For Son Little, the genesis of a musical idea — the magic — remains largely a mystery. But his kinetic ability to summon that energy all the same, to command it, hold onto it, and set it in motion, is the stuff of alchemy.
“The magic is this well I can draw from; you can’t necessarily see it, you just have to believe that it’s there,” he says. “If you believe, then you can reach your hand down in there and get it wet. But if you don’t feel like it’s there, it won’t be.”
Son Little, the singer and songwriter born Aaron Livingston, is the easygoing musical alchemist of our time. He is a conjurer, and much like those of his heroes Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix, his songs are deconstructions of the diaspora of American R & B. Deftly he weaves different eras of the sound — blues, soul, gospel, rock and roll — through his own unique vision, never forced, always smooth, each note a tributary on the flowing river of rhythm and blues. The currents empty into an estuary, and into this well water Son dips his bucket — trusting innately in the magic’s existence. And now, with his second full-length album, New Magic, he has delivered a profound statement, a cohesive creation that captures the diverse spirit of American music in a fresh and modern way.
Pianist, composer, arranger and musical director (Phoenix, Sebastien Tellier) charismatic and talented Christophe Chassol is the author of an unclassifiable work. His compositions articulate voice, music, sounds, images in new audiovisual objects. His project : Harmonizing reality.
R.L. Boyce’s Hill Country Blues is effortlessly transcendent and mesmerizing. Capturing the juke-joint, moonshine fuelled, picnic party life of Como, Mississippi, Boyce takes the listener through Saturday night and over that fine line that separates it from Sunday morning. This is god-fearing music on Mississippi terms.
R.L. Boyce has become so highly regarded people see him as the Ravi Shankar of Hill Country music. Hill Country music is loose and free, so much so that it puts both the performer and the listener in a warm, almost meditative state while still groovy enough to demand a good ass shake. Through improvisation, it is designed to heighten your consciousness. You don’t play this sort of music so much as you submit to it.
Jupiter & Okwess
Jupiter Bokondji was born in Kinshasa 48 years ago, into a family of griots from the Mongo region. His grandmother, a reknowned healer, introduced him to traditional rhythm and music including the famous Zebola from Ekonda (Mongo région of the equator), rythms that are said to cure the sick. From a young age, Jupiter played percussion instruments and acommpanied his grandmother to funerals and weddings. However, it was in Germany East-Berlin, where he spent his adolescence, and where his father was appointed executive assistant for the Congos embassy in 1974, that he discovered Europe and it’s vibrant music scene – the Stones, Deep Purple, James Brown etc. Here, he set up his own rock band called ‘’Der Neger’’ with fellow young Berliners; their sound was a strange cocktail of Mongo percussions and guitar Zeppelin-esque guitar. The band was successful in all the shady clubs in town. But, his father’s mandate ended.
Bobbito Garcia a.k.a. Kool Bob Love
DJ Bobbito Garcia is the critically acclaimed author of Where’d You Get Those? NYC’s Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987. As an award-winning filmmaker, Garcia has directed DOIN' IT IN THE PARK: PICK-UP BASKETBALL, NYC and STRETCH AND BOBBITO: RADIO THAT CHANGED LIVES. Currently, "Kool Bob Love" is directing an autobiographical documentary film titled ROCK RUBBER 45s, while producing his b-ball tournament Full Court 21™ in four continents and co-hosting NPR's "What's Good With Stretch And Bobbito" podcast.