom wrench apart, All men will emerge as brothers, Where you rest your gentle wings.”

There are certainly repeated themes if you read Schiller’s poem and listen to Wilco’s album, but we are all products of our times and I can’t help but wish that Tweedy meant more than literary allusion here. He looks frustration in the eye and chooses not to blink. These are difficult times. People are choosing politics over family. Our current president seems more intent on dividing than uniting. May of us feel alone.

And yet, in spite of it all, despite how hard it all is, Tweedy chooses not to give in to despair or hopelessness. He’s still got a desire to change that we should all hold on to. After all, society doesn’t change if individuals don’t change.. And there are things still worth believing in and fighting for. He sings on ‘Hold Me Anyway’:

Are we all in love just because?
No! I think it's poetry and magic
Something too big to have a name
And when you get it right it's still tragic
And when you die who's to blame?
Did you think everything would be okay?

Even knowing that it all feels tragic and it might not turn out okay, love is “poetry and magic, something too big to have a name.” Even when things don’t make sense, “Love is Everywhere,” and it’s power can be frightening (‘Love Is Everywhere’)"“

So many things I do
I can't explain to you
Right now, right now
Love is everywhere
Right now, I'm frightened how
Love is here, beware

In ‘One And A Half Stars’, Tweedy admits that he is worried about the way we’re all living. But he doesn’t respond with anger. He doesn’t give up. Instead, he says: “I'm worried about the way we're all living, and this is my love song.” He responds with a “love song.” He responds with love. Even when it doesn’t come naturally and certainly doesn’t come easy.

Love ties us all together. Love brings us out of ourselves into community. We are bound together for good or for ill, so why not choose joy even if those we are tied to don’t? We can name our shortcomings and we can acknowledge other people’s failings, but we’re all in this together.

The tension between individual and community seems to lie at the heart of ‘Ode to Joy.” On ‘Before Us’, Tweedy knows that even when he is physically alone, he belongs to those that came “before us’ and that we are part of a lineage. We are part of a community. This theme is repeated throughout the album, most notably in the closing track ‘Empty Corner’. Even if you don’t care, “You've got family out there.” Family transcend circumstances. Love ties us together. There is always reason to choose joy. Especially when things seem their bleakest.

Relationships, immediate and far are what make the world go around, even if no none likes it. We can’t escape this, so we have a choice. We’re left with only our own desire to change (‘One And A Half Stars’) and maybe that’s the point of this record. Things suck. But what are we going to do about it? What will each of us choose? Maybe, the best that we can hope for is to declare with Tweedy: “I tried, in my way, to love everyone'“ (‘Quiet Amplifier’). What more would you ask of your neighbor in difficult times?

It takes maturity to own our faults and name our difficulties. It takes wisdom to choose joy anyways.

Uncle Tupelo (05/01/94)

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Wilco week continues by pulling more from my live show stash. This time we get to bask in the infamous glory of Uncle Tupelo’s last show. A whopping 31 songs. All killer, no filler. Well, except that the last two songs here ‘Stay Free’ and ‘Wherever’ don’t seem to be part of the show, but they’ve always been on the discs I have and I’m not sure their lineage. They’ve just always been a part of this set for me so I’ve simply passed this show along to you as I’ve had it for lo, these many years.

Enjoy.

The notes that came with the show read as follows:

This is the legendary final Uncle Tupelo show. Haven't seen it posted here before, and it is a thing of beauty, so here you are. Enjoy!

Source: SBD (lineage unknown)

Quality: A

Uncle Tupelo

The Final Show, St. Louis, 01 May 1994

Disc 1: (64:34)

01 No Depression

02 Chickamauga

03 Watch Me Fall

04 Grindstone

05 Satan,Your Kingdom Must Come Down

06 Fifteen Keys

07 The Long Cut

08 Anodyne

09 New Madrid

10 Slate

11 Atomic Power

12 Postcard

13 Gun

14 High Water

15 Acuff Rose

16 True To Life

17 We've Been Had

18 Give Back The Key To My Heart

Disc 2: (57:53)

01 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

02 Whiskey Bottle

03 Looking For A Way Out

04 Gimme Three Steps

05 Sandusky

06 Steal The Crumbs

07 Nothing

08 Life Worth Living

09 Willin'

10 Truck Drivin' Man

11 Effigy

12 Stay Free

13 Wherever

Loose Fur 12.07.02

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Loose Fur

12.07.02

St. Ann's Warehouse Brooklyn, NY

Loose Fur was (is?) a Jeff Tweedy side project with Jim O’Rourke and Glenn Kotche. They put out two albums, 2003’s self-titled release and the 2006 follow-up Born Again in the USA.

I have a few Loose Fur shows but I pull this one out to listen to more than the others because it’s a longer show than some of the others and the songs get a little more room to breathe here, and, I just really like this version of ‘Chinese Apple’ and I dig the longer ‘Chelsea Walls Theme’. This was night two of a two-night stand. I also have night one if you’re interested.

Enjoy.

Nels Cline With Medeski Martin And Wood

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In 2014, Wilco’s Nels cline partnered with Medeski Martin and Wood to record and release Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 2. Allmusic says of the release:

“Medeski, Martin & Wood have always played well with others. They did a string of great records in collaboration with John Scofield, and many of their albums have had invited guests; DJ Logic was practically an adjunct member for a while, and they even play on an Iggy Pop album (not exactly Iggy's finest moment, but that's another matter). Nels Cline also plays very well with others. Collaboration and improvisation were his stock in trade since long before he picked up the Wilco gig, and he continues to actively guest and collaborate while leading his own Nels Cline Singers. As good as the albums with Scofield were, Nels Cline is a very different type of player, and his affinity for effects really opens up the possibilities as far as pure sound. Cline can move from spacey ambience to raging leads to swirls of electronic-sounding madness and beyond. Pairing them seems like a great match on paper but it's even better recorded live in a studio with a small invited audience. Perhaps the most amazing thing is just how well Cline fits in with MMW's M.O.”

In honor of Wilco Week here at Holiday at the Sea, here is an excellent video of a full 2016 set featuring Nels Cline with Medeski Martin and Wood live at the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI Lugano in Switzerland as part of the Cully Jazz Festival.

Enjoy!

  • Visit Wilco’s official website.

  • Follow Wilco on Facebook.

  • Follow Wilco on Twitter.

  • Purchase Wilco’s music at Amazon.

  • Visit Nels Cline’s official website.

  • Follow Nels Cline at Facebook.

  • Follow Nels Cline at Twitter.

  • Purchase Nels Cline’s music at Amazon.

  • Visit Medeski Martin and Wood’s official website.

  • Follow Medeski Martin and Wood at Facebook.

  • Follow Medeski Martin and Wood at Twitter.

  • Purchase Medeski Martin and Wood’s music at Amazon.

Wilco Live at Grant Park (07.04.01)

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As we celebrate Wilco Week here at Holiday at the Sea, here is a live show I’ve held on to for years. This one features Wilco live at Chicago’s Grant Park as part of the “Taste of Chicago” festival.

The band was in fine form for the home town crowd and his was originally broadcast on WXRT FM and the sound is good, but the real reason I’ve held on to this one is that it was Jay Bennett’s last show with the band.

Enjoy.

Setlist:

01. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
02. War on War
03. A Shot in the Arm
04. She's a Jar
05. I'm Always in Love
06. Airline to Heaven
07. Feed of Man
08. Remember the Mountain Bed
09. California Stars
10. Kamera
11. Ashes of American Flags
12. Red-Eyed and Blue
13. I Got You (At the End of the Century)
Encore:
14. I'm the Man Who Loves You
15. Sunken Treasure
16. Outta Mind (Outta Site)

David Eugene Edwards: The Preacher

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In 2000, filmmaker Sarah Vos made a short documentary about 16 Horsepower and Wovenhand frontman David Eugene Edwards. The IMDB synopsis says:

“About David Eugene Edwards upbringing, culture, poetry and music. DEE created Sixteen Horsepower - an alternative music group producing religious imagery dealing with conflict, redemption, punishment, and guilt through DEE's lyrics and the heavy use of traditional bluegrass, gospel, and Appalachian instrumentation cross-bred with rock.”

  • Visit Wovenhand’s official website.

  • Visit Wovenhand on Facebook.

  • Support Wovenhand at Bandcamp.

  • Purchase Wovenhand’s music at Amazon.

Garcia Peoples, “One Step Behind” (Live)

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To celebrate getting my copy of the new Garcia Peoples album (the second this year behind the fantastic Natural Facts), One Step Behind, here is a 48-minute live performance of the title track at the band’s album release show at Nublu in New York.

The band’s label (the reliably groovy) Beyond Beyond is Beyond says on Facebook: “Um, our dude Bryon snagged the whole 48 minutes of Garcia Peoples “One Step Behind” last night at Nublu. Have a gander! The amazing Bob Malach rippin it on sax!”

Byron Whitley says at the video’s YouTube page: “48 glorious minutes of Garcia Peoples’ “One Step Behind” record release show at Nublu in NYC with Tom’s dad, Bob Malach, sitting in on sax.”

Garcia Peoples present us with something we don’t get to see that often any longer; a band creating itself as it goes. In the throes of pre-packaged pop and when everyone has to have an “image” and a “sound,” it’s exciting to hear a band that sounds excited. Garcia Peoples have allowed themselves to musically mature in public.

Their 2018 debut ‘Cosmic Cash” came out of the gate strong and garnered a lot of well-deserved attention. Their name and vibe definitely caught the ears of many heads. But could they jam? And the live tapes showed a band working out and through its sound. Earlier this year, the band released Natural Facts which proved that they were maturing and finding their voice. But could they jam?

The band’s third album in a year-and-a-half, ‘One Step Behind’ has the feel of a band with something to prove. The album sticker says as much: “Whether or not you thought you knew Garcia Peoples’ music, One Step Behind is something new and beautiful, for new heads and old.” Jesse Jarnow’s liner notes echo the sentiment: “Welcome to the sound of Garcia Peoples at full speed. Without losing a ray of sunshine or a drop of dew, One Step Behind is the first major statement by the malleable Brooklyn sextet.”

Yes, they can jam and Garcia Peoples should not feel like they have anything left to prove. I can’t wait to see where the music takes us. One Step Behind is a terrific step forward.

  • Visit my post “Garcia Peoples: October 3, 2019 Nublu.”

  • Follow Garcia Peoples at Facebook.

  • Visit the show’s page at NYC Taper.

  • Visit the page’s show at the Live Music Archive.

  • Support Garcia Peoples at Bandcamp.

  • Purchase Garcia Peoples’ music at Bandcamp.

Fruit Child, Large, 1991

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From Howe Gelb on Facebook:

“didn't know there was any evidence of this fun run in ninety one. the band "fruit child, large" featuring #evandando on guitar, #julianahatfield on bass, #johnconvertino on drums & #howegelb on guitar”

The Youtube post for the video of this show says:

“Once upon a time, Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando went on tour with Howe Gelb and John Convertino of Giant Sand. They named the band Fruit Child Large and played songs from all of their catalogs.”

Juliana Hatfield talked about the tour in a 2010 interview with Magnet:

MAGNET: Howe Gelb once told me about an ad hoc band you, Evan Dando, John Convertino (Calexico) and he had back in the early ’90s called Fruit Child Large. I don’t think I ever saw you play, though.
Hatfield: Yeah, that was hilarious, this weird thing we threw together and somehow we pulled it off. It was Howe’s genius idea to incorporate something from the Lemonheads, which was the “Fruit,” something from my band, the Blake Babies, which was the “Child,” and then Giant Sand was “Large.”

Howe sent me some great photos from a European tour.
Yeah, that’s all we did. I’m glad he kept a record of it, because I sure didn’t. I think it was my first time in a lot of those places in Europe. I remember this dark tiny town in Bavaria, and we just had the best time. The club was packed with people, and it had this low ceiling. People were buying us tequila shots. It was just a really, really fun night.

Did you play songs by all three of you?
Yeah. Then we did a bunch of covers also, and we kind of improvised. We did some jamming. I remember we did a really slow version of a Blondie song. I think it was “Shayla” from Eat To The Beat. She was a great singer.

  • Visit Juliana Hatfield’s official website

  • Purchase Juliana Hatfield’s music on Amazon

  • Visit The Lemonheads official website

  • Purchase The Lemonheads music on Amazon

  • Visit Howe Gelb’s official website

  • Purchase Giant Sand’s music at Amazon

Daily Driver Summer 2019 (Trailer)

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Back in August as Summer was closing out, I posted a personal music mix that I had been listening to during the heat of the sunbaked Phoenix Summer. I called it “Daily Driver Summer 2019”. I know, not the most creative title, but, as I said at the time, I hadn’t really planned on posting it. It was just something I made for myself to listen to on my daily commute. What I neglected to tell you at the time, my dear readers is that there are actually two volumes. So I figured why not share the sequel as well. Please don’t hold it against me. I really didn’t mean to keep anything from you. Please enjoy now.

Download the jewel case art as a PDF file.

Tracklisting:

  1. “Suzie Q” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

  2. “Suena” by Ondatrópica

  3. “Mustt Mustt (Extended)” by Kiran Ahluwalia

  4. “Kukuchi” by Letta Mbulu

  5. “Kogarashi” by Kikagaku Moyo

  6. “On the Road Again” by Canned Heat

  7. Turn On Your Love Light” by the Grateful Dead

  8. I Like It (I Like It Like That)” by Pete Rodriguez

  9. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley and the Wailers

  10. “Golden Clouds” by The Orb Featuring Lee "Scratch" Perry

  11. “Hey Ya!” by OutKast

  12. “Boogie On” by Rob (Funky Rob Way)

  13. “Hymn of the Big Wheel” by Massive Attack

Hamza El Din With The Dead

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This post originally appeared at the now disappeared Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow website on June 26, 2018 and is now posted here for posterity and because who doesn’t need more Hamza El Din With The Dead in their lives, right?!


In September 1978, the Grateful Dead traveled to Egypt to play three shows at the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza, under the gaze of the Great Sphinx. 

The shows were the culmination of a band of seekers being drawn to places of power. In many ways, the shows were Phil Lesh's personal project. He says

"it sort of became my project because I was one of the first people in the band who was on the trip of playing at places of power. You know, power that's been preserved from the ancient world. The pyramids are like the obvious number one choice because no matter what anyone thinks they might be, there is definitely some kind of mojo about the pyramids."

The shows also lived out the ideal of international collaboration, The Dead were famous for having other people sit in, from jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman to Nubian Sudanese composer, oud player, tar player, and vocalist Hamza El Din (Listen to "Did Nura Remember (Gillina Nura)" by Hamza El Din. From the 1965 album Al Oud featured on Episode 02 of the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow).

El Din had already garnered international recognition by this time, having played the Newport Folk Festival in 1964 and we are happy to feature his 1965 track "Did Nura Remember (Gillina Nura)" on Episode 02 of our podcast

In October, El Din returned the favor and played with the Dead at Winterland:  "El Din opened the show solo, offering his divine percussion before the Grateful Dead slowly emerged to join him for an ecstatic rendition of “Ollin Arageed”, a number based off a Nubian wedding tune, before embarking on a soaring half-acoustic, half-electric jam."

Watch "Ollin Arageed - Egypt 9-16-78:

Listen to the Dead with Hamza El Din 10/21/78:

  • Visit Hamza El Din .com

  • Follow the Hamza El Din fan page at Facebook

  • Purchase Hamza El Din's music at Amazon

  • Visit the Grateful Dead’s official website

  • Purchase Grateful Dead music at Amazon

  • Listen to "Did Nura Remember (Gillina Nura)" by Hamza El Din. From the 1965 album Al Oud featured on Episode 02 of the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow.

Kalahari Encounters

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This post originally appeared on the now disappeared Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow website on June 13, 2018 and is re-posted here for posterity. And because I still really dig this album.




Shishani & Namibian Tales (one of the artists on our very own Episode 01) are an international group based out of Amsterdam. The group's award-winning debut Itaala focused on vocalist Shishani Vranckx singing in Oshiwambo and beginning to wrestle with what her heritage means for her as an artist today. This desire to connect with an incorporate her heritage led to the band's latest release Kalahari Encounters

She tells Universiteit Leiden (where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and completed a Master’s degree in Musicology):

"‘My mother is Ndonga, part of the Namibian ethnic “Aawambo” group, she explains. ‘Ever since childhood, I’ve had the desire to return to Namibia and immerse myself in my mother’s culture, especially through music.’"

The group traveled to the Kalahari desert in present day Namibia to learn from and sing with the people of the San – often referred to as Bushmen. The trip resulted in a collaboration with four singing grandmothers from the area. The group performed the songs for a live performance recorded live performance at the Warehouse Theatre in Namibia’s capital city in June 2017.

Reflecting on the process of making this music, Shishani tells her former university: "It opens your eyes to the world.’

More of that, please.

Watch the video for “Kalahari Encounters:"

Watch the video for "Aga Who:"

  • Visit the group's official website.

  • Read our profile of the Kalahari Encounters project

  • Visit the group's Facebook page.

  • Purchase the group's music at Amazon.

  • Listen to "Aga Who" by Shishani & The Namibian Tales. From the 2017 album Kalahari Encounters featured on Episode 01 of the Global Elite Music Radio Podcast Supershow.