Photo: Black Rock Coalition (Santana Retrospective Redux) @ Joe’s Pub, NYC – April 8

Photos by Eddie Pearson

The Black Rock Coalition brought together a dynamic tribute to Carlos Santana at Joe’s Pub. The show featured an hour and a half of Santana’s biggest hits as well as some special guests, including Vernon Reid (of Living Colour) and local Brooklyn Guitarist Marcus Machado.

Interview: Ben Watt Shares His Latest + NYC & LA Shows

 

ben

Veteran music maker, DJ, author, and label-owner Ben Watt catches us up with his latest happenings as he prepares for a string of US shows to promote his upcoming album, Hendra. He’ll be playing Joe’s Pub in NYC on April 1 (sold out), Rough Trade in NYC on April 2, and The Echo in LA on April 4. You aren’t going to want to miss these!

Giant Step: It’s been over two decades since your debut album, North Marine Drive, came out in 1983 and over a decade since your last work with Everything But the Girl. What inspired you to get back into the studio for your own project?

Ben Watt: Instinct, mainly. After Everything But The Girl stopped in 2002, I focused on DJing and running my two labels Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling Records for ten years, but I felt myself wanting to get back to words and writing again, not just beats and other people’s music. The first thing I did was write a new book – a memoir all about my parents’ lives and marriage that will be published by Bloomsbury in the US in June. (It has just come out here to great reviews, which is very heart-warming.) And then right after that I fell into songwriting again. It was perhaps triggered by the unexpected death of my half-sister, Jennie. She died just as I was finishing the book and it was a heavy blow. A lot of stuff just tumbled out.

Read the rest & get show details after the jump

NYC: Brasil Summerfest – July 21-28

 

Brasil Summerfest will be presenting its second year after a smashing debut last summer. July 21-28 will serve as a platform for some of Brazil’s most moving talent, spanning the breadth of the country’s gorgeous musical landscape.

Truly, be prepared for a healthy range that will traverse “traditional styles of samba, forro, bossanova, MPB as well as new emerging ones such as manguebeat, hip hop, indie rock, baile-funk, among others.” Yep!

Grammy-nominated Bebel Gilberto and two fast rising hip-hop artists, Criolo and Flávio Renegado, will together kick off the festival. And Os Mutantes will be closing everything out!

The festival will take place across several popular NYC venues, including Central Park Summerstage, City Winery, MoMA, Joe’s Pub, Nublu, Drom, SOBs, Dekalb Market, and The Standard East Village.

Stay tuned to the Brasil Summerfest website for more details!

Facebook | Twitter | Official Site

SonnyBoy: The Barfly Theory Release Party

SonnyBoy combines the key elements of black music over the last 50 years: from bebop to hip-hop, jazz to pop, mixed with a heavy dose of pure soul and layered with some very funk-driven rock’n'roll. The Barfly Theory has a more contemporary twist on the soulful sounds of previous SonnyBoy efforts and expresses messages of love, hate and empowerment, coupled with that ever prevalent Sonnyboy sense of humor!

Preview this track from the album: a little “Hey Ya” energy and some Cee-Lo vocal stylings make “Shake That Thing” one of those rare songs that crosses over from rock to hip-hop and back.

SonnyBoy – “Shake That Thing”
 

Don’t miss the release party at Joe’s Pub in NYC, on Friday October 8th: buy tickets here. The Barfly Theory will be available on the same day.

Follow SonnyBoy on Twitter | Facebook | Myspace | Official Site