Our friend and musical colleague Scott died yesterday, November 26.

He was an exceptionally gifted fiddler, dedicated to the Irish/Celtic traditional music community.
We met him many years ago through our mutual friend Roxanne Oliva, who was his musical partner and, as time passed, his longtime caregiver.

The best way I can think of to honor him is by sharing his playing.

Here is a set of hornpipes and reels from the album ” 水精 Water Spirit ” which he recorded with Junji Sirota (guitar) and Robin Petrie (hammered dulcimer).

Walsh’s – The Knotted Cord – Green Groves Of Erin – The Flowers Of Redhill

 

Go mbeidh neart ceoil ann cibé áit a bhfuil tú anois, ár gcara.
(May there be plenty of music wherever you are now, our friend.)

Scott Renfort

Happy Spring!

We have just released a new single. ☠️🎶☠️🎶☠️🎶

 

Blue Ska” is our version of an early Ska classic from Jamaica. We recorded and mixed the tune at Wally Sound in Oakland, California.

Listen to it for free on our BandCamp page. Throw in a dollar and you can download your own hi-fi file.

This is a very danceable groove that will surely please your endocannabinoid system. 😉

That’s right. Researchers have discovered that when we’re in motion, we release Anandamide the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoid that is similar to THC. This clever neurotransmitter (aren’t they all?) relieves anxiety.

So, lifting your legs will definitely lift your spirits. And, like the good musicians we are, we’re here to help.

Cue up “Blue Ska”, picture a warm beach with blue skies and start shaking that booty.

🍀🎶💚🍀🎶💚🍀🎶💚🍀🎶💚

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!
Bain sult as na foinn seo agus tú ag caitheamh siar ar Éirinn.

Happy St. Patricks Day!
Enjoy these tunes while tipping one back for Ireland.

 

🍀🎶💚🍀🎶💚🍀🎶💚🍀🎶💚

Drunken Sailor’s Hornpipe

Teach Tábhairne Mhaillí Ní Dhuibh – Molly Black’s Tavern

Musical Priest S

Morning Star

Sleepy Maggie

#Gaeilge #StPatrickDay #theMadMaggies

February 14, 2019 was the band’s 15th anniversary of making beautiful music together.

We celebrated by releasing a new single. “All in a Day” is light-hearted polka, perfect for lifting one’s spirits in heavy times.

Crank up the tune, grab a partner and dance around the house with wild abandon!

You can listen to it here on this player. If you drop a buck in the hat at BandCamp you can download a hi-res audio file.

 

Why crystal?

Well, according to those who know these kinds of things, the traditional anniversary gift at 15 years is crystal to represent sturdiness and clarity.

And, Death thinks crystal skulls are really cool. So there’s that, too.


(This crystal skull is from a collection of the British Museum in London.)

28 years ago tonight, Gary came over to my pad after work to hang out. That night was also a Tuesday — Mardi Gras actually.

After much talking and drinking of pots of Lemon Mist tea, we finally kissed and then connected “in the biblical sense”. We spent the night together –the first of approximately 10,220 nights that we’ve spent together.

We’ve only slept apart maybe 20 nights in 28 years. That’s a 99.8% uptime of downtime. 😉

Love is grand!

The Mad Maggies have another new video. This time it’s something blue for blues waves and the blue skies ahead. Let’s dance and celebrate a little.

Enjoy our live version of the ska classic “Blue Ska” on YouTube now.

“Blue Ska” was recorded by the Cavaliers most likely in the mid-60s. The 45s I’ve seen on YouTube list J. Willacey as the writer. I can’t find much about him except that he was trained in the Alpha Boys School, a catholic educational institution in Kingston which produced some of Jamaica’s finest musicians. Willacey recorded with Lester Sterling, the Jamaican saxophonist and trumpet player best known as one of the founding members of the Skatalites.

When I first heard the tune, I loved its simple but infectious hook and its irresistible dance beat. I arranged it for us making sure we were true to the original groove and giving plenty of room for the horns to strut their stuff.

Videographer Mira Stenger caught us live at Lagunitas Beer Sanctuary. The live show audio was impressively good. Add some B-roll from our Cotati Accordion Festival show (thanks to Jeff Stafford) and other bits and I was able to edit together an authentic taste of a Mad Ms performance.

We’ve also recorded “Blue Ska” at Wally Sound and will be releasing that studio version soon.

 

Plenty of four letter words have come to my mind over the last months with all the craziness going on in the world.

The word one I like the best is…
.
.
.
.
.
VOTE

Enjoy and share the Mad Maggies’ latest video. It’s a gentle nudge to just do it.

Finally, on November 6, we have a chance to turn this craziness around. Let’s do this!
I cannot bear the thought of waking up on November 7 feeling like I did in 2016.

Vote like your lives depend on it. Because they do.

Watch the new Mad Maggies video!

WARNING: Contains subtle political commentary and explicit calls to action.

10 days until the USA midterm elections on November 6, 2018. We can turn the tide.
_________

SYNOPSIS: There’s that horrible feeling when you realize that you’ve been duped by a brazen con-artist. It keeps you up at night. You know you’ve got to fix the situation. You CAN do something.

LYRICS
It’s three in the morning
I’m losing sleep
How did I fall for a
no good lying cheat?

There were so many warnings
I should have seen
through his gold plated charm and
lavish thieving schemes

but I strayed, yes I strayed
and was played for the fool
my careless heart made an easy mark

Far from gilded seats of power
Stars still shine, lovers meet
Sweet melodies ease our sadness
the madness is washed to the sea

It’s three in the morning
I’m wide awake
It’s time I put right my
sad, sad mistake
_________

AVAILABLE as a single on BandCamp:
https://musicshop.themadmaggies.com/track/three-in-the-morning
from the Mad Maggies’ 8th album “Naked Ladies”

THANKS to Sean Pete for concept consultation and new headlines footage.
THANKS to all the Mad Ms for video material:
Gary Wium
Ray & B Fernandez
Johny Blood & Juliana
Ian Luke & MJ
Mark Nemoyten
Ned Stone
_________

Vote! https://www.vote.org/
Pitch In! http://aclu.org

Language, music and art have always been cultural exchanges. That’s how we humans roll. We share and cross-fertilize. If you don’t recognized how entwined we are, then you best get to reading some history. Lots of it.

We have been sharing artistically for millennia. We mutually appreciate our fellow creatives on this planet. We inspire each other in countless ways — a musical rhythm, a colorful pattern, a delicious recipe, a way of styling hair, folding a scarf, herb knowledge, a good story, a sad melody.

The attempt by some social activists to draw artistic boundaries between us and insist that those borders cannot be crossed is absurd and futile. Censorship and intellectual tyranny stifle mutual respect. Don’t fall for the silliness of “cultural appropriation”.

I was at the soft opening of Slāv on 26/6/18, a presentation by Ex Machina sponsored by Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM). Friends who worked on the show had comped us tix. Outside the theater a small group of outraged social activists were protesting. They were outraged that the white singer/writer Beatrice Bonnafassi who is Serbian/Italian and the director Robert Lepage who is French Canadian and gay — created a show with themes of slavery. They claimed that the show was a “rip-off” by white people of their black western hemisphere experience.

They were aggressive, rude, almost hysterical. They formed a gauntlet that we had to push through to get to the theatre entrance. They screamed at us that we were privileged, that we were racists. One pushed a poster into my face literally rubbing my nose on it.

I thought how very silly this ado was. I asked one man yelling at me whether he had seen the show. He hadn’t. None of them had seen the show yet. They couldn’t have because this was the first public performance. Why are these people in such a lather over a show they hadn’t even seen?

“Slāv” is a musical play aka an artful expression of a sorrowful human experience. The work is not a farce or mockery. It is not stereotyping or denigrating others. It is not stealing from others for profit.

The protestors could have been using their energy to fight serious issues like chemical pollution or income disparity or detention centres for asylum seekers or, hey, sex slave trafficking. But, no. They picked the low-hanging fruit of a musical created by a popular artist and director at a world class festival, undoubtedly to nab headlines.

The festival after originally supporting the show, eventually caved to the protesters’ political correctness tantrum and cancelled the show.

Shame on you, FIJM for being cowed by these dilettantes. You let nonsense trump freedom of expression.

  • The cast of “Slāv” was all women and diverse — Bonnafassi and 6 others.
  • Slāv is a reference to the origin of the word slave. Slavs — those living in the areas now called Eastern Europe — were regularly enslaved throughout the Middle Ages. Bonnafassi, of Serbian heritage, is sensitive to this.
  • All of us can claim some form of enslavement in our ancestors’ past. Most human cultures have enslaved others regardless of skin color.
  • No single culture or racial group owns suffering. We are all in this together.
  • Beatrice Bonnafassi drove home the issue of modern-day slavery eloquently in the show. Yes, slavery goes on just like it has for centuries. There are more people enslaved now then at any time in history.

The protestors and commentators in the media kept referring to the profits being made in theatre. They imagine the director, creator and performers all making oodles of dough off of this “appropriation”. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha … oh. my. word. Do they know anything about theater? … Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …

More:
https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/robert-lepage-breaks-his-silence-on-jazz-fest-decision-to-muzzle-slav

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-should-white-people-sing-black-slave-songs/

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