Which memory from Hal Willner, Hubert Sumlin, Little Freddy King, and John Sinclair makes you smile?
I'm afraid the Willner memories have to remain un-speakable for the sake of the future of humanity.
remember anything about working with Hubert Sumlin except thinking that
he didn't play like he did in '63 and he wasn't really engaged.
see Little Freddie King riding his bike in the neighborhood. We just
made a 45 called Great Balls Of Butter for the Caracara label. Freddie
and Wade Wright (his
long time drummer) make fun records- most of the time one take, always
live vocals, no fixing. They accept what they do and don’t engage in
can do a spot on John Sinclair impersonation. On a WWOZ radio show I
pretended to be him and listeners called in to talk to him and didn't
know it was me instead. Our out of print cd with Andre Williams called
"fattening frogs for snakes" from 2001 was one of the weirdest sessions
I've encountered in 47 years of recording. Andre wins the prize for
changing his mind most often and giving the musicians contradicting
instructions until everyone involved was utterly confused. John did his
part and watched the action.
Mark Bingham and John Sinclair. Photo by Patti Perret
Why did you think that New Orleans (music and culture) continues to generate such a devoted following?
don’t think there is such a thing as New Orleans music anymore- outside
of tourism marketing. People all over the earth fall for marketing.
Since the 18th century, New Orleans and its culture have been
consistently defined by outsiders for their own economic interest.
do have a healthy live music scene here at a time when many American
cities have hardly any live local music. New Orleans musical offerings
are far more diverse than what is sold around the world as "New Orleans
music". Remember that "tradition" and "preservation" started as an
economic concepts and that things only need to be preserved to keep them
from rotting. A living musical form has no need for Preservation.
What does the Blues & Jazz mean to you and what does offer you?
and Jazz are important but meaningless words anymore... Music is too
vast and too global anymore to define styles, although, of course, we
try to define anyway. Blues can be almost anything but mostly what is
billed as blues in 2013 are people singing like angry bears backed up by
fuzzy guitars playing at too fast tempos that don’t groove.
everyone should read Deep Blues by Robert Palmer and go back to
listening to Wolf and Muddy to remember what happened, what Blues was at
is now more of a college sport than an art form. I will listen to Monk
forever but I couldn't tell you who is who anymore in alleged jazz. Most
well known jazz players I know are psychopaths and most managers and
lawyers of jazz musicians seem to be petty criminals with egos as big as
their artists. The Jazz business has become organized crime minus the
organization and the money. Maybe it was better when organized crime
actually was the boss?
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FATTENING BLOGS FOR SNAKES 2013