Archive for

Little Milton

Posted on 29/11/2012

A funny clip featuring Little Milton, first talking about the blues, and then singing and playing it the way it should be done.
From the classic movie “Wattstax” from 1973, with my old mentor Joe Turner playing the bass.

Bill Ratner

Posted on 27/11/2012


My sister Lea Thau’s Kickstarter campaign for the second season of her radio show “Strangers” met the fundraising deadline with flying colors, so that’s really great news.

The show’s new format is longer, and the stories have time to evolve and go a little deeper in this timeframe. If you have a half hour to spare, I strongly recommend this story from Bill Ratner, who overcame incredibly difficult odds to have a happy and fulfilling life today. The story is beautifully told and edited.

Even though the next season of the show is now funded, Lea can still use your support, through subscribing to and rating the Podcast on iTunes, liking the FaceBook page, leaving comments on the show’s website and elsewhere on the web, and telling your friends about the show.

Neil Larsen

Posted on 22/11/2012

An extraordinary musician, one of the most tasteful and soulful Hammond organists around. His playing with Leonard Cohen these last few years has been just perfect. Here’s a version of “Hallelujah”. The rest of the band isn’t bad either.

Dakar – Basel

Posted on 13/11/2012

Back from Dakar! We worked 10 very long days, and didn’t have a lot of time to get around, so I’m still waiting to really get to know the place. But a lot of great performances were recorded, with a consistently high level of creativity and generosity from everyone involved, and I think Faada Freddy’s album is looking to be exceptionally good. We still have a way to go before it’s done, but the project definitely moved up a notch during these sessions. Here is the team:

Philippe Aglaé
Gisela Razanajatovo
Yves Thiam
Faada Freddy
Sherika Sherard
Bleck Fall, Jordan Kouby & Papa Ka
Michael Désir
Malick N’Diaye

This weekend we started up with Imany again, in Basel, Switzerland, and that was one of the steepest cultural contrasts I’ve ever experienced, with only a few hours in between… The first and the third world are so far apart, it’s hard to really get your head around, though Senegal is actually doing well compared to many other countries on the African continent. But Switzerland is definitely a very different kind of place indeed. Our show was part of the Avo session series, and it was filmed, so it will be broadcast at some point. If it ends up on the web, I’ll be sure to post it. You never know how these things go down, so much depends on the people doing the broadcast sound, the camera movements, the editing etc., and I’ve experienced more than once having good performances getting a mediocre treatment (and vice versa!). But the Avo guys know their stuff, and I think we came away with a good result. Tonight we’re playing in Toulouse, and the rest of the year will be pretty busy with Imany, touring France and doing a few gigs in Poland early next month.