Photos from Folk Festival Saturday

Wayne Hancock singing about reefer!

Innov Gnawa (If you liked them, there is an excellent new album out by gnawa master Maalem Mahmoud Gania called Colours of the Night that you should check out).

Wild Horses

The Green Fields of America (playing IN the Kanawha Canal where hundreds of Irish and African laborers worked and died)

Accordians!

Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo (The main band led a procession down to the stage to start of their set)

Spanish flamenco was spellbinding (despite a rather noisy and disruptive audience)

The San Francisco Taiko was exuberant and fun.

The female-led go-go group Be’la Dona got the crowd going…

Soul singer Don Bryant singing “I Can’t Stand The Rain”

Thankfully, I have only saw a few parking problems in the neighborhood. And police were patrolling. On the other hand, I have heard some anecdotes from neighbors about some traffic problems that still need to be corrected.

Ready to do it again today, Richmond?

August 20, 1968 – Hendrix Plays The Mosque

Times Dispatch music review the next day:

He calls it the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and like it or not, that’s what it is.
Hendrix is a soft-spoken Negro. He plays his innovative style of music with two English boys, and While the sound is white, what Hendrix himself does is alternately intellectual or frenzied.
He was dressed for last night’s Mosque concert in bellbottom cerise pants. He also wore an exotically embroidered vest over a black shirt, two belts — one wide and gold — and three ornate rings. His carefully clipped hair stands high and round like a topiary tree.
Hendrix, who taught himself guitar by listening to old rhythm and blues artists, has put that style of music aside.
Instead, he has originated a music of his own, using amplifiers and electronics as a part of it.
The result is a lot of noise and harsh sound, but listen carefully and there are some startling musical effects emerging.
Such as when he uses the shrill sound of feedback as a key note in his harmony, or when the overtones that swell over and beneath his music become an intrinsic part of it.
Intricate Figures
Other than that, his musical understanding is shown in the intricate figures he weaves on the guitar, often holding the instrument tight against his chest, as if he were a human resonator. At other times he is strictly a sensational showman, as when he swings the guitar between his legs, or lifts it high and seems to chomp on it like an ear of corn. All time he keeps playing, never losing the thread holding the song together.
Between shows the 24·year-old sensation of Europe and the United States, was a warm, but shy person, tired from the hectic grind of one-night stands, on an eight-week tour, but happy to make his music and have it appreciated.
Traveling in the same musical package is a group known as The Eire Apparent, a group of terribly young and strangely dressed young men – one looked as if he had borrowed his Aunt Fanny‘s hat – who display a good deal of talent; and a three man group called The Soft Machine that features a topless drummer, a leather-jacketed organist and a guitarist, complete with Stetson hat, who looked like Cat Ballou, as he slumped over his guitar.
It was almost impossible to bear the music out front, as it was so amplified. But backstage, where the resonance wasn’t as strong, the music the two lesser—known groups made was much more palatable. Too bad they can’t give up those umbilical cords that tie them to their sound boxes, or at-least hear how they negate their own efforts with the amplification.
When the amplifiers are lowered, and the music emerges a bit more, one realizes that Hendrix is playing blues and protest songs, as much as he is fiery, possessing ones.
He dedicated “I Don‘t Live Today” to “all the self-appointed soldiers in St. Petersburg, Chicago, Vietnam and, or yes, the American Indian.” The song ends in a special effect like a catcall. His “Red House Blues” displayed his original harmonic technique around the old jazz form, but his version a squalling, wailing blues — the lament is there, but it is shriller. In fact, if the music is representative of Hendrix’ own soul, then his soul seems to be a shrieking and demanding a place in the sun.

Vinyl Conflict, Rest in Pieces Rock Pine Street

Subculture shops Vinyl Conflict and Rest in Pieces threw a successful block party on S. Pine Street Saturday. The “customer appreciation day” event included sidewalk sales, food trucks, live music, a mechanical spider for neighborhood tots to ride, and lots of sunshine!

This was the third such event, initially dreamed up by Vinyl Conflict owner Bobby Egger as an alternative to Record Store Day. Rather than cue up around the block for limited-edition, high-dollar vinyl rarities, the record store’s followers fingered through piles of discounted tee shirts and seven-inch singles.
There was, however, some crafty, limited-edition merchandise available to lure customers out early. My wife showed up right at 10 A.M. to snag this cute tote of a lazy egg listening to records.

Thrash bands Prisoner, Left Cross, and Dark Thoughts played sensational sets later in the day.

Egger, who lives in the neighborhood with his wife Melissa, says he feels entirely welcome as a shop owner in Oregon Hill. “Foot traffic has increased since Rest in Pieces opened,” he notes. “I would love to see more businesses open, and there are retail spaces opening up around the neighborhood.”
Oregon Hill’s dining and daring retail shops are must-do destinations for both locals and out-of-towners. Saturday’s block party, aside from being a blast, undoubtedly revealed the neighborhood’s potential for even bigger and better things.

–Johnathan Rickman

The Boss At Monroe Park

Re-post from neighbor Todd Woodson in the Fans of Monroe Park FaceBook group:

There was a free show in Monroe Park on June 1, 1969 including the Richmond debut of the band Child featuring a young Bruce Springsteen. They did 3 songs before, as I recall, they got shut down by police at the urging of the residents of the Prestwould. The songs played were Voodoo Child, Jennifer and Crown Liquor. This photo, courtesy of BruceBase was supposedly taken of the Boss at Monroe Park at the 1969 show. They would return to Monroe Park on July 18, 1971 as the Bruce Springsteen Band…

“Paris in Words and Music” This Saturday

CMSCVA (Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia) partners with the Richmond Public Library to present “Paris in Words and Music” an informal event combining poetry, prose and music from composers and writers inspired by Paris, the “City of Light.”

What: “Paris in Words and Music”
When: Saturday, April 22, 2:00pm
Where: Richmond Main Public Library, 101 E. Franklin Street
Tickets: Free

“Boogie Wonderland ’17”

Earth, Wind & Fire is at the Altria Theater tonight.

The band formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1969.

The band’s music contains elements of African music, Latin music, funk, soul, jazz, pop, rock, and other genres. The band is known for the dynamic sound of their horn section and the interplay between the contrasting vocals. The kalimba (African thumb piano) is played on all of the band’s albums.

Although they lost founding member Maurice White last year, the band is carrying on, spreading not just entertainment, but also inspiration.