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Mahlathini & Mahotella Queens ..... again

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 09/16/2012 - 21:12


We have never, up until this instant, posted twice on the same band.

I'm doing it today because the tune I was looking for when I wrote the original post for Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens was nowhere to be found.

I finally found it.

One of my favorite bands of all time, Mahlathini & Mahotella Queens helped invent the Mbaqanga sound of the Soweto townships in the late 60's through the late 80's and were it's greatest practitioners.

They were really three distinct outfits in one, as producer Rupert Bopape assembled the Makgona Tsohle Band (the band that can do anything) who at the time were South Africa’s premier studio outfit, with the Mahotella Queens and "The Lion of Soweto, Simon “Mahlathini” Nkabinde greatest of South Africa’s “groaning style” singers.

This is Marks Mankwane, one of popular music’s all time innovative guitarists playing lead guitar, Vivian Ngubane (I think) playing rhythm guitar, Joseph Makwela on bass, Lucky Monama on drums.  I don’t have the keyboards figured out.  

The Mahotella Queens are Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu and Mildred Mangxola.

And of course that’s the late, great Mahlathini groaning away.

Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens.

Lilizela Milizeli.

Which, loosley translated, means get down Mama it's time to rock.



Gotan Project

Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 09/09/2012 - 08:07


Our post of Bajofondo performing Pa'Bailar inspired a number emails the subject of which can be summed up as follows.

Why not Gotan Project?

We're wwaaaayyyy ahead of all of you as we had mostly completed a post for each back to back and then had flipped for who went first.

Gotan Project are/is Eduardo Makaroff on guitar, Phillippe Cohen Solal on keyboards and bass, Christophe H. Muller programming beats along with bass and keyboards.  They are accompanied in this performance by Mini Flores on bandoneon, Cristina Vilallonga vocals, Gustavo Beytelmann on the piano, Line Kruse (along with two others I can't identify ... apologies) on violins, Fabrizio Genoglietto on the upright bass and Edi Tomassi on percussion.

From their 2006 performance on Later with Jools Holland.

Gotan Project.

Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)



Son House

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 08:57


   Son House came back into my music again via the oldest Roanboy via Jack White who the oldest Roanboy likes in the much the same way I liked Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix when I was a veteran teenager.

I had given Robert Johnson and subsequently Son House a listen early on in my pursuit of the song, mostly because I thought I should.  Then, satisfied that I knew what they were all about, I quickly moved on to the guys they had influenced as I was hooked on the bop that comes out of the rhythm section and thus the Chicago thing over the far more simple and fundamental Delta sound.

So ... because I'm interested in whatever the the Roanboys are interested in, I sat and watched the clip of Jack White listening to Son House's Grinning In Your Face in the It Might Get Loud movie and found it to be remarkable that forty years after his death Son House remains an unfiltered influence on popular music.

If you can't hear Son House in Jack White's music, you're deaf.

So ... I started going through the video of Son House performances taken late in his life and found them to be somehow both sweet and powerful at the same time.

And to my way of thinking, simultaneous sweet and powerful is a tough one to pull off.

If indeed Robert Johnson is the "Father of Rock and Roll", meet "Grandad".

This is the great Eddie James House Jr. better known as Son House.

Death Letter.




Submitted by Roanman on Sun, 09/02/2012 - 08:46


Among the many, many, many projects of multiple Grammy winner Gastavo Santaolalla, the Bajofondo Tango Club is my hands down favorite.

The Bajofondo Tango Club, now simply Bajofondo, with their eclectic mix of tango, trip hop, house and whathaveyou stands among the most accomplished of the Electrotango groups that have brought Tango back into the mainstream of dance music and worldwide popular culture.

This is Gustavo Santaolalla on what I'm thinking is a Carvin, Fred Holdsworth headless guitar, DJ Juan Campodónico playing the triggered sequences, Luciano Supervielle on piano and scratching, Martín Ferrés playing the bandoneón, Verónica Loza is the video jockey and vocals, Javier Casalla playing the violin, Gabriel Casacuberta on bass and Adrian Sosa on the drums.





Magic Sam

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 16:53


In early August 1969, two weeks before the Woodstock Arts and Music Festival was held on Max Yasgur's farm in upstate New York, approximately 20,000 music lovers showed up at Fuller Field (I think) on the banks of the mighty Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan to hear B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, Big Mama Thornton, Son House, T-Bone Walker and Lightnin' Hopkins among others, play the blues at the first Ann Arbor Blues Festival.

I didn't happen to be there as I didn't even know it was happening until after it was over.

I dunno what happened on that one.

The comparatively unknown Magic Sam was scheduled to take the stage at 3 PM Sunday afternoon but was late, forcing Charles Musselwhite to the stage an hour early.

When he finally arrived he had no band.

He took the stage that afternoon with Paul "Buffalo" Bruce Barlow from Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen on the bass guitar and future, veteran Chicago blues session man Sam Lay on drums and proceeded to kick ass.

When he walked off that stage about an hour later, he was a star.

Barely 90 days later on December 1, 1969 "Magic" Sam Maghett died of a heart attack.

He was 32 years old.

From the American Folk Blues Festival performances which we keep telling people they should buy, this is the great Magic Sam on vocals and Earl Hooker's Les Paul guitar, Mack Thompson on bass guitar and Robert St. Julien playing the drums with his wallet on the snare to deaden it just a tad.

All Your Love and Lookin Good.


Brock Mealer walks ..... without his canes

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 16:52


We posted the first video in September of 2010 along with the following bit of us yammering.

We would encourage you to watch it as it will probably be the most uplifting thing you will see today.


The single greatest feature of the internet is stories like this one.

Stuff that you'd maybe see, but would forget, or that would go to some archive somewhere that you could never access again.

The truth is, that as inspirational as this story is, there are millions of people with stories this great, all over the world.

Stories that you can now access and make a part of you, on demand.

Brock Mealer walks.

Listen for the crowd when he touches the banner.

It's a big deal to touch that banner.




Flash forward almost two years and in the second vid Brock Mealer walks without his canes.

Spectacular ..... moreso probably if you're a Wolverine, but even if you aren't.


 Go Blue!


Feeding Hummingbirds by Hand

Submitted by Roanman on Thu, 08/16/2012 - 15:15


Hummingbirds in Alaska are beginning to organize for their 2500 or so mile fall migration down to Mexico.

Thanks to Donna K. for this link, whose backyard in British Columbia is evidently a well known Bed and Breakfast for migrating Hummingbirds.

Click on the photo to the right for the video, the raw footage for which appears below, that tells the story behind this wonderful shot. 



The Rance Allen Group

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:18


If life were fair, Rance Allen would be a national treasure and the Rance Allen Group would be a household name.

Needless to say .....

Anyway, the first time I saw the Wattstax movie, I thought that the Rance Allen Group had the best day out of all of them in a show that featured among others, the Staple Singers, Eddy Floyd, Isacc Hayes, William Bell, Johnny Taylor, Albert King, The Bar-Kays and really the entire Stax-Volt stable of artists.

Wattstax  was held in the Los Angeles Memorial coliseum on August 20, 1972, it was intended to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots and was/is widely thought of as "The Black Woodstock".

In order to insure that the people of Watts could attend, the price of a ticket was one dollar.

This is Rance Allen on guitar and vocals, his brothers Steve on the bass guitar and Thomas on the drums.

The Rance Allen Group.

Lying on the Truth.



And then, just in case you like your gospel with a touch of the funk, flash forward some three plus decades and here they are again, Rance, Steve and Thomas Allen along with someone I'm thinking is Chris Byrd but can't get a good enough look at to be confident about it, live at the Stellar Awards.

For Your Feet.



Ahhhh, the power of the One!




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