The Upful LIFE Podcast
051: NEAL FRANCIS (singer-songwriter-keys) / + Salute to the Spirit of Suwannee w/ SCOTT T

051: NEAL FRANCIS (singer-songwriter-keys) / + Salute to the Spirit of Suwannee w/ SCOTT T

November 24, 2021

Welcome white-hot singer/songwriter/keyboardist NEAL FRANCIS to Episode 051! Neal is straight outta Chicago’s buzz-bin, an artist riding a meteoric rise to the heart of the zeitgeist, thanks to his monumental 2019 debut solo LP Changes. On November 5th, Neal dropped his stunning sophomore record In Plain Sight on ATO Records, and has been touring hard in the run up to the release, including a raucous late-night performance at Suwannee Hulaween. In addition to an hour with Francis, Episode 051 includes a special Suwannee Hulaween tribute, and a recording of a profound talk courtesy of SOSMP philosopher-poet SCOTT T, which took place in the Oasis Tent at Hula 2021. 

  • 04:00 -   Give Thanks: Suwannee Hulaween/SOSMP  
  • 10:15 -   Neal Francis intro 
  • 17:15 -  “Praeludium 2 in C-Minor” (J.S.Bach) by Neal Francis
  • 19:00  -  Neal Francis interview
  • 1:24:00 - Scott T @ SOSMP intro
  • 1:31:15 - Scott T - Spirit of Suwannee talk from Oasis Tent, Hula 2021 

Just a couple of days before Hulaween, I had a chance to catch up with Neal in between tour stops in Charleston, SC. This was my first time meeting or speaking with him, and he’s been doing a bunch of press for his new album; during the early part of the interview I was even a little nervous. But eventually, we connect in potent fashion, discussing his early days with Chi-town’s nascent funk band The Heard, Francis’ spiral into alcoholism, bottoming out, regrouping, rebirth, and the revolution/revelation that was debut album Changes. From there we get into his latest LP, collaborators like Sergio Rios (Orgone), David Shaw (The Revivalists), Chris Gelbuda, Derek Trucks, and a peek inside the church where Francis conceived and recorded In Plain Sight,  as well as his muses and creative process. A very insightful conversation with nothing short of a shooting star. 

After Neal & I wrap up, we have a little more about Suwannee Hulaween 2021, including a recording from an inspiring, informative talk courtesy of Florida-based poet/musician Scott T. The topic du jour was (basically) the history, mystery, and mysticism of The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. This illuminating and insightful TED-talk type situation took place on Friday 10/29 at Hulaween inside the Oasis Tent, which a sort of burgeoning educational tentacle of the Hula festival experience. I share some personal Hula reflections while introducing this talk. 

LISTEN TO NEAL FRANCIS In Plain Sight record release concert from 11.5.21 at Rosa's Lounge in Chicago

Vibe Junkie JAM 

"People Everywhere > Gypsy Woman (Crystal Waters)"

Khruangbin

encore, live at Suwannee Hulaween 2021

 

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050: JAY BLAKESBERG (rock photographer/ filmmaker / GD-culture anthropologist)

050: JAY BLAKESBERG (rock photographer/ filmmaker / GD-culture anthropologist)

October 27, 2021

Honored to welcome to Episode 050 the great JAY BLAKESBERG, a photographer, filmmaker, and cultural anthropologist who really needs no introduction, though I give him a lengthy, fawning one to kick off this program. Jay is best known for his iconic work shooting (and following) the Grateful Dead since the late 1970’s, and has continued to chronicle the various offshoots and band developments thru the years. He’s also a Bay Area institution, a world-renowned photographer /filmmaker/historian all over rock music, stretching out far beyond the ever-sprawling GD universe where he first cut his teeth and made his bones. 

  • Introducing Jay Blakesberg- @ 7:00 
  • Interview w/ Jay Blakesberg @ 14:00

Jay was kind enough to invite me to his home studio for a couple of hours one glorious San Francisco morning. For this particular conversation, we focus on the legacy, psychedelia, and undying, inter-generational appeal of the Grateful Dead, told thru Jay’s journey with them and his camera, plus myriad points between. In addition to geeking out about various eras, performances, legends and lore of the mighty GD, we also discuss our membership in a far-less cool but no less interesting fraternity: incarceration and the drug war. Both of us privileged and extremely fortunate, in no uncertain terms we explore these experiences and parallels, as Jay blesses us up with pearls of wisdom, knowledge of self, deeply held convictions and overstandings rooted in that harrowing chapter of his life. We also touch on music media in the digital age, & the next generation of jam bands that Jay is stoked on.

Jay’s done a number of great podcasts in recent years, about the Dead and his career, but I believe ours to hit just a wee bit different. If you choose to tune in, turn on, and drop out for this 90 minute free exchange of ideas, you’ll find out just why.

Follow all things Jay Blakesberg at BLAKESBERG.COM 

@jayblakesberg & @retroblakesberg on instagram

Special thanks to all the artists, musicians, producers, promoters, movers, shakers, lovers and angels who have made themselves available and open to discuss their lives and careers in this format and context. 

Large UP & a deep bow of profound gratitude to all the listeners out there who have empowered this program to reach it’s 50th episode. I’m humbled by the love and support, I hope to produce another 50, Jah-willing.  

 

Vibe Junkie JAM-

“Althea” - Springfield MA 9.03.80

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049: MOVIE CLUB (psych-rock duo) / SHINEHEAD (reggae legend) / RIP Michael K. Williams

049: MOVIE CLUB (psych-rock duo) / SHINEHEAD (reggae legend) / RIP Michael K. Williams

September 30, 2021

A fresh look towards the future & blast from the past with this pair of insightful conversations. Welcome Venice Beach-based psych-rock duo MOVIE CLUB, and world-renowned reggae/dancehall/hip-hop/soul legend SHINEHEAD to *The Upful LIFE Podcast* Episode 049. 

  • Michael K. Williams tribute @ 2:20
  • Introducing Movie Club @ 11:00 / Interview @ 17:45
  • Introducing Shinehead  @ 63:00 / Interview @ 67:40

Had to take a few moments and discuss my feelings and grief with regard to the tragic passing of one of my all-time favorite actors, Michael K. Williams, best known as Omar Devonne Little on HBO's masterful series The Wire. Fentanyl snatches yet another hero from our midst. My heart aches, so please indulge me in a tribute to a fallen icon.

Movie Club's Jessamyn Violet (drums) and Vince Cuneo (guitar) check in from their spot out in SoCal, and we dive into their nearly four-year odyssey. I really dig what these two get into, and in this powwow you'll find out why. Movie Club recently released their latest EP Fangtooth, on the heels of 2020's marvelous full-length LP Black Flamingo. A gumbo-like stew of doom, goth, boom-bap, emo-sludge, and psychedelia, Movie Club is one of the more exciting new things to float my way. The pair have worked with Jesus Coomes (Lettuce), and Tim Lefebrve (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Wayne Krantz, David Bowie), among other cats in their ever-evolving elixir.  Check out www.movieclubtheband.com !

Shinehead’s iconic career has yielded an incredible, diverse resume of classic cuts, including staples like “Jamaican in New York,” “Collie Weed,” “Chain Gang” “Strive,” “Golden Touch”, plus latest forwards “Never Had a Dream Come True,  Curtis Mayfield’s “The Makings of You”. Rumor has it, Shinehead has a little Marvin Gaye on deck.  His 1986 LP Rough and Rugged crossed the dancehall with hip-hop, a groundbreaking document that holds up 35 years down the road. With an legacy in Black music: hip-hop, reggae, dancehall, R&B, and beyond – the unique musical styles of Shinehead have etched his name in the annals of music history.  You can find a Shinehead, Butterfly and Kingston 12 HiFi at Kingston12hifi.com. 

 

Vibe Junkie JAMZ

Shinehead: "Billie Jean" [dub] - (1986)

Movie Club: "Ghost in the Machine" (2021)

Dr. Lonnie Smith: "I Can't Stand It" (live 1971)

 

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048:  SCOTTY B (JamBase/YEMblog) & JASON ABRAMS (Rock & Wrestling Connection Pod) - Talkin’ The PHlSH From VT - 2021 Summer Tour & More!

048: SCOTTY B (JamBase/YEMblog) & JASON ABRAMS (Rock & Wrestling Connection Pod) - Talkin’ The PHlSH From VT - 2021 Summer Tour & More!

August 25, 2021

cover photo: (c) Jake Silco 2021 (used w/permission)

For Episode 048, we flip the script a lil' bit. Finally, a podcast about The PHlSH from VT! Instead of one long form interview, for this two-hour hoo-ride I invited a pair of venerable Phishtorians to the show for twin conversations and complimentary commentary, as we discuss the band's impressive, triumphant return to the stage in summer 2021.

  • Scotty B of JamBase/YEMblog - intro- 11:30, interview- 12:45
  • PSA - toxic masculinity & predatory behaviors in the Phish scene 51:00
  • B.Getz on The Phish from VT in AC - 58:00 
  • Jason Abrams intro- 66:00, J.A. interview- 69:00
  • Kevin Cassels on his brother Phil's suicide & Smashing Pumpkins "Rhinoceros" at Deer Creek '98 - 123:00

First up is the man with his desk flipped upside down, the dude who conceived/created "The Skinny". Legend of the scene Scott Bernstein aka Scotty B, Editorial Director at JamBase.com, the cool cat behind the wildly-popular YEMblog & it's unicorn Twitter handle. Scotty B has been loving the band for nearly 30 years, is an accomplished journalist and treasured voice in the jam community, and his unique perspective was precisely why I asked him to join me for a chat. For this half-hour dialogue, Scott delivers some really thought-provoking contributions, on the magic in the music & beyond. Follow Scotty B at @YEMblog and @heyscottyb.

Between interviews, a few personal words from an anonymous phan are sure raise an eyebrow, and your ire. But this message and missive are urgent, necessary and sadly long overdue; as such I felt called to amplify her.

Yours truly reads an essay from my own heart ,before we behold the return of J.A.! aka Jason Abrams of Rock & Wrestling Connection podcast. In addition to being a passionate phanner goin on a quarter century, Jason is a pop music historian, pro-wrasslin' almanac, and rock n'roll lifer. He touches on tour stops in Hershey PA & Atlantic City, then J.A. gets into his recent experiences catching Guns n' Roses. He draws some illuminating parallels and makes salient points on both bands. I love chopping it up with the one & only J.A.! Follow Rock n' Wrestling Connection Pod on Tik Tok- @rockandwrestlingpod and Twitter - @rockndwrestling

 

Vibe Junkie JAM:

We finish up Ep.048 on a somber, beautiful note: revisiting former Pharmer's Almanac editor Kevin Cassels' entry from August 1998, where he unspools the traumatic tale of his brother's suicide, explains the genesis and meaning behind the Smashing Pumpkins "Rhinoceros" cover from Deer Creek that year.  I am dedicating this to my dear friend & dearly departed Benny Dread, who took his own life in similar fashion a few months ago.

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047: THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE- David Block (Gone Gone Beyond, producer/multi-instrumentalist)

047: THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE- David Block (Gone Gone Beyond, producer/multi-instrumentalist)

July 12, 2021

Welcome THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE- DAVID BLOCK (solo electronic producer + Gone Gone Beyond) to Episode 047! A dancefloor General, prince of the piano, soundtrack to the squish, or conductor around the campfire, David wears myriad musical and intellectual hats. He's been a celebrated artist across various mediums for over a dozen years, with considerable contributions to the West Coast festival/Burning Man/live music communities. Block's international future-folk quartet Gone Gone Beyond recently released their stunning third full-length LP 2030 to rave reviews from rabid fans, and a chorus of critical acclaim.

@ 9:00  introducing The Human Experience/David Block/Gone Gone Beyond

@ 14:00 Dennis Cook pontificates on GGB's new LP '2030' 

@ 19:00 - Interview w/The Human Experience - David Block

David checks in via Zoom from Topanga Canyon in SoCal, and we immediately dig into GGB's astounding new record in all it's glistening glory. From the humble beginnings on tour in 2019, to a multi-hued masterpiece that arrived in June 2021, we get the scoop on David Block, Danny Musengo, Kat Factor and Mel Seme's cosmic convergence and eventual coalescence, the magic of 2030, the individual DNA within GGB, and their collective artistic evolution. No longer just a side-piece for The Human Experience, Block discusses the ego death in removing his nom de plume from Gone Gone Beyond, and the passion project leaving the proverbial nest. 

The Human Experience is well known for his uplifting, prolific collaborations with female singers and instrumentalists, as women's features dot the majority of his dozen-plus album releases. None more popular nor treasured than the cerebral sorcery found on Soul Visions, featuring Rising Appalachia's original music as well as traditionals from the Deep South. Block hops in the wayback machine over a decade ago, takes us around the world and on festival tour as he retraces the origin story of first connecting with Chloe Smith & Leah Song and how this seminal classic came to a fateful, ultimately fantastic fruition.

Towards the end of this spirited discussion on all things The Human Experience, I decided to shift the tenor to a couple of more serious topics. Being that David is a progressive thinker, a people person, a beloved, respected member of the Black Rock City community and it's voluminous, kaleidoscopic diaspora, I asked him to weigh in on the state of our proverbial union, straight no chaser. Occasionally the cynic yet, ever the sage, my man does not duck for cover nor mince words as he waxes philosophic on where do we go from here.

All that jazz (in ya bones!) plus way more juicy, sexy remix mojo than you can shave into the side of your head... on a touching, thought-provoking, thrilling, and emotionally-rewarding Episode 047 of The Upful LIFE Podcast with very special guest The Human Experience- David Block.

May be an image of 2 people, including David Block and people smiling

 

Vibe Junkie JAMZ 

"Dusted Compass" (original)

The Human Experience feat. Lila Rose (2012)

 

"Mississippi" Soul Visions

(T.H.E. feat. Rising Appalachia-2013)

 

"Under Siege" Gone Gone Beyond feat. Kalibri - 2016

 

"Canyons" & "Gravity" (live & acoustic)

Gone Gone Beyond - 2021

 

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046: KARINA RYKMAN (bass- Marco Benevento, solo, ex-Sound of Urchin)

046: KARINA RYKMAN (bass- Marco Benevento, solo, ex-Sound of Urchin)

June 16, 2021

Welcome KARINA RYKMAN, bassist of Marco Benevento's trio, to Episode 046. A dynamic solo artist, skilled with both the bass and guitar, a lightning bolt of youthful exuberance, dedicated metalhead, hip-hop enthusiast, Phish kid, podcaster, quintessential New Yorker, and all-around swag factory. Karina is riding the wave of her new single/video "No Occasion", and she checks from NYC via telephone for an illuminating conversation that details her meteoric ascent from the Upper East Side towards near-total domination.

Introducing KARINA RYKMAN @ 9:30 / Interview @ 12:30

The wide-ranging conversation starts with taking the temp of NYC, as the Big Apple springs to life out from under fifteen months of pandemic protocols. Karina talks about her role as co-host of the weekly podcast 3 From the 7, alongside Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta (Assistant Editor, Relix). She gives us the scoop on her solo musical endeavors, new video "No Occasion", and the evolution of her performing under her own name with bandmates Adam November and Chris Corsico.

The only child of Columbia professors, we hear all about Karina's halcyon days discovering the magic of the riff, her passion for heavy metal and hip-hop alike. The origin story of picking up an axe, and where her ear, heart, and spirit led her; including NYU, where she developed her own music biz course curriculum, and later Rocks Off NYC, where she produced rock boat cruises around the island of Manhattan.

In addition to her experiences making music with a once-in-a-generation-genius like bandleader Marco Benevento, we get a look deeper inside Karina's journey. From superjams with Nels Cline, John Medeski, Billy Martin and Benevento, to hanging with Anthrax and Testament on their titanic anniversary tour. Karina reflects on her hesher roots logging stage and studio time with nascent heavy bands like ShitKill, White Collar Crime LLC, as well as Crescent Moon (Dave Dreiwitz power trio), and underground kings The Sound of Urchin. 

Rykman shows proper respects to her fuzz bass heroes past and present, as well as the lineage of women who've rocked before her, and her budding friendship with Laura Lee (Khruangbin). She details her special connections with mentors and gurus like Dreiwitz, Tomato (The Sound of Urchin), Alex Skolnick (Testament), among other movers, shakers, virtuosos and luminaries. Lastly, Karina touches on her relationship with Trey, Sue and the Anastasio kids, her decade-plus passion for all things Phish, and so much more.

Thank you to the incredible Ms. Karina Rykman!

Ep. 046 is available on most podcast platforms!

 

Vibe Junkie JAM

"Pepper" Marco Benevento

(Butthole Surfers cover, Karina on vocals) 

Live from Ardmore Music Hall Sept.2018

 

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Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE

045: JAKE ROCKATANSKY (QAA pod, conspiracy researcher, sci-fi writer, Weezer stan)

045: JAKE ROCKATANSKY (QAA pod, conspiracy researcher, sci-fi writer, Weezer stan)

May 19, 2021

Welcome JAKE ROCKATANSKY, co-founder/co-host of Q*non Anonymous podcast to Episode 045. For 3 years, Jake & his cohorts at QAA have been investigating and unraveling the Q phenomenon, and all the various conspiracy threads that fit under the big Q tent. We'd never be able to button up the whole Q conspiracy kit n' caboodle in merely one pod ep! Instead, we take a lengthy, illuminating trek into the world of @RealRockatansky, rewind Jake's path to the podcast, explore the annals of Q-research and the QAA origin story, with our main man J-Rock at the helm.

  • We talmbout Q?/ Introducing JAKE ROCKATANSKY @5:00
  • INTERVIEW w/Jake Rockatansky @15:30 

 

Along with erstwhile collaborators Julien Field and Travis View, in QAA Jake is part of an incredible organic podcast success story. Since 2018, the trio has established their program as the preeminent place to go for a skeptical, empathetic take on this madness, and a humane look into this worldwide conspiracy scourge. These guys are globally respected, often times a reporter's first call when trying to nail down a Q or Q-adjacent story. Nobody has been as unwaveringly focused on the Q beat quite like the QAA dudes & their intrepid correspondents Annie & Liv. They're still truckin' along well into 2021, to the tune of 2 podcasts and 2 Twitch broadcasts every week, with a sizable, dedicated Patreon community that's steadily growing. 

In this interview, Jake takes us thru his experiences combating Q, facing down horrific anti-Semitism, satanic panic, going under cover at Q events, interacting with Anons & influencers, and graciously gives us the QAA origin story. J-Rock reveals a beautifully human vulnerability that we've come to know thru his contributions to the pod. He unveils his process, fears, hope, and huge, swollen heart. We get a bit about his childhood in the Chicago burbs, his decamping to SoCal at 18, longtime musical faves like Weezer or Dipset, and latest raves like Beach Bunny and Denzel Curry.

In between the beats and the laughs, we get pretty serious too, with regard to Q's human toll, and how we can best stay connected with those we care for that may have lost the plot or themselves amid the Qrazy. So grateful for how generous Jake was, with his time and energy, and that he showed up in this convo in all the ways that have endeared him to thousands of listeners around the world.

Jake Rockatansky is a total mensch.  Follow him at @RealRockatansky on Twitter. Check out Q*non Anonymous on all pod platforms and at www.qanonanonymous.com 

 

Vibe Junkie JAM

All that jazz plus an absolutely homicidal freestyle sesh from Black Thought of The Roots, dug up from deep in the archives, 2010 Tony Touch radio show on Shade45. Over a cache of unreleased Dilla heaters, on the 4th anniversary of his passing no less, Riq is completely unhinged, spitting an endless barrage of bars that will have your head spinnin, then noddin, and eventually ringin'. Nobody can f*ck w Riq Gz on the microphone, not then, not now, not ever.

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Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE

 
044: CHRIS HARFORD (Band of Changes, BlancDUBlanc) + R.I.P. SHOCK G  of Digital Underground

044: CHRIS HARFORD (Band of Changes, BlancDUBlanc) + R.I.P. SHOCK G of Digital Underground

April 28, 2021

Welcome CHRIS HARFORD (Band of Changes, BlancDUBlanc) to Episode 044! What an honor & a privilege to host such an esteemed rock n' roll troubadour to the show. Prepare for a lengthy, profound powwow with more rabbit holes than you can shake a chalice at. Ep.044 also includes a short, sweet tribute to the late, great Shock G of Digital Underground, the East-Bay psychedelic funksta/hip-hop pioneer/Humpty Hump who recently passed away at just 57 years young.

  • @ 5min: News! KRAZ Plus One + Upful Life = The Guest List 
  • @ 9min: Shock G  R.I.P. Tribute 
  • @ 22min: Introducing CHRIS HARFORD / @ 27min : Interview

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Chris Harford is a man of many talents, and wears numerous artistic hats. The veteran-rocker checks in from Central Jersey, and unpacks his own fascinating journey in progress. For over 90 minutes, Harford earnestly reveals an abundance of perspective. Among the more fulfilling conversations I've had the pleasure of hosting in the podcast medium. 

Right off the top, we go ham singing the praises of reggae music and its medicinal, spiritual qualities, especially in times of peril. The erstwhile sound-scientist expounds on his dub reggae syndicate BlancDUBlanc, before we hop in the wayback machine to the Elektra Records era with Chris Harford & the First Rays of the New Rising Sun. Plus a special Nov.2000 Amfibian show in Burlington VT, with Tom Marshall and Trey Anastasio, one of the first JamBase reviews yours truly ever published.

From Bob Marley at the Philly Spectrum in '79, to Richard Thompson and Lee Perry working on his records, from London to Boston, New Hope PA and Hopewell, New Jersey too, Chris explores what it means to be in a Band of Changes, as he details his deep, filial roots with the likes of Sir Joe Russo, Scott Metzger, Marco Benevento, Chuck Treece, Dana Colley, Dean Ween, Robbie Seahag Mangano, plus the STAX-like scene and studio coming together with these cats (and more!) in the fertile Garden State soil. One of the more unbelievable tales Chris unspools is the story behind his dub-cover EP of "Wind of Change", yep, you read that right, the titanic political power ballad from the halcyon days of the hair-band era. This is my favorite part in a conversation filled with choice nuggets.

All that jazz plus a tribute to Shock G of Digital Underground, who recently transitioned, truly a gut punch in a pandemic-year that seemingly never ends. It's hard to keep up, or even grieve, with so much loss, however I felt called to send my man Shock G (Gregory Jacobs) up with his propers, and his flowers. Long Live this Son of the P!

 

Vibe Junkie JAM

"Cometh Dub" BlancDUBlanc (The Blanc Album)

 

BIG THANKS to our friends at LIVE FOR LIVE MUSIC!

 

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Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE

043: NIGEL HALL (keys/vox: Lettuce, Jon Cleary, ex-The Nth Power) + ‘The Joe Clark Mixtape’

043: NIGEL HALL (keys/vox: Lettuce, Jon Cleary, ex-The Nth Power) + ‘The Joe Clark Mixtape’

March 30, 2021

Episode 043 welcomes DC-born, NOLA-based NIGEL HALL (Lettuce, Jon Cleary, ex-The Nth Power) to the show for an hour-plus Vulcan Mind Probe. Nige has been a friend for about a dozen years, and I've written extensively about his musical exploits, so this convergence was a very long time in the making. The extremely gifted, Grammy-nominated keyboardist/vocalist - singer/songwriter keeps a lot of artistic irons in the fire. Nigel's dropping sophomore solo LP Spiritual on May 14, 2021, a stunning sojourn into Soulquarian waters co-produced by DJ Harrison and backed by members of Butcher Brown.   

@9mins- Introducing NIGEL HALL / @16mins-"Wake Me" Nigel Hall / @20mins - Interview 

In a wide-ranging convo, topics include: what's the latest in New Orleans , we get the 411 on Nigel's musical partnership with NOLA-based Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen. His motivations and inspirations behind the forthcoming Spiritual, as Nigel reveals a bit about his process and the project's native tongues. We unpack his role over the years with Lettuce, and how the keyboard chair and his contributions to the band have evolved over time. Quick detours to George Duke & J Dilla, with a funny Suwannee flashback or two to boot. 

Naturally, we had to get into his time in The Nth Power, and he offers poignant, impassioned reflections that gave me chills. So did his defiant, righteous anger as a Black father to a pair of sons entering young adulthood. So many rabbit holes, with many stones left unturned. Super proud of this powerful powwow with one of the greatest to ever do it; a spiritual awakening of the soulful variety. Ladies & Gentlemen, Nigel Hall! 

Vibe Junkie JAMZ - The Joe Clark Mixtape

Khris Royal feat. Nigel Hall, Kidd Chocolate, Big Sam "I Can't Breathe" (2020)

Nigel Hall "Gotta Go to Work" (snippet of 2nd single - 2021)

DJ Harrison feat. Nigel Hall "My Favorite Things" (2020)

Nigel Hall & Jon Cleary "Woman's Gotta Have It"

Papoose feat. Nigel Hall "Antidote" (2020)

Soulive feat. Nigel Hall & Shady Horns "Prototype" (2009)

Soulive feat. Derek Trucks, Ledisi, Nigel Hall "A Change Gonna Come" (Bowlive 2012)

The Nth Power "Catfish" - AURA Studios (2015)
The Original Nth Power "Only Love > WAR" - Justice Comes Alive 2020

Lettuce feat. Derek Trucks, Kofi Burbridge, Nigel Hall "We're A Winner > Move On Up" (Bear Creek 2009)

Nigel Hall doin Crazy Joe Clark on Jam Cruise (date unknown)

music played: "Runnin Away"- Nigel Hall Band, Jazz Fest 2016, "All About Love"  DJ Harrison, Nigel Hall "Makin My Way Back Home > Do It Like You Do" Lettuce, Red Rocks 2015, "Rule the World" - Lettuce,  "LETT It GoGo" Lettuce, Rex Theatre 2019,  "Step Children" Khris Royal w/Nigel Hall

BIG THANKS to our friends at LIVE FOR LIVE MUSIC!

 

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Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE

042: JACKSON WHALAN (emcee / producer) + Welcome Back Lettuce & D’Angelo!

042: JACKSON WHALAN (emcee / producer) + Welcome Back Lettuce & D’Angelo!

March 7, 2021

Episode 042 welcomes JACKSON WHALAN, emcee/producer based in the Berkshire mountains of Mass. We met in NorCal about 5 years ago, and he released his latest full-length LP From the Woods in Jan 2021; Whalan's got a huge collab on the way with the legendary Blastmaster himself, KRS-ONE. Jackson also helped inspire me to start this podcast when we did a live onstage Q&A in Nevada City, CA back in 2017. 

  • @4:00 - Welcome Back LETT & 'Mr. Yancey' live in Denver 
  • @10:00 - Jackson Whalan intro, @15:00 JW interview  / @1hr 50min S.N.A.G. by Jackson Whalan 

Our 90-min conversation touches on JW's colorful journey, from humble rural environs to the NYC underground, ashram across the world to a pot farm in Grass Valley, Cali. Other rabbit holes: being white in hip-hop, surviving as an independent artist, using social media to your promotional advantage, and a discussion that unpacks our respective brushes with the law. We finish up with an exciting career development involving the great KRS-ONE. 

About Jackson Whalan:

On the western edge of Massachusetts, there were very few examples of hip-hop artists from his rural hometown, but the music made its way into his life when he found CDs that belonged his older brother. When Jackson discovered the power of hip-hop, he was waking up to issues of race, class, politics, human rights and climate change. His music soon became the vehicle for addressing injustices and inspiring people.

In 2012, college studies took Jackson to India and an eco-village, Auroville. In the U.S., he studied turntablism at The New School with DJ Rob Swift; he graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in music. Jackson began releasing and performing under his own name in 2014, with the release of “S.N.A.G. (Sensitive New Age Guy)”. Other releases followed: Raptivism (2015), “Cradle” (feat. Qwill), 2016, and Souled Out EP (2016). Jackson opened for Moon Hooch for over 50 dates during 2016-17.  Jackson is an accomplished hip-hop/electronic producer as well, an Ableton educator, and makes himself available to other independent artists in a variety of professional, marketing, collaborative and artistic capacities. 

In 2019-2020, Jackson released singles and instrumentals every month for a full year, working closely with his co-producer and keyboardist Ian Evans. Tracks include “G.T.F.O.H.” (feat. Myka 9), “BIG FVCTS”, “The Long Game”, and a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth”. Latest LP From the Woods dropped Jan. 2021. KRS-ONE collaboration is on deck, as you hear at the end of our convo. STREAM From the Woods HERE

Vibe Junkie JAMZ

Roy Hargrove feat. D'Angelo "Bullshit" (2006)

The Violinaires "The Upper Way" (1972)

music played: Jay-Z "Open Letter"  -- Jackson Whalan "From the Woods" BIG FVCTS" "Cuz I'm Dope" "Music is the Drug" "SNAG"  -- & Soulquarians + Femi Kuti + Macy Gray "Water No Get Enemy"

 

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Theme Song: Mazel Tov by CALVIN VALENTINE

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