Summer Camp 2011. Three Sisters Park Chillicothe, Illinois Memorial Day weekend. This was the 11th year, I think. I've only missed a few. This festival is the brainchild of the band MOE. after we were all there in 1999 for the summer sessions tour with Galactic, MOE., Govt Mule, The String Cheese Incident with Kevin Kenny, Radio Active, Gibb, Droll, and myself doing the tweeners. A handful of years ago, MOE. brought in Umphrey’s McGee as a partner in the festival along with Jam and Ian/Jay Goldberg Events who's been there from the start or at least close to the start. Each band has its own stage and does multiple sets over the weekend. There's also an electronica stage that brings serious energy. In the middle of it all is a big chunk of woods where all the early freeks camp. It’s truly a trip to walk the path in the woods at night. I try and make a point of it every year if I have time. This year I was lucky to be able to bring Kdubalicious which is my reggae/dub/funk trio featuring Jay Starling on keys, Mark D on drums, and myself on the bass. It’s an open airy type of music that flourishes in simplicity. We were on the MOE. stage so I took advantage of the fact that the band had their gear on stage and invited the MOE. guitarists to sit in. They accepted. The first one is 3 songs in one. The unreleased (other than a trippy YouTube vid I posted a while back) “Thinking Out Loud”. At the end of the song, when I start actually thinking out loud, I slide into “More Than a Little,” which slides into “Feel Like A Stranger” (author pub) featuring Al Shcnier. The other is tune I the funk classic "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus ft: Chaka Khan. This track showcases Chuck Garvey on guitar with the groovy talk box. Both Al and Chuck are incredible guitarist and separately added immensely to these songs. Together in MOE., it appears to me that they read each others minds like only people who've been playing together for 20 years can. Every time I see MOE. play, I’m blown away at how mind blowingly together they are. Both mentally and musically. I didn't think they could get tighter. But they do, each time I see them.
Boob job. A poem by David Wilcox that appears on his live record, East Ashville Hardware. I highly recommend it, as it is my favorite of his records. A different version appears on my double live record, called Stage. Sikiru Adepoju is a master of the talking drum. We met during my 2-week run with The Rhythm Devils. The talking drum comes in many shapes and sizes. It has a head on either side that is tied down with ropes. Sikiru plays a small one that is nestled under his left arm. He plays with a crooked stick in his right hand and by squeezing the ropes with his left arm; he tightens and loosens the head, getting all kinds of sounds. Even though the drum is small, he can get super low notes almost resembling a bass, as well as high notes that get close to a bongo. He is such a master, he can play scales. On a drum. Mickey Hart also plays one. But his is much bigger and he plays with mallets, and the tightening and loosening of the head is done with a foot pedal. He was on the side of the stage watching Sikiru and I play this track, at the Hoxeyville Festival in Empire, Michigan in August of 2010.
Recorded Live by Lou Gosain. Published by David Wilcox
Please enjoy, Keller.
I came up with the hook for this song in the car on the way from dropping my kids off at school to the third stream studio in Thornburg, Virginia. As soon as they are out of the car, the music changes quickly. That day, 5/10/11, I went back and forth between backspin and shade 45, 2 awesome hip hop channels on satelite radio, so I had that mentality going when I arrived at the studio. I was planning on doing something completely different that day, but went ahead and went with my inspiration. I’m glad I did. All I had was a hook and a slight idea of a theme. We found a cool loop to play along to and created the drum track. Toby Fairchild, who played with me in the added bonus, was in the house in full force. I stood in the room with him as he pounded on his drums. To create verse and chorus sections I would signal him to go to and from the high hat and the ride cymbal as well as the stops. It was all an experiment at this point. I think we did one take. Then I grabbed the house bass and spent 15 minuets recording bass ideas. Once that was done, I took to the vocal mic. Again I had nothing. I started riffing, stopping and starting over and over, laughing and carrying on, making things up. It was about 10 in the morning by this point so that was weird in and of itself. Sarah Wolff, a local singer songwriter/performer, was there assisting the engineer, Matt Montoro. I figured she would make a fine addition to the song and I was very happy with her cameo. I actually laugh out loud when I hear her parts. During my vocal improvs, I stumbled upon a line I heard from a live saffire record called "Live and Uppity." The song is called “Bitch With a Bad Attitude” sung by local celebrity and internationally known blues icon, Gaye Adegbalola. When she wasn't touring, she was a teacher at my high school. She was known as miss A. She taught the smart kids photography and maybe journalism. I think she might have done some AP classes as well. Her classes were never an option for me as I was.......not one of the smart kids. I was to busy failing spanish 1 for the second time to be invited to attend her smart kid classes. I remember her classroom being a small closet like room with only a few people there at a time. She was by no means in the closet, but her class room was small. I think they ran the school newspaper and designed the year book there. Saffire would occasionally play the local bars in Fredericksburg. I think my first gig for pay was between 10th and 11th grade, so I tried to go see Saffire any chance I could. I would hit her up for advice from time to time. I remember once between the student and faculty parking lots she told me that playing original music is great, but at the bars, don't be afraid to play songs people know and can sing along to. Her son, Juno, was the drummer of my first band called down Hill Development featuring Kirk Edwards. Kirk showed me the proper chords to my first songs. He and I switched off and on guitar and bass. We submitted a cassette tape that we recorded with a boom box in Miss A's living room to the talent show committee (Jan White). I figured since Miss A was a respected teacher and local celebrity, and the drummer was her son, we would easily pass the audition and get to play the talent show. We did not. Either we weren't ready, or the tape was crappy, or we sounded completely awful. I’m guessing it was all of the 3. Juno still plays drums and produces his own music. Miss A continues to be a positive influence on many people, myself included. She's cool. If you are looking for funny, soulful and sometimes dirty acoustic blues, check Saffire, the uppity blues women. My favorite is “Live and Uppity”.
Please enjoy, Keller.
B.i.t.c.h. was recorded and mixed by Matt Montoro at Third Stream Music and mastered by Jeff Covert at Wally Cleavers. Toby Fairchild on drums, Sarah Wolff on vocals, and myself on bass, guitar, synthe, and vocals.
Click HERE to listen to "Bitch with a Bad Attitude" By Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women.
This track features samples of Fela Kuti, Trouble Funk, Katt Williams and Richard Pryor. I played bass and synthe and danced naked while I did it.
Crank it and enjoy.