rtemagicc_stone2.jpg

 


Skip Mcdonald Doug Wimbish and drummer Keith LeBlanc are LITTLE AXE

Providing guitars, bass, keyboards, and vocals, Little Axe is the return to the blues that Skip grew up with and learned from his father. Born Bernard Alexander on 1 September 1949, Dayton, Ohio in the USA. Skip McDonald learned to play the blues on his father's guitar from the age of 8, although by the time he was 12 years old he had opted to perform doo-wop.

But from picking up a guitar as a child, and returning to his roots with Little Axe, there has been a long twisting road. McDonald, along with bassplayer Doug Wimbish and drummer Keith LeBlanc formed the house band for the pioneering rap label Sugar Hill, providing the music for some of the most seminal records of the era by Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaata, Force M.D.'s and others. From there he worked closely with Adrian Sherwood on many of projects for the On-U Sound label, as well as  the band Tackhead and working with Living Colour.

 

Full story in Bands | Permalink

preview-mark-stewart

 

A legend who left a lasting mark on the world of music returns with a new studio album: Edit. Created and recorded between London, Vienna, Bristol and Berlin, Stewart’s sixth full-length release, Mark will embark on a global tour in 2008. As teenage front man and mastermind of seminal Bristol post-punk legends The Pop Group (1978-80), Stewart already used his microphone as a weapon. In an era that saw public opinion and perception tainted by Thatcher, Reagan and the Cold War, The Pop Group emerged as one of Britain’s most radical exponents of new music and quickly gained notoriety well beyond the British Isles. Their until then unheard mix of punk, funk, dub, jazz and noise, countered by Mark Stewart’s scathing political slogans and lyrics (We Are All Prostitutes), easily counts among the most impressive, provocative and lasting manifestations of musical spontaneity seen, heard and experienced by the end of the 1970s.

 

After the group’s dissolution in the early 1980s, members of the Pop Group re-emerged in a flurry of new bands and guises: Rip Rig & Panic (featuring the then still unknown Neneh Cherry), Pigbag (with their surprise Top 10 hit ‚Papa’s Got A Brand New Pig Bag‘) and Maximum Joy. After a short stint with the New Age Steppers, Mark Stewart decided to pursue a solo career as Mark Stewart & the Maffia. His friend,  On-U sound owner Adrian Sherwood, took care of production and mixed the Maffia on their various tours. With Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald and drumming talent Keith LeBlanc Stewart recruited a truly exceptional rhythm section who had previously played with the likes of Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, James Brown, Madonna, Africa Bambaata, George Clinton, Tackhead and many others. Considered seminal milestones by many of his peers and fans, the solo outings by this‚ godfather‘ of Bristol’s eclectic music scene blend the most diverse of genres in a unique and unconventional mix of dub, funk, punk, techno, electro, noise – spiced up with a generous dose of Stewart’s trademark political lyrics and slogans.

Albums like As The Veneer Of Democracy Starts To Fade or Learning To Cope With Cowardice have left a lasting mark on the current music scene: icons in their own right like Massive Attack, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Carl Craig, Asian Dub Foundation and Nick Cave call Mark Stewart’s work a decisive influence.

 

Full story in Bands | Permalink

 

Playing music written and composed by Mano Ventura.

Mano Ventura Guitar

Nico Gomaz Bass

Keith LeBlanc Drums

mano_1

 

Influenced by his father, a long established musician in Peru, MANO VENTURA started playing the guitar at the age of five. His appearance in Lima when only nine years old gave him a chance to play with experienced musicians and this had a remarkable influence on his musical career.By the time he was fifteen, he had joined various Latin bands and was writing compositions for his own successful band LOS MADS. In 1969, MANO left Peru for Puerto Rico where he joined the top CREOLE ORQUESTRA DE LUCHO MACEDO.At the age of twenty, MANO came to the UK and was snapped by the Rolling Stones manager MARSHALL CHESS.

Developing his compositions, MANO formed a various projects with very outstanding musicians.  In the early 70's, he played with Indian, rock and blues musicians.

MANO became interested in Indian music and learned to play the sitar. Whilst working with this music, he studied the intricacies of time and more complex time signatures. After spending time playing with Chinese artists, he also acquired the skill of using silence within music. In 1984, MANO formed a seven-piece band, which developed a legendary status featuring the awesome talents of COURTNEY PINE, ROBERTO PLA and FRANK TONTOH. This outfit developed into a quintet featuring MARK MONDESIR on drums, MICHAEL MONDESIR on bass, COURTNEY PINE on sax and MAMADI KAMARA on percussion.

MANO most recently toured the UK with his new outfit NOH GROUND which is a blend of haunting Peruvian sounds, complexity of Arabic - Latin - African rhythms, with exciting bass patterns (drum and bass orientated) within the jazz format, acoustic and electric form, . This outfit developed into a quartet featuring KEITH LE BLANC on drums, NICO GOMEZ on bass and JASON YARDE on sax.

 

 

nico_2

 

Nico Gomaz 

 

Live Playing/Rec/TV'S with SNOWBOY&THE LATIN SECTION / BJORK / LISA STANFIELD / BOY GEORGE / AFRO CUBAN ALL STARS / KEITH LEBLANC / DOM UM ROMAO / SHANIA TWAIN / RICKY MARTIN / MARC ANTHONY / MANO VENTURA / AZUQUITO / HERMAN OLIVEIRA / ROBERTO PLA / ADALBERTO SANTIAGO/ ROBERT MITCHELL / STEVE WILLIAMSON / NEIL ANGILLEY TRIO / TUMBAITO / ROY HARGROVE / ALEX WILSON / YANG / UP BUSTLE AND OUT

 

Full story in Bands | Permalink

_mg_3573_960 Luis Resto has been a behind-the-scenes mainstay in the music biz, collaborating as a keyboardist, synth maestro and producer with everyone from Patti Smith to Eminem... “Combo De Momento” showcases his uncanny knack for blending disparate elements from rock, jazz, electronica and soul into one intriguing, pleasing sound. - Megan O'Neil, Metro Times

Resto’s “Combo De Momento” stirs a variety of influences into its stylistic stew, including pop, jazz, soul, R&B and classical flavors... The result is a disc laden with loose, improvisational playing that never meanders into gratuitous showboating. - Gary Graff, Oakland Press
An impressive showcase for pianist Resto and his genre-bending skills. Serious chops are on display here: With a well-credentialed cast of players -- including bassist Paul Nowinski and drummer Keith Leblanc -- Resto delivers sharp-focused studio fare with the simmering art-rock mood piece "Effigy" and the warm jazz instrumentals "Olivia" and "Olivia Bop."
But it's the album's side of live material -- yes, this is a vinyl record -- that really lets Resto and company stretch, including the multilayered adventure "We Called it a Day" and playful "Cold Heart"... - Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press
Full story in Bands | Permalink

1011b012_9601011b118_960Voodoo Chile is a tribute project dedicated to keep the music of late-great Jimi Hendrix alive. There's probably no guitarist around that can take Jimi's music to the next level as well as Eric Gales can. Especially alongside the amazing drummer Keith LeBlanc and legendary bass player TM Stevens. 

Full story in Bands | Permalink

 

tackhead_960.

Tackhead is the vanishing point, the vortex, at the end of many years of formative, experimental collaborations between the innovative British producer and mixologist extraordinaire Adrian Sherwood and the American trio of musicians: guitarist Skip McDonald, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Keith LeBlanc, completed by singer Bernard Fowler.But...Tackhead is back.We write June 2004 and Tackhead is preparing for battle. Keith LeBlanc, Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald and Bernard Fowler will roam the stages again, with (of course) Adrian Sherwood at the knobs of the control tower, ready to blow your mind. Time to take it to another level.The Tackhead saga goes back to the mid-70's, when Wimbish and McDonald, teamed up in the 'disco' boom, when they attained cult success with Wood, Brass & Steel and with such tracks as Push push in the bush from Musique. They first met up with Keith LeBlanc in 1979 on the newly-formed Sugar Hill Records.They soon became the label�s house band, providing backing, both live and on disc, for the ground-breaking Sugar Hill Gang (Rapper's Delight), Grandmaster Flash (The Message) and Melle Mel (White Lines), helping to launch the onslaught of 80's rap. After the demise of Sugar Hill and drawn outlegal wranglings, the three musicians continued to work on various projects. Described by The New York Times as, 'one of todays most extraordinary rhythm sections', they included recordings for the Tommy Boy label.Moving on from the early 80's rap explosion, drummer Keith LeBlanc already released some solo work on Tommyboy Records (Maneuvres, Uh, on the sampler Masters of the Beat); mixing the (now legendary) DMX drumbeats with his own special drumsound. His release No Sell Out featured the cut-up raps of civil rights activist Malcolm X pitched against the infamous DMX drumbeat to acknowledged as the first ever 'sampling record'.Ahead of the time and timeless. LeBlanc's No Sell Out, brought him to the attention of London's dub-master extraordinare and On-U Sound label owner Adrian Sherwood. A foremost producer of reggae in the early 80's, Sherwood began to take his dub methodology to the limit, creating a unique form-distorted media and environmental collages of 'mind' sounds. Michael Williams (a.k.a. Prince Far I) was the spiritual teacher of Adrian Sherwood's art of dub.In 1984, while working on a remix of On-U Sound act Akabu's Watch yourself for Tommy Boy records, he met Keith LeBlanc. After a productive meeting between Sherwood and LeBlanc, McDonald and Wimbish later joined them in London to begin work on a new project which they christened, Fats Comet. LeBlanc's beat, pitched with Sherwood's dub methodology, taken it to the limit (and far beyond...), creating unique form distorted media where the heavily distorted sound of McDonald's guitar and Wimbish's funky bass art made things complete.As LeBlanc sums it up, "We started Fats Comet as a studio experiment. The stuff we considered being 'non-commercial' got stuck on Adrian Sherwood's label and Doug Wimbish came up with the name Tackhead; which is New Jersey slang for homeboy." After releasing a couple of 12", like the vast underground club and science fiction dancehall classics Mind at the End of the Tether and What's my Mission Now? Tackhead already gained a lot of credits and popularity, especiallly among those who tied up to the industrial virus. An album was inevitable and Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System's Tackhead Tape Time was bound to be a classic from the very day of its release.In the meantime, they also found the time to back former Popgroup main man Mark Stewart as The Maffia; a collaboration which resulted in probably some of the most deranged hip-mutant-funk-metal-dub-hop records ever to be made. 'Tackhead in the area!' became the common chant after the 12" The Game


 

Full story in Bands | Permalink

l_d9d539111ce26359212f82659e5c69f9_430

 

Was a time, children, when the Eighties were just a-borning and the sample was not yet king, when live musicians played on hip-hop records; when you might actually hear a guitar solo wailing away beneath the later verses of a 12″ rap single; when the dopest beats were created not just by sorting through massive DJ crates, but by kids who would catch a ride out to Englewood to jam for hours in the little firetrap studio of Sugar Hill Records; when, as legend tells us, drummer and programmer Keith LeBlanc— — red-eyed and exhausted from recording all night — found himself banging on the studio water-cooler and chanting It’s like a jungle, sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under; when Doug Wimbish was slaving together effects units to elicit unearthly growls from his P-Bass. White and black, yin and yang, experimental and mainstream. Wimbish would later bring the funk to Living Colour and Rolling Stones, and LeBlanc would go deep into the club-dub underground. But was a time, o best beloved, the center held and it all came together in the icy tension and explosive release of “New York New York” and “The Message.” And it was a time of legends. – JF

 

Full story in Bands | Permalink