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Cas Haley at the Fox Theater on 12/1/2010

Cas Haley is breaking out on his own terms.

Connection, his Easy Star Records debut, is aptly named. It’s all about those deep-running connections that make him what he is—those unbreakable links between artist and audience, between styles of music, between art and life, and most of all, between all people. As Cas points out, reggae’s core message is, after all, "one love."

His crystalline voice and funky, easygoing beats earned Cas a second-place finish on America’s Got Talent, which in turn netted him a measure of fame and a following. But the contest also locked the Texan singer/songwriter/guitarist into a major label deal that didn’t feel right. So, not wanting to be turned into a manufactured product, he struck out on his own. The superb result: Connection, a collection of songs basking in the philosophical and musical maturity that comes from staying true to his artistic vision.

Raised by musician parents, Cas grew up surrounded by the sounds of blues and 60s-70s rock. He got serious about the guitar at age 12 and was "taught by the tribe" of musicians passing through the house. "The kitchen would be turned into the practice room or for jam sessions, so I was pretty much born into that lifestyle," he says. And from the very beginning he was more inclined to create his own music than to slavishly learn covers.

Also prominent at home were the Bob Marley records his mother would play, which made a profound impression. After a period of heavy immersion in the sounds of the ska/punk/skateboard culture, Cas was blown away by the classic reggae-pop of bands like UB40 and Sublime, and his mature style began to take shape.

Those pop-inflected island grooves and his joyful, versatile voice helped bring Cas to the brink of stardom on America’s Got Talent and sell 30,000 copies of a debut album with virtually no promotion. And they’re fundamental to the soul of his music—what he calls the "relaxing, effortless playing where everything fits together." Elements of soul, blues, and pop swirl through Cas’s strong reggae beats. Just like disparate musical styles, "we’re way more connected than we think," Cas says. "We separate ourselves in so many different ways, but the whole theme of the album is that we’re all connected."

"Every color," he sings in the title track, "is created from the same light."

Easy Star, the leading U.S.-based independent reggae label, is the ideal home for Connection. The label has been stretching beyond its strictly roots-reggae format, signing progressive bands and artists like John Brown’s Body, Tommy T, and The Black Seeds. “Cas’s sound is unique, accessible, and a great way to keep expanding the Easy Star audience," says CEO Eric Smith. "And it’s not often we come across a singer-songwriter this talented, regardless of genre, so we had to work with Cas.”

Mixed by Danny Kalb (Ben Harper, Beck), Connection bristles with chill grooves, rocking guitars, and funky horns, all fueling Cas’s irresistible melodies. Meanwhile his lyrics effortlessly balance simple, spiritual truths with thoughtful reflection. Cas’s songs recognize the complexities of life—love, family, worldly troubles and uncertainties—but always come back to the central message of connection.

It’s the journey that matters; Cas is aiming for success on his own terms. "If I’m not doing it authentically then I don’t want it," he says. His only goal: "To authentically express myself and help others do the same. Because it’s a sweet life to be able to do that."

Catch Cas Haley at the Fox Theater in Boulder on December 1st, 2010.

Big Star's 3rd performed by members of R.E.M., Big Star, etc.

Big Stars third album, Sister Lovers, has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential albums ever produced. Written and recorded when the legendary 70s band was primarily a studio project consisting of Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens, the third album has never been performed in public with the original string and wind orchestrations.

That will change December 9 and 10, 2010 when Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC hosts Stroke It, Noel, a special performance of this important piece of music. The all-star band will include Jody Stephens (Big Star), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let’s Active), Chris Stamey (the dB’s), and Jeff Crawford and Charles Cleaver (the Tomahawks). North Carolina’s own acclaimed chamber pop group Lost in the Trees, as well as members of Birds and Arrows and the NC Symphony, will comprise the orchestra. Guest vocalists will include members of the Love Language, the Old Ceremony, Megafaun and other special guests. In addition to performing Sister Lovers in its entirety, the band will play a few additional Big Star and Chris Bell selections during the show.

“The original written scores for the record were long missing,” Chris Stamey says. “But John Fry at Ardent Records was able to supply us with elements of the original multitrack tapes. Composer Carl Marsh, who wrote the ground-breaking charts for the original record, used these tapes to precisely retranscribe his arrangements. And I’ve orchestrated anew some other elements of the recordings for the players, in order to recreate live some of the aleatoric studio effects. We’ve also been able to hear and match the inner workings of these glorious compositions in much greater detail this way. It’s been a fascinating process, and a real community adventure as well.”

The concerts will be filmed as a major component of “Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story,” a documentary film by Danielle McCarthy and Drew DeNicola slated for 2011 release.

Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 day of show and are available at www.catscradle.com or by calling the Cat’s Cradle box office at (919)967-9053.

Proceeds from the concerts will be donated to two charities focused on improving the lives of musicians--KidZNotes of Durham, NC and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. KidZNotes is focused on classical and orchestral music training in pre-school years as a means to combat poverty and foster positive decision-making in inner cities. The New Orleans Musicians Clinic provides affordable, comprehensive health care to musicians.

Dark Star Orchestra confirms '10 New Year’s Eve

Closing in on the 1900 show mark, Dark Star Orchestra has confirmed plans to ring in 2011 with a New Year’s Run including Penn’s Peak in Northeast PA December 28, and celebrating New Year’s Eve with a pair of shows December 30, 31 at The Klein in Bridgeport, CT. Tickets go on sale today, September 29, through DSO Fan Club and will go on sale to the public on October 3.  There will also be a limited number of VIP tickets available which include reserved seating, access to a private bar, an exclusive show poster, party favors, and a champagne toast.  More information, NYE tickets and hotel packages are available here.

For the final tour of 2010, Dark Star Orchestra will offer a new twist on their Grateful Dead setlist concept. The ‘City Near You’ Tour features DSO recreating Grateful Dead setlists taken from the town or region where the show is taking place. The tour starts November 26, the day after Thanksgiving, with a pair of shows at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom; where for instance, DSO will recreate a show that originally took place in or near the Bay Area, and so on, throughout the rest of the tour that winds mostly down the West Coast and ends in Denver at the Fillmore December 11.

Additionally, the members of Dark Star Orchestra are thrilled to announce the recording and release of an original song co-written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter called “Run Mary.”  The upbeat song features combined vocals from Rob Barraco, Lisa Mackey and Rob Eaton.  Available shortly on iTunes, “Run Mary” can be heard streaming online. A free download of “Run Mary” is available when purchasing DSO tickets through its Fan Club Ticketing. As always, DSO continues to play Grateful Dead show recreations and elective setlists as its main focus.

Check out a past Grateful Web webcast of DSO in Boulder, CO

Dark Star Orchestra: www.darkstarorchestra.net

Dark Star Orchestra Ticketing: http://dso.inticketing.com

Donna Jean Godchaux & Jeff Matson @ The Boat House

Donna Jean Godchaux will be joined by Dark Star Orchestra's Jeff Mattson for a special show on October 8th, 2010 @ the Boat House in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  You can learn more about this show by visiting Donna's website or the Boat House website.

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Donna Jean Godchaux with Jeff Mattson @ The Boat House

Friday, October 8th, 2010 @ 8PM

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Check out Grateful Web's interview with DSO's Jeff Mattson here.

Yoko Ono To Release "Wouldnit (I'm A Star)" The Remixes

Just in time for the balmy, dog days of summer, YOKO ONO delivers another sweltering dancefloor juggernaut with the release of “WOULDNIT” (I’M A STAR). The explosive single finds the avant-garde pioneer, once again, holding sway with discerning DJs, clubbers and tastemakers worldwide who’ve propelled her to the top of Billboard’s club charts nestled comfortably alongside mainstream and electronic pop heavyweights like LADY GAGA, KATY PERRY, RIHANNA, KYLIE MINOGUE, SCISSOR SISTERS, KE$HA, TAIO CRUZ and GOLDFRAPP.

“WOULDNIT” (I’M A STAR) is the latest release from ONO’s acclaimed remix series, which has paired the iconoclast with an impressive cast of innovative collaborators (FLAMING LIPS, ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS, PET SHOP BOYS, BASEMENT JAXX, SPARKS, PEACHES, CSS, and Oscar winning composer CRAIG ARMSTRONG) and spawned 6 #1 dance singles to date including “GIVE ME SOMETHING”, “I’M NOT GETTING ENOUGH”, “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”, “NO NO NO”, “EVERYMAN / EVERYWOMAN” and the seminal “WALKING ON THIN ICE”.

“WOULDNIT” (I’M A STAR) has been blazing up the BILLBOARD HOT DANCE CLUB PLAY CHART since its debut five weeks ago entering at #32* with a bullet (Issue Date: 08/07/2010). It quickly ascended to the #24 power pick (Issue Date: 08/14/2010), and is currently in the Top Ten at #8* with a bullet (Issue Date: 09/04/2010)!

Originally appearing in 2 different settings, one on YOKO’s LP BLUEPRINT FOR A SUNRISE and the other on her IMA collaboration RISING, the bluesy reflection has been retooled into a surging motivational anthem for anyone with the courage and conviction to re-make themselves, follow their dreams and aspire to greatness regardless of obstacles.

It’s classic ONO: unfettered and defiant.

Featuring potent, modern reinventions from established dance music stalwarts DAVE AUDE, RICHARD MOREL, RALPHI ROSARIO and leftfield, New York techno / house producer ROB RIVES (aka FLOPPY SOUNDS / PHANTOM POWER), along with newcomers DJ YIANNIS, DENNY TSETTOS, EMJAE (aka MATTHEW JOHNSON of Boston-based duo, NIGHTRIDERS), M-DEEP and TIMMY LOOP, the single is a tour-de-force and easily one of ONO’s most immediate remix offerings to date.

It’s unbelievable that at 77 years young, the alt-rock matriarch is as inventive and prolific as ever.  Nearly 5 decades since first bursting onto the unsuspecting art and music worlds with her forward-thinking works, Yoko continues to evolve and thrive – both inside and outside the margins – still dreaming, pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo with her own unique and uncompromising artistic vision.

It’s been quite a storied journey with many more exciting moves to unfold.

“WOULDNIT (I’M A STAR)” will be released later this month as a digital green release (no materials used or abused) on MIND TRAIN / TWISTED Records.

Dark Star Orchestra Announces Jeff Mattson as Lead Guitarist

Dark Star Orchestra, the faithful interpreters of the music of the Grateful Dead, announced today that Jeff Mattson will be taking on Jerry Garcia role and welcomes him as a full time member of the group. The band’s statement reads:

“After months of touring and playing with Jeff, we have decided to offer him the full time gig, which he has gratefully accepted.  Jeff has blown us away with his energy, licks, and presence on stage. He is a great guy, an inspiring musician and so much fun to perform with, we cannot wait to get back out there and mix it up with him once again. We are having more fun than ever and are looking forward to seeing you all at the upcoming shows.”

A veteran of more than 30 years on the road, Jeff was a founding member of The Zen Tricksters and has performed in two bands of actual Grateful Dead members with Phil Lesh & Friends and the Donna Jean Godchaux Band. RELIX Magazine recently praised his “eerily on-point Garcia interpretations” and Jambase.com noted “Any doubts about new lead guitarist-singer Jeff Mattson were erased by a breathtaking "Eyes of the World" where Mattson continually proved a real prize in his new role, bringing all his years in The Zen Tricksters to bear and then upping the ante a bit more.”

Having joined Dark Star Orchestra for two nationwide tours, fans and critics have already weighed in with PopMatters.com marveling how “Mattson’s guitar playing matched every intricate moment,” and Hidden Track praising his “soulful vocals and dense solos to anchor the major suites, chipper, airy ones to flesh out the rockers… his improvisational style is intense but not ostentatious.”

A video clip of Jeff Mattson performing with Dark Star Orchestra doing a scorching version of "Viola Lee Blues" at The Klein in Bridgeport, CT can be viewed online here: http://www.vimeo.com/9585290.

Dark Star Orchestra will be performing at clubs and festivals across the nation this summer, all announced dates are listed below:

Rock My Soul Summer Tour

06/24    Minnesota Zoo Weesner Ampitheater | Apple Valley, MN

06/25    Simon Estes Ampitheater | Des Moines, IA

06/26    CEFCU Stage | Peoria, IL

06/27    Park West | Chicago, IL

06/29    Otto's | Dekalb, IL

06/30    Summerfest | Milwaukee, WI

07/02    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/03    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/04    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/07    Veteran's Park Ampitheater | Springfield, OH

07/08    All Good Music Festival Masontown, WV

07/10    State Theatre | State College, PA

07/11    Tags Summerstage | Big Flats, NY

07/29    Gathering Of The Vibes Bridgeport, CT

07/30    Saranac Brewery | Utica, NY

07/31    Town Ballroom | Buffalo, NY

08/01    Midland Theatre | Newark, OH

08/03    Harris River Front Park | Huntington, WV

08/05    Bottle and Cork Dewey Beach, DE

08/06    Hilton Atlantic City | Atlantic City, NJ

08/07    Bergen PAC Theatre | Englewood, NJ

08/09    Zoellner Arts Center | Bethlehem, PA

08/12    Party in the Park | Rochester, NY

08/13    Bears Picnic | Laurelton, PA

08/15    Lake Champlain Maritime Festival | Burlington, VT

A Slingshot On Mars Tour

09/09    The Valarium | Knoxville, TN

09/10    Minglewood Hall | Memphis, TN

09/11    Terrapin Hill Farm | Harrodsburg, KY

09/12    Orange Peel | Asheville, NC

09/15    Jefferson Theater | Charlottesville, VA

09/16    The Norva | Norfolk, VA

09/17    Rams Head Live! | Baltimore, MD

09/18    930 Club | Washington, DC

09/22    Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead | Munhall, PA

09/23    Grand Opera House | Wilmington, DE

09/24    Theatre of the Living Arts | Philadelphia, PA

09/25    Palace Theatre | Albany, NY

09/27    Toad's Place | New Haven, CT

09/28    Westcott Theater | Syracuse, NY

09/30    Calvin Theatre | Northhampton, MA

10/01    Lowell Memorial Auditorium | Lowell, MA

10/02    Nokia Theatre | New York, NY

Programme Gent Jazz 2010

The programme for the Gent Jazz Festival (July7-July18, Gent, Belgium) is now complete with names such as Madness, Gil Scott-Heron, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, Vive Le Jazz (the new jazz project by Vive La Fête), Cibelle, Odean Pope and his All Star “Odean’s List”, Julian Lage Group, radioKUKAorkest and Root. Earlier the festival had already announced names such as Norah Jones, Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub, Ornette Coleman, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Gilberto Gil.

The first part of the festival welcomes the young guitar talent Julian Lage July 10. The same day Toots Thielemans headlines the day with a ‘Special Project’ with pianist Kenny Werner and guitar player Oscar Castro-Neves. The ensemble radioKUKAorkest and an all star band with saxophone player Odean Pope, Odean Pope and his All Star “Odean’s List” complete the remaining open spots July 11.

In the second part of the festival the young and eccentric Brazilian Cibelle opens July 15 before the earlier announced Mariza and Gilberto Gil. Friday July 16 we can find the premiere of Vive le Jazz, the new project by the electro-pop band Vive La Fête, on the programme. They open the day before The Cinematic Orchestra and Kruder & Dorfmeister. Root, the Belgian trio with keyboard player Dominique Vantomme, is the first band of the day July 17 followed by Gil Scott-Heron and the infectious sound of the British band Madness. On the last day of the festival the Japanese “death jazz” of Soil & “Pimp” Sessions is added to the line-up before Joe Bonamassa and Daniel Lanois.

Info & tickets:www.gentjazz.com

Tickets cost 29 euros per evening (excl. booking costs), except for those of July 7 (concert day with Norah Jones) which cost 42 euros (excl. booking costs). A Three-Day Pass costs 73 euros (excl. booking costs). Tickets are available as of today. Tickets can be booked via www.gentjazz.com, or at FNAC. Just as last year, the last festival weekend coincides with the opening weekend of the Ghent Festivities.

Rusty Anderson: Born On Earth out August 3rd

Los Angeles-based Rusty Anderson, lead guitarist for the Paul McCartney Band, will release his sophomore album, Born On Earth, late this summer, having recently inked a distribution deal with Megaforce. Anderson's album will hit stores on August 3, 2010.

Born On Earth is a loosely conceptual album that looks at modern life, contemplating what it's like, as individuals and in communities, to be alive in this era and on our planet. Musically, the album ranges from the howling, guitar-heavy title-track opener to the dreamy, power-pop of "Timed Exposure;" from the jaunty, folk-y "Where Would We Go?" to the evocative, cascading, hammer dulcimer-accented yearnings of "Baggage Claim;" and from the grand modern rock of "New Beginning" to the driving, spacey build of "Under A White Star." Throughout the album, Anderson's free, expressive guitar playing anchors the songs, whether gentle, acoustic picking or crushing riffs or a searing solo. Recognized and counted on for his virtuosic skills, it's his innate understanding of a song's needs and his use of restraint in playing that sets him apart.

This hard-wired, understated skill has made Anderson an invaluable player for a stellar laundry list of top artists that includes: Elton John, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Stevie Nicks, Neil Diamond, Gwen Stefani, Regina Spektor, Nelly Furtado, Cat Stevens, Jewel, and Matthew Sweet. And, of course: Sir Paul McCartney, with whom he has toured and recorded since McCartney's 2001 album, Driving Rain. In the past nine years, Anderson has played countless shows across the world as an integral part of the Paul McCartney Band - Rolling Stone has written, "McCartney's four-piece band handled the broad range of his music seamlessly, with fiery guitar work from Rusty Anderson" - as well as on McCartney's albums Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (2005) and Memory Almost Full (2007). He also appears on four of McCartney's live DVDs.

Born and raised in La Habra, CA, Anderson first picked up the guitar at age 8 and is largely self-taught, inspired by the music of Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Genesis, The Mothers of Invention, and Mick Ronson. He formed his first band, Eulogy, at age 13 and soon was opening for bands like The Police, The Runaways, Van Halen, and Quiet Riot in southern California. Since then - in addition to lending his ample artistry to other musicians in the studio - Anderson has played in a number of bands, notably Animal Logic (with The Police's Stewart Copeland and legendary bassist Stanley Clarke) and '90s alternative rockers Ednaswap, who released four major label albums and wrote the hit single "Torn" (later covered by Natalie Imbruglia).

Anderson's debut solo album, Undressing Underwater, was released in 2005.

Track listing for Born On Earth:

  1. Born On Earth
  2. Timed Exposure
  3. Baggage Claim
  4. Private Moon Flower
  5. Julia Roberts
  6. Under A White Star
  7. Where Would We Go?
  8. New Beginning
  9. These Are The Days
  10. Funky Birthday Cake
  11. Intro

Papadosio & June What?! @ the Fox Theatre

Some music, because of its originality, timelessness, mass appeal, or perhaps because it is just plain odd, will always be destined for the hallowed halls of cult classicism. No band fits this criteria better than Papadosio. Papadosio has wowed crowds from Denver to NYC, Cleveland to Atlanta, shaking the earth at festivals and clubs alike.

Papadosio's music is all about unexpected combinations. From Rock/House to Jazz/Hop to Dub/Breaks and so on, every song has a unique approach to attaining originality. Long improvisational interludes and vocal harmonies quickly set this group in a new category of mass appeal.

Adam Fox(Universal Studio's): "It is rare for Bands to have such control, understanding, and objectivity as they create and produce their own music. Young, freakishly mature, and wise beyond their years, Papadosio has just released a sophisticated work of art."

A rising star in their field, Juno What?! is bringing their illuminated madness to every venue upon which they descend. Featuring members of The Motet (Dominic Lalli, Dave Watts and Joey Porter), these three accomplished musicians have gathered their collective talents to focus on this mission of making the world a better place.......to dance!

Papadosio & June What?! | June 11th, 2010

Doors: 08:30PM Show: 09:00 PM $8 ADV / $12 DOS +$2 for under 21 tickets

Tickets on sale through the Fox Theatre box office

Internet 24-7 at www.foxtheatre.com

Phone: During box office hours: 303.443.3399


Otis Redding's 2-CD 'Live on the Sunset Strip'

In 1966, Otis Redding had emerged not only as the star of Stax Records but as one of nation’s most influential soul singers. With his version of “Satisfaction” climbing the charts in April 1966, Redding arrived in Los Angeles to play both the Hollywood Bowl (as part of a KHJ-AM listener appreciation concert that also featured Donovan, Sonny & Cher and the Mamas & the Papas) and a four-nighter at the legendary Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip. According to Taj Mahal, whose ’60s band the Rising Sons opened the Whisky shows, “At that time, Otis was it.”

Live on the Sunset Strip, slated for May 18, 2010 release on Stax Records through Concord Music Group, captures Redding in the white heat of transition, when his star power was undeniable and it was still possible to catch him backed by his own road band in the tight quarters of a smoky nightclub. The 2-CD set features three full live sets that have never been previously available in their entirety. A definitive live statement from Redding, the songs are sequenced exactly as they went down, complete with an emcee and spoken introductions by Redding. The booklet features rare photographs as well as extensive liner notes by Ashley Kahn, author of music biographies and a contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition.

Live on the Sunset Strip highlights versions of Redding’s best-known songs: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Security,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Satisfaction,” “Respect,” “These Arms of Mine” and “Just One More Day,” to name a few.

As Kahn points out in his notes, “In 1966, Redding was 24 and defined not only the sound but the style and look of a true soul man. Tall and lanky, he was ready to drop to his knees and tear off the thin-lapelled jacket of his sharply pressed suit when it was time to deliver the goods. His ten-piece band was his personal, traveling amen-corner, urging him to testify night after night . . . His out-of-breath stage patter was warm and downhome. ‘Ladies and gentlemens,’ he addressed his fans, ‘holler as loud as you wanna — you ain’t home!’”

The Whisky A Go Go was known for its integrated booking policy and for helping bring awareness of R&B and blues to rock audiences, who attended shows by the Doors, Love, and the Standells at the venue. On April 7-10, the club booked the Otis Redding Revue for the Easter weekend that followed the Hollywood Bowl appearance. Redding’s entourage included an emcee and a full 10-piece band (led by saxophonist Bob Holloway) along with three up-and-coming singers performing one tune apiece before the headliner hit the stage. Engineer Wally Heider, the West Coast’s leading recorder of live performances, was hired to tape the three nights.

The shows did not go unnoticed by the Los Angeles Times, which noted: “Drawn by his growing popularity, a fervid audience shoe-horned into the club . . . Redding was assured of an In Group [sic] following Thursday night when from among his spectators emerged Bob Dylan, trailed by an entourage of camp followers.” (Legend holds that Dylan offered him “Just Like a Woman” as a possible cover that night, though Redding thought the song was a little wordy.)

Redding achieved even greater heights in the months after the Whisky performances, chalking up two new hits (“Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa [Sad Song]” and “Try a Little Tenderness”). He played San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, took part in the Stax/Volt Revue through Europe in March ’67 and stole the show at the historic Monterey International Pop Festival in June of that year. The ultimate tragedy happened on December 10, 1967, when, as eloquently stated by Kahn, “his death in an airplane crash . . . dramatically froze his star forever in its perfect, meteoric apogee.”

In 1968, Stax posthumously issued the LP In Person at the Whisky A Go Go, with liner notes by Los Angeles Times critic Pete Johnson, who’d also reviewed the live show. In 1993, the CD Good to Me: Recorded Live at the Whisky, Vol. 2 expanded on a largely forgotten 1982 LP, Recorded Live. While those releases juggled selections from different shows, Live on the Sunset Strip stands out as a historically true document, offering the last three consecutive sets capturing Redding and his band in top form.

“I’m still real clear about those shows,” recalls Taj Mahal, whose Rising Sons opened them. “It was raw and unscripted. It was just the joy of music, you know. The joy of rhythm, the joy of energy. . .”