The American banjo master has recently
released a CD and documentary resulting from his trip to five African
countries. He is now touring with a number of African musicians. This
spring, he performed at a number of shows with a superb lineup of musicians:
Toumani Diabaté (photo), D'Gary, Vusi Mahlasela
and Anania Ngoglia. Click the link above for more information on the
project, and an article about, and photos from one of those concerts, held
in Nashville's historic and beautiful Ryman Auditorium.
A new page, collecting some news and
background on music events, performers, recordings, etc. helping to push for
social and political change, including:
Willie Nelson: "A Peaceful Solution"
Fojeba's take on Canada's 2008
political crisis (Dec. 7/08)
"Playing for Change": Peace through
Music (Nov. 27/08)
Obama Songs: Celebrating the President
in (world) music (Nov. 27/08)
"Let's Find a Way": A Toronto musical
project to help children suffering from HIV (Nov. 22/08)
Dec. 10/08: MUSIC READS
A new feature, noting some interesting
reading on music, including books, magazines, websites, and more.
The annual Oxford American Music
Issue is out (early December). Great writing on Southern US music. Get it
before it's sold out. And many articles from past issues are now in their
Book of Great Music Writing.
Global Rhythm & No Depression
magazines cease paper publication, and go virtual; Songlines offer to North
One of the greatest songwriters
of popular music ("Save the Last Dance for Me", "Youngblood",
"Suspicion" and many others), Doc lived out an amazing, and as
the book's subtitle says, an unlikely life.
One of the best music books
I've ever read, this should appeal to anyone interested in
reading of fascinating and engrossing lives. The article here
reviews the book, and captures a bit of the life of a man who,
although "crippled" at a very young age, spent years singing
blues in small black clubs around New York, to the pinnacle of
the pop songwritng world. The great, and the definitely
not-great surrounded him. What happened to his life after the
age of the songwriter ended? Just as interesting....
Includes audio links, CD info
and other references.
An appreciation of
musical originals. Three passed away in late 2006, and Ertegun's
former Atlantic partner, Jerry Wexler died in Aug. 2008. Includes audio,
photo and video links; Ruth Brown's long legal battle against Ertegun and Atlantic Records for the money she and other artists
never received. Also, some stories behind James Brown's two most
famous concerts -- and his Grand Ole Opry performance
writing on American southern music you'll find (IF you
can find a copy). Includes a superb CD. The music issue of this
quarterly magazine always sells out. Don't miss it. (The 2008
issue should be out in early December).
Inside: my appreciation of the
2006 issue & CD.
55 essays -- most from past Music Issues -- have now been collected in a new
book, The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing. See a review
Jan. 29, 2006 TARIG ABUBAKAR:
a Great African": A tribute night The Cottage
On January 20, Tarig's friends, fans, fellow
musicians and joined to remember and celebrate the life of one of the great
figures in African-Canadian music.
This page contains the original
announcement of the show, and some links. My photos of the night
here. (On right, Tarig's brother, Mutaz).
Nov. 28, 2005
BETTYE LaVETTE: "The
Greatest Unknown Soul Singer in the World"
Bettye has one of the
greatest voices in soul music. She draws—and earns—adjectives like
“scorching”, and “searing”. Errol Nazareth on CBC’s Metro Morning
used the phrase “frightening intensity” to describe her singing. I
agree. After numerous listens to her new CD, and seeing her perform
at Lee’s, I know she can scare you: scare you with her intensity,
scare you with the visible and palatable pain in some songs, with
power and exultation in others.
A new biography of "The greatest singer who ever
Queen of Rockabilly Rocks Parkdale"
Oct. 14, 2005
For two October
nights, The Queen of Rockabilly rocked The
Cadillac Lounge in Parkdale. Click here
for a report on her first night, some background on her, and why we should help get her into
the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This website is dominated by African
and other "world" music. However, remembering what Louis Armstrong
supposedly said once ("It's all folk music, I never heard no horses sing
it"), I figure it's all "world music". Never heard no aliens sing it.
I find it perfectly normal that my
favourite singers include Baaba Maal, Salif Keita, Oliver Mtukudzi
-- and Billy Joe Shaver. He's been a favourite of mine for years, and I
consider him one of the greatest American songwriters, a superb poet,
whose words have great strength because of his poetic skills -- and
because his songs come from and reflect a truly amazing life.
Billy Joe made a rare Canadian
appearance Aug. 13 at Harbourfront. As expected, it was one of my
concert highlights of the year.
Click this link above for my
appreciation of Billy Joe's music, and his life. Photos from his
Harbourfront show are