The Bo-Keys: Memphis sounds full of soul

Scott Bomar, the musical mind behind the award-winning soundtrack of Hustle & Flow AND the producer of the band, The City Champs, has a really cool project going on in the style of Booker T & The MGs, called The Bo-Keys.

I love this short 12 minute documentary about the background of these guys – some serious history between them all! They’ve played with major soul and blues greats including Isaac Hayes, Bobby “Blue” Bland and others. I heard they’ll be playing the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans in September. Should be a good time!

Mulatu Astatke & Ethio-jazz

Wow, hello there! Sheesh – been awhile! I’ve been a hiatus for the past few months, but hopefully I’m back for good. I’ve been recuperating from a surgery so spending a lot of time plugged into what is going on in the world (prayers to Japan and the Mid-East/North Africa most definitely) and also pop culture (American Idol – Casey Abrams please!).  Couldn’t do much else than just sort of watch the world from a distance, but finally I’ve felt my energy levels return and I thought I’d get back to doing some blogging about music.

Let me get right to some great roots music from East Africa – Ethiopia to be exact. Mulatu Astatke is an Ethiopian jazz musician who studied all over the world including Berklee School of Music in Boston. He merged his love of jazz, especially Latin jazz, with his own cultural traditional sounds creating a distinct genre of music called “Ethio-jazz”. He released an album last year, “Mulatu Steps Ahead” his first solo project in decades with some top jazz musicians helping him out. Most of his music is instrumental, making it a favorite of 70s vinyl funk/jazz collectors and artists like Nas, Damian Marley, Cut Chemist and Knaan, who have sampled many of his songs in their own music. Here is a smattering of songs I found scouring youtube for your listening pleasure and to get a taste of his flavor.

Thanks for reading and I’m so grateful for each and every person who visits this blog. I’m shocked that after months not posting, my older posts continue to get a steady stream of music loving visitors every day! I hope to find my groove again in 2011. Peace, love and soul to you all!

Links and Resources:

Mulatu Astatke bio on wikipedia

Mulatu Astatke’s Myspace page