Upon the demise of Mano Negra in 1995, Manu Chao formed Radio Bemba Sound System, expanded on his already impressive catalogue of songs and proceeded to establish himself as an international superstar.
On vocals and rhythm guitar, band leader, songwriter and all round musical genius, this is Manu Chao. Radio Bemba Sound System is Adjid Fahem on lead guitar, Gambeat on weird noises and bass, David Bourgnion on the drums, Gerrard on percussion, Julio on keyboards and other triggers, more vocals are provided by Bidji a.k.a. Lyricson, Roy Paci and Gianni play trumpet and trombone respectively on one of the catchier horn fills you are ever gonna hear, and finally that's B-Roy on the accordian.
Of the many bands that I have not yet seen, this one here is right there at the very top of my bucket list.
In 1992 former Suede rhythm guitarist and vocalist Justine Frischman having recently been kicked out of the band for dating the lead singer of the enemy, Daman Albarn of Blur, reunited with former short term Suede drummer Justin Welch to form a band of their own. In short order they found Donna Matthews and Annie Holland to play lead guitar and bass respectively.
Having tried out the name Onk, among others, they finally settled on Elastica.
From their 1995 album Elastica, this is probably our favorite single from the Brit Pop period of popular music on the strength of Justin Welch's smoking hot fills, Donna Matthews' simple but very tasty lead guitar work and of course Justine Frischman's seriously provacative vocals.
The Reyes Brothers began their musical career backing up their father, world renowned Flamenco singer Jose Reyes. Upon the death of Jose Reyes, the brothers joined forces with their cousins the Ballardo brothers, sons of famed Flamenco guitarist Manitas de Plata and began their career as Los Reyes working weddings and busking the streets of Cannes in the south of France.
I'm not even going to attempt to decipher who is doing what to whom in this beautifully recorded vid on account of the fast cuts the director chose to employ, except to say that the three playing left handed on upside down strung guitars are three of four Reyes brothers, the rest are one remaining Reyes brother, Ballardo brothers or unidentified sidemen. As an aside, whoever is playing the drums here pretty much defines the notion of tasteful drumming as far as I'm concerned, and the sound guys in this crew were worth every penny.
Here are the Gipsy Kings playing their international hit Bomboleo followed by Canastero, live in the studio.
Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams along with a revolving group of friends worked the club and talent show circuit in and around Detroit as the Primes and were well acquanted with Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin and their circle of friends who travelled the same circuit as Otis Williams and the Siberians, the El Domingos and finally the Distants which to my way of thinking are three of the very worst names in the history of popular music.
Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, having scored an audition with Motown Records owner Barry Gordy and also having lost half of their group, partnered up with Kendricks, Paul Williams and Elbridge "Al" Bryant to signwith Motown subsidiary Miracle Records only to discover ... mercifully ... that their new name, The Elgins had already been taken by another group.
After much debate, they finally became the Temptations.
David Ruffin started hanging around their shows, jumped up on stage one night at Detroit's famed Twenty Grand Club during Shout and pretty quick Elbridge Bryant was out and the classic Temptations lineup was established.
This is Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams and the great David Ruffin lip syncing the Norman Whitfield classic, Ain't Too Proud To Beg.
Years later and after more lineup changes than I can keep track of, Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin came back to The Temptations and The Temptations returned to Motown for the Reunion record and tours.
Here is David Ruffin, I'm thinking in 1982 or 83 despite the video claiming it to be 1987 as Ruffin was in a minimum security prison in Terra Haute, Indiana for much of 1987 for tax evasion ... just sayin' ... fronting Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Richard Street, Glen Edwards and Dennis Edwards ... I think ... as the Temptations.
My Whole World Ended.
Dead at 50 from a Cocaine overdose, David Ruffin was/is to my way of thinking the single greatest voice in the history of Soul and arguably all of popular music.
If you're a Detroiter of a certain age, the MC5 is a part of you that just ain't gonna wash out.
Arguably the first ever punk band, 10 years before punk was even identified as a thing, the MC5 invented riffs, moves and attitude which are nowadays de riguor for rock and roll bands the world over.
In light of recent events and building tensions in Detroit and Cyprus, not to mention still fresh memories in Egypt, Greece and Spain, here is Rob Tyner on vocals, Wayne Kramer and Fred "Sonic" Smith on guitars, Michael Davis on the bass guitar and Dennis Thompson on the drums in what was for them a very reserved performance in 1972 for the televison show Beat Club.
From Lincoln Park, Michigan this is the MC5 covering John Lee Hooker's account of the "67 Riot" in Detroit.
Motor City's Burning.
On the morning of July 19, 1970, with the memory of the Joe Cocker fiascostill fresh in my mind, I told my mother that I was going to The Beach to play some basketball and then meet up with some friends for a boat ride.
Instead, I picked up Donny W. and drove downtown to Tartar Field on the campus of Wayne State University to see The Früt, Savage Grace (soon to be better known as Rare Earth), Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen and the MC5 at the WABX free concert.
If you look real close that's me all the way over to the right, the scrawny little guy with the straight hair and goofy glasses ..... rockin' hard.
Just kidding, you can't see me ..... I know because I've been looking.
Anyway, this is Wayne Kramer, who on that day I thought to be the single coolest guy on earth, taking his star turn on Ramblin Rose.
And now ..... and now ..... and now it's time to .....
KICK OUT THE JAAAMMMS .......
You know the rest.
Fooled ya, we went for the John Sinclair produced, clean version.
Here's the way it went at Tartar field.
I post this despite the annoying advertising running through only because Wayne Kramer gets guitar face on the opening chords.
Rest in peace, Rob Tyner, Fred "Sonic" Smith, Michael Davis and John Sinclair .... we could use some guys like you around here just about now.
Ever wonder what's the big deal about Rosetta Tharpe?
Ever even heard of Rosetta Tharpe?
Don't let it get you down, few have.
Born Arkansas in 1914, Tharpe was the daughter of Katie Bell Nubin, a popular touring gospel singer of the time. Alleged to have “mastered’ the guitar by the age of six, she was certainly performing with her mother by that age, mastery or not, and continued to earn her living performing for the next 50-ish years.
She signed with Decca records in her early twenties and immediately began making hit Gospel records. She would later cross over from Billboard’s Gospel charts to the “Race” charts on several occasions, a feat that to my knowledge had never been accomplished before and rarely since.
If you like Gospel Music and the Blues, two things we clearly love around here, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is well worth looking into.
You can start here.
This performance was recorded in Manchester, England in 1964 as part of the American Folk Blues Festival recordings of the early 60s, which we keep encouraging people to go out and buy mostly because we just love it.
This is Sister Rosetta Tharpe on her 1963 Gibson SG Custom guitar, which I don't think anybody even bothered to plug in. I can't figure out anyone else in the band ... yet.
It's Westminster week, which means I'm spending the evening in front of the fire watching the dog show with the little wiffer.
Which is an infinitely better pastime than reading the chronically depressing crap I tend to gravitate towards.
And since the dog show was threatened some by the blizzard that swept through the Northeast over the past couple days, I figured dogs in the snow offered an appropriate respite from the news of the day.