Wookiefoot is a band, a non-profit charity organization (BeTheChangeCharities.org), a circus, a philosophy, and a community of globe trekking bliss junkies and believers that are the fuel to keep this Tribadelic Spaceship going! Their charity organization (with the support of their community) has donated over $600,000 to international relief efforts, as well as other environmental and social justice causes. Wookiefoot invites their community home every September… when they host and headline their own Global Conscious Gathering called Shangri~La Festival at Harmony Park in southern Minnesota.
Wookiefoot’s live sets are an entertaining barrage of sonic and visual stimulation. The fast paced circus like set has been called “Short Attention Span Musical Theater”. These live performances are a one of a kind experience that mixes Reggae, World Beat, Hip Hop, Irish, Funk, Folk, Rock & more with a large band featuring everything from a vintage Hammond Organ to Bag Pipes! Combine that with a mind-blowing stage show that may include anything (such as a wild light show, projection, costumes, fire, dancers, aerialists, magic, clowns, puppets, etc)
WELCOME… AND THANK YOU FOR RIDING WOOKIEFOOT!
Cas Haley stood surrounded by his band in a rough circle in the studio. No one wore headphones or sat in an isolation booth. Instead they played music, and listened to each other. They cut songs in single takes. They didn’t focus on making things perfect, but instead focused on finding the soul of each song. The result is the Texas-based singer-songwriter’s astounding new album La Si Dah (Easy Star Records, 2013).
Cas had been on the road much of the time in the three years since the release of his last album, Connection, playing some 150 shows a year in just about every U.S. state as well as overseas and releasing a holiday EP (Gifts to Give). Now that he was back in the studio, as he explains, “I wanted to capture a moment. If I died tomorrow, and my kids had only one musical statement through which to know me, what would I want that record to be?” His answer: “I wanted them to feel their father in this music. I wanted it to be a recording that really is alive and I’m really present in; a true, pure, honest take of what happened.”
Cas’s friend and mentor, producer/engineer Rob Fraboni, provided invaluable coaching towards achieving this vision. Besides his work with music royalty like Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Sumlin, and Melissa Etheridge, Fraboni did the original CD remastering of Bob Marley’s entire catalog in 1989, so he’s reggae royalty himself, and he’d taken an interest in Cas even prior to Connection. “I was immediately taken with him as a person,” Fraboni says. “Then I heard him sing! Lord, what a voice, and better yet, an ability to use that voice to really move the listener. I was immediately smitten.”
The young artist self-produced La Si Dah with Fraboni’s guidance on details that most of us don’t think about, but that mean everything to the songs, like what mics to use and where to place them (surprisingly far from the instruments). Cas sums it up simply: “Fraboni is from the day when capturing the sound and emotion of the performance was the goal.” In the end, turbocharged by Cas’s compelling talent and superbly rehearsed band, the La Si Dah sessions captured both the clarity of sound of a studio production and the soulful flavor of a live recording. Asked whether the unorthodox recording process paid off, Fraboni confirms it: “Absolutely. The atmosphere of the sound suits the emotion of his singing – fresh and alive! I’d call that a payoff.”
From his early days with his musician parents, surrounded by the sounds of blues, ‘60s-‘70s rock, and Bob Marley, through his immersion in ska/punk/skateboard culture and the classic reggae-pop of bands like UB40 and Sublime, Cas went on to a second-place finish on America’s Got Talent and some hard-knock lessons about the music business. Through it all –his years of touring, and now in the fourth year of his fruitful collaboration with Easy Star Records – Cas has never lost sight of music’s core message of communication among people and nations. But on La Si Dah he and his band take it in an eye-opening variety of musical directions. The straight-up reggae of songs like “Mama,” “Slow Down,” and “Crazy Good Woman” yields to soulful balladry (“Let Her Go”) and funky-jump blues (a smoking cover of the classic “I’ve Got My Mojo Working”), and three instrumentals, including the jazzy “Trash Day,” the Meters-meets-reggae of “Jackson,” and the Surf-inflected “Capricorn.” Says Cas, “I’ve always loved music that didn’t have lyrics. An album’s got to have a break from the stories to let your mind wander and let the music tell its own story.”
Musical branching out has been a part of Cas’s spirit all along. “My musical tastes have always been very wide, I love all kinds,” he says, “but what evolved is the way I feel about it, what it means to me, and the value that we all put on the moment of playing the music versus the outcome.” Lyrically Cas’s songs feel as authentic as ever but with the added depth of maturity and reflection: “I feel like I’ve definitely gotten to a place where I’ve accepted who I am.”
More and more fans are appreciating who he is, as he continues on the road playing solo acoustic shows, many at colleges, where audiences have embraced him, leading to many more bookings for the coming year. While all this experience has deepened his connection with his expanding songbook and proven that he doesn’t need a band behind him to move a crowd, his schedule also features club shows and festivals where he is excited to be teaming with his band members to perform much of the La Si Dah album. It’s all about giving his all to spread the joy of music – because no one should live in an isolation booth
THAT 1 GUY
With an extensive and amazing track record of unique and imaginative performances featuring his curious instrument and copious amounts of originality, Mike Silverman aka That1Guy has supplanted himself as a true one-of-a-kind talent that rivals any other artist currently in the entertainment industry. Averaging 150-200 shows a year all over North America and Canada, he has been a consistent favorite at such festivals as: Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Big Day out, All Good, Bella, High Sierra, Summer Meltdown, Montreal Jazz Festival, and many more. He was also the ‘Tap Water Award’ winner at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for best musical act. His legendary collaboration and multiple tours with Buckethead as The Frankenstein Brothers has further cemented his virtuoso story as a creative visionary as well.
His innovation continues to soar with the announcement of a new tour, That1Guy & The Magic Pipe Present: An Evening of Musical Magical Wonder… The Likes of Which Ye Haven’t Yet Seen, kicking off in the early spring of 2013. Along with his pioneering main instrument, The Magic Pipe, a monstrosity of metal, strings, and electronics, facilitates the dynamic live creation of music and magic in ways only That1Guy can conjure, expect to see magic as well now integrated into the already clever performance. With this addition of incorporating magic seamlessly into his live shows, he has legitimately achieved an all inclusive audio/ visual performance unlike anything experienced before. “So much of my music has miraculous qualities to it because it’s hard to tell what’s going on. There are lots of slights of hand and sonic misdirection. It feels like I was meant to do magic”.
Silverman’s back story is very similar to many musicians that have come before him. He grew up a self proclaimed music geek, soaked in the influence of his jazz musician father, and enrolled in San Francisco Conservatory of Music before joining the local jazz scene himself as a sought-after percussive bassist. This is where the similarities end, though, and where That1Guy truly began. “In my case, being a bass player, I just felt very restricted by the instrument itself,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to sound different and have my own sound. I was headed that way on the bass, but for me to fully realize what I was hearing in my head sonically I was going to have to do it my way”. His influential and innovative double bass style eventually evolved into what we see today as That1Guy and ‘The Magic Pipe’.
As his story continues to develop, Billboard has famously noted, “In the case of Mike Silverman’s slamming, futuristic funk act… the normal rules of biology just don’t apply.” In addition, Silverman also has promised new music and videos for the early part of 2013 that will only further validate his status as an industry trailblazer. “I like being my own person”, he says. “I didn’t set out to be a weirdo but I’m starting to embrace it”.
Ultimately, his motivation can be encapsulated as this: “Human beings do our best work when we’re challenged and pushed up against the wall”. He further explains, “By nature, we’re hunters and gathers, spending each day looking for their next meal. It’s easy to be lazy when you don’t have to come up with something creative right away.”
Syahi – (SEE-YAH-HEE) – (defn): Long time musical collaborators Raj Soni and Steve Nawrocki have joined forces to create an eclectic meld of experimental world, dub/reggae, and post rock sounds into a sonic experience that defies classification.
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