Monday, September 28, 2009

Rodrigo y Gabriela | A Brilliant Journey

11:11 is the new album from this Mexican born guitar duo and there is not a false note to be found, only an absolutely brillant journey to be had in the listening of this record. The CD's eleven tracks are a tribute to musicians that they have either been inspired by or deeply respect. Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Michel Camilo, Paco de Lucia are among those chosen and Rodrigo and Gabriela not only express their gratitude and reverance by the composition and recording of these pieces, but also their desire that their fans be exposed to these legendary musicians.

They are very serious about their music making, with a big emphasis on technique, practice and creativity. They built a studio in Ixtapa, Mexico so they could record at home without the added stress of being on the road during the recording process. They will be out on tour supporting this new record and their live shows are quite stunning, with just the two of them on the stage with a screen behind them showing their intricate and exciting playing. The reason that they started doing this was so that their fans who play guitar could see what they were doing so they could try it themselves. Not so easy, but maybe with some practice...

Listen to "Hanuman" Rodrigo y Gabriela's tribute to Santana

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mary Steenburgen and Mike Benjamin| Just Say "Yes"

When Mike Benjamin told me a couple of years ago that he had been working with actress Mary Steenburgen on some songs that she had written, I was very curious to say the least, and couldn't wait to hear the music. Mike brought over a CD, and on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we played Mary's song "New Orleans, An Unbroken Heart" about post Katrina New Orleans. I hoped that one day Mike and Mary would come on the air to talk about their collaboration and that's exactly what happened a few weeks ago. It was the first time that Mary had publicly talked about her songwriting.

She started "hearing" music and said yes to a new phase, a new direction in her life and began writing lyrics and melodies. Mary was encouraged by her friends and family, and things accelerated when she met Mike at the party she hosted for President Bill Clinton's 60th birthday, and they started working together. The two are in the middle of pursuing this wonderful collaboration, both complimenting each others considerable talents.

Listen to the interview with Mary and Mike

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Band of Heathens | The Real Deal

The new album from this band from Austin, TX has found it's way onto the Uncharted Waters and What's New For Lunch playlist several times over the last month. "One Foot In The Ether" is a roots rock record with r&b, gospel, country, swamp influences mixing in, and the result is a very listenable CD that kept me interested all the way through. The band formed in the spring of 2006 after a long-time sharing of the Wednesday night bill at Austin's Momo's by the the three principle songwriters, Colin Brooks, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist. They just started an extensive tour that takes them throughout the US and Europe. Maybe they'll come to your neighborhood!

Listen to "Shine a Light" by The Band Of Heathens

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rhythm & Roots | Music History in the Making

As one act followed the other at Rhythm & Roots '09, the talk in the trailer was about how completely unique this festival is. Chuck Wentworth, long-time Rhythm & Roots Chief, outdid himself again, booking artists and scheduling them in such a way that complimented each act, and each day became a journey through today's rich, vibrant and diverse roots music world. It felt like a music history lesson every time an artist took the stage; my mind started spinning like a dancer in the crowded dance tent and my heart filled with gratitude for the music. Check out all the performances, pictures and blog at

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rhythm & Roots 2009 | mvyradio On The Road

We have traveled to Charlestown, RI for one of the best roots festivals in the country, and as Saturday morning turns into afternoon, we are enjoying the sunshine and a set from Southern Florida's Nouveaux Honkies. We have been on site recording and streaming performances for the last few years, and every year there are bands that we hear for the first time and many that we happily meet up with again. Rebecca Dawkins from Nouveaux Honkies and Tania Elizabeth from the Duhks, both great fiddle players in their respective bands, were chatting backstage and they gave us a smile.

There is a full slate of performances today and tomorrow and we are here to capture the music. Tonight (Saturday) we'll feature Asleep At The Wheel and Hot Tuna live! Listen at 7:30 for the live performances and all weekend long at and 92.7 and 96.5 mvyradio.