Thursday, March 26, 2009
the above photo of eddie bo was taken by dan prothero at a show that he and I produced. the venue was dba during jazzfest a couple of years ago. the band that night was me on guitar and vocals, eddie on piano and vocals, kirk joseph on sousaphone and robb kidd on drums. eddie's old pal ( and our dear friend and spiritual guide), big chief monk boudreaux dropped by and ended up stayin' all night.
my friend kieth abel cooked up a mess o' collard greens, fried chicken and homemade cornbread and set it up backstage...and we all spent a couple of hours before the show, eating, conversing, enjoying life and it's simple pleasures...good friends, good food, good music...eddie and monk were especially keeping us all entertained with reminiscin' bout 'back in the day'. kirk related how 'check yo bucket', with it's tuba-like bassline, sing-song chorus and sexy lyrical innuendo, was a personal favorite of his and all the jumpropin' girls on his block as a 12 year old kid!
earlier that week I had tried to persuade eddie to rehearse (because it was a big deal to me to play with the elder funk maestro and I wanted to be prepared)...finally, he reluctantly agreed the day before the show to come by the studio I had rented for the occasion. he listened to us run through 'hook and sling' and 'check your bucket', barely joining in himself. he grinned and half-jokingly scolded me for making him drive across town..."See...I wouldn't even be doin' this show if I didn't know ahead of time that y'all could play! I knew we didn't need no rehearsal!"
Nothing could have been truer as he took the stage and took command of the band, the audience and the piano underneath his fingers. The packed house began to sway and shout, jump and sweat...at one point, during an intense workout on brother ray charles' 'what I say' the entire building felt like it was expanding and relaxing in time with his left hand...oh yeah - it was funky!
I am lucky in so many ways to have known eddie and shared that magical night of music on the bandstand with him...I will never forget it as long as I live.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
AND NEXT WEEK, FOR SXSW ATTENDEES, PAPA MALI IS HOSTING THE 1ST ANNUAL HOODOO BLUES AND BBQ, SATURDAY MARCH 21ST FROM 2PM TIL 6PM AT KENNY DORHAM'S BACKYARD, AN OUTDOOR VENUE LOCATED NEXT TO THE FAMOUS VICTORY GRILL IN EAST AUSTIN!
1:30PM: GATES OPEN
2PM: THE ROOSTER BLUES
3PM: THE GREYHOUNDS
4PM: TOPAZ AND MUDPHONIC
5PM: PAPA MALI AND FRIENDS
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO BENEFIT THE DIVERSE ARTS GROUP
Thursday, February 12, 2009
This year's lineup is amazing! John Mooney! George Porter Jr.! The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (from Boston)! The Hot 8 Brass Band! Groovesect featuring Uganda Roberts! The Rev Goat Carson! Plus more surprises...and of course, your host Papa Mali (yours truly).
So arrive early, stay late and get as freaky as you please...it's Carnival time in New Orleans, y'all!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Inside, I am interviewed by noted music journalist, John Swenson and we also announce and discuss the upcoming 'Second Annual Supernatural Ball', an event that I started last year and plan on doing every year around Mardi Gras.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Starting in the sixties - with the assassination of JFK, through Vietnam, Watergate, the Reagan years of yuppie greed, Iran-Contra, arms buildup, the Bush Sr. years of Desert Storm,CIA/Noriega/crack, and into the new millenium with Dubya and Cheney's phony election and subsequent war in Afghanistan leading up to the illegal invasion of and war in Iraq - it hasn't been easy keeping one's faith in our government.
But with the election and inauguration of Barack Obama, we have a leader who has attracted the attention of the world, and given people everywhere, from all walks of life and from every background, a reason to believe that change - sweeping, radical change - is possible again in this once mighty and beloved nation.
Let's get behind him...he will need our confidence and our support as he takes on the nearly impossible task of repairing the economy, ending two wars, healing the damage done by partisan politics and corruption in Washington, addressing the state of our fragile global ecosystem and restoring the reputation of the United States as a country that stands for freedom, justice and equality.
It won't happen overnight, but it won't happen at all without the cooperation of every American citizen, getting behind an underdog who believes that as long as there is hope, there can be change...
It's the best campaign platform I've seen for these times we live in, and I, for one am going to put my faith in this amazing man. Won't you join me?
Click on the photos of Obama to the right, for an amazing speech by Obama (crowd shot) and an inspirational music video entitled 'Yes, We Can' (photo of Obama and little boy).
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Today, consider this blog/podcast, whose very title 'Voodoo Funk' has been used to describe my music, though this genre is a kindred spirit of a different order. I think you will enjoy it.
Simply click on the 'Everybody Get Down' icon to the right, OR copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://www.voodoofunk.blogspot.com/
THEN once you are on the VOODOO FUNK main page, scroll down to the same 'man with guitar' icon (Everybody Get Down)and click on it for a podcast of vintage african soul vinyl...check the beautiful photos and label art!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The four of us performed for nearly 3 and a half hours at Charley's in Paia, to a packed house of revelers who were ready to get started with the New Year's festivities. A psychedelic light show was provided by our good friends and hosts, Joey, Jeremy, and Benjamin, and the crowd seemed to appreciate the extra effort to enhance their experience...one very stoned brother came up to me and said "how do you make your shirt DO that?", referring to the swirling projections pulsating on my black rayon button-down. That pretty much summed up the mindset of us all, but the week had just begun...(to be continued)
NEXT on Mysterious Force: Willie and family, and the big New Year's Eve extravaganza...stay tuned!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Man, this time of year can be so confusing - elation and depression often go hand in hand...the buildup, the big day, and in some cases, the big letdown. These emotions are often amplified by family or domestic tensions, sibling rivalry, money problems (especially this year, huh?), the breakup of a relationship, the recent loss of a loved one...or even something as seemingly shallow as not getting what you wanted.
Here is hoping that yours was a very merry Christmas - that none of the things I mentioned apply to you. Sometimes, shakin' off the blues can be as simple as counting your blessings. My favorite song for putting modern problems of Christmas in perspective is Johnny Cash's "Christmas As I Knew It" (click on link to the right), where he tells the tale of a particularly destitute Christmas as a child in rural, poverty stricken Arkansas.
But for some folks, Christmas depression can be a very real thing and if you are suffering from the holiday blues, I want to take this time to remind you, you are not alone, so hang in there. There is a light on the horizon and a light inside each and every one of us.
"I'm gonna get up and make my life shine..." - Boz Scaggs
And speaking of 'A Brand New Day'...I want to wish ALL my readers a better New Year. 2009 shows a lot of promise, what, with a new president and the hope that Obama brings to our nation after eight of the darkest years in U.S. history! His election alone is historic and progressive by anyone's standard! I, for one, feel as though the rest of the world woke up the day after election day and said: "Well, what do you know...the people of America have stood up and spoken out for freedom once again!"
Let's keep that hope alive!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This podcast from our friends at Daptone Records ( the people who brought you Sharon Jones and who are greatly responsible for the success of Amy Winehouse) will definitely get you in the holiday groove!
It's easy! Just click on the 'Soul Santa' icon at right, or copy and paste the URL below into your browser.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
|It's that holiday time of the year, and if I manage to survive the commercial hype ( I always do) I hope to pull it all together during the final hours of Dec 24, and have myself a merry little Christmas ( I always do).|
But this year, as you are trimming the tree (or lighting the Menorah), consider if you will, the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans, who will also celebrate Christmas, and then get right back to sewing their magnificent suits, each one different than the year before, each one resplendent in it's exotic plumage, detailed beadwork, bright, shiny jewels.
Christmas may be upon us, but Mardi Gras mornin' soon be comin'...and every spyboy, flag boy, wild man, squaw and big chief gonna be sewin' night and day as Fat Tuesday draws near.
Big holiday shout out to my injuns!
Ho, Ho, Ho and Hoon Don Day! Merry Christmas and My-Ti-Coo-Ti-Fiyo!
Mysterious Forces salutes the Mardi Gras Indians, in all their magnificent supernatural splendor!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
|...from astute reader, Bonafied Tom:|
"I learned this at least, by my experiment, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundry; New universal and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air your work need not be lost, that is what they should be. Now put foundations under them." -Henry David Thoreau
I love this quote, and it exemplifies the outlook which I tried to define in my opening entry (Answering the Call...)
Of course, I will be writing about all kinds of subject matter which is less cerebral and more down-to-earth. Who knows what I may feel like gettin' into on any given day? Record collecting? Probably. Food? Likely. Fishin'? Maybe. Music? Definitely. Life on the road? Most assuredly.
But, I always want there to be an angle that makes you think, ponder and wonder.
If natural is good, then supernatural must be even better, right?
Monday, December 15, 2008
I never could get behind religious minded individuals who would seek to discredit me and my beliefs. Once a particular faith gets too organized, they usually begin looking for folks that they can convert to their own doctrine. And frankly, I am suspicious of any organization that wants me as a member, and I am even more suspicious of any individual or group who thinks they have 'The Answer'.
And I will be the last person on this beautiful earth to try to convert you to my way of thinking.
Learn to forgive and love yourself so that you may truly forgive and love others. Accept and give love as often as you can. Forgive those who truly don't deserve it.
Keep an open mind (read this one as often as necessary).
Seek out your true self and honor it's existence by being the best 'you' that you can be.
Be kinder than you are required to be to children, animals, sick people, the elderly and the poor.
Honor the dead by learning from their mistakes and carrying on their good deeds, especially those traditions which uplift, bring joy and comfort to those that they leave behind.
Read more books. Listen to what others have to say.
Do not judge others - the laws of nature (and karma) will take care of that. Do what you know is right.
Don't take me, these words or yourself too seriously. Lighten up. Laugh more.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
|Greetings, my friends and fellow seekers, and welcome!|
'Mysterious Forces' is my latest undertaking: a blog, journal, a travelogue, a sometimes skewed look at everyday situations, epic experiences and minor events through my own unconventional perspective.
I hope you will join me, as I wax philosophical, spout off rants and musings, talk about whatever happens to be on my mind and try to find some meaning, understanding, common ground and humor in the world we share.