San Francisco-based artist Marcus Shelby holds many titles. He’s a composer, a bassist and a educator - just to name a few. His latest composition, Beyond the Blues: A Prison Oratorio, centers on the prison industrial complex. He spoke with KALW's Jen Chien about his work, and how he uses the blues as both a form and a concept.
If I was a plumber, I would be doing social justice work . . . I'm a musician and so it’s an extension of that.
San Francisco’s Slim Jenkins is a celebration of great American roots music and its tradition of innovation and energy. Harking back to the heyday of hot jazz and blues, Slim Jenkins evokes a world of seduction and mystery, love and betrayal. Sultry and smooth, or jumping and hot, their music keeps the dance floor energized and alive. Their newest CD is called Lamp Down Low, and they join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 9/23 at 9 pm.
Regular host Devon Strolovitch sits out another week on paternity leave as local DJ Honeycomb Brown guest-hosts a program of Belgian Popcorn, a soul music sub-genre/curation of 50s and 60s soul & blues records played by DJs in Belgium in the 70s and 80s, including tunes from artists like Wynonie Harris and Wynona Carr — this Wednesday 8/26 at 9 pm.
With regular host Devon Strolovitch away on paternity leave, tune in for a special edition of Fog City Blues as guest hosts Lyz Luke (Executive Producer of UnderCover Presentes) and Micah Dubreuil (keyboardist in Con Brio) play songs to shape the next generation of Bay Area music lovers — this Wednesday 8/19 at 9 pm.
Fog City Blues takes the week off as Mark Naftalin presents a special edition of the Blues Power Hour. In addition to selections from his extensive catalog of blues rarities, Mark will showcase recent releases from Alligator Records. Tune in this Wednesday 8/12 at 9 pm.
The Mission Seven is on a mission to return dance music to its fun roots with a mixture of Latin Soul, Boogaloo, Cumbia, hard driving beats, and a retro garage edge. Taking a human approach with real drums and percussion, a soulful horn section, and vintage guitar and bass, their sound is sophisticated without being stuffy, and very dance floor friendly. They join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio tonight (Wednesday 7/29) at 9 pm.
Roy Rogers is one of the premier slide guitarists performing today. He is also an internationally acclaimed producer, having produced recordings for John Lee Hooker (4 Grammy Nominations and 2 Grammy Awards) and Ramblin' Jack Elliott (2 Grammy Nominations). The release party for his newest album, Into the Wild Blue, will take place August 7 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. Roy joins host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 7/22 at 9 pm.
Led by Doug Lee (bass) and Ruthie Dineen (keys), RDL+ creates original music that is nuanced, playful, grooving, and inspired. Drawing on all types of influences - jazz, latin, classical, pop, amongst others - the group is boundless, open and always searching. They join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio thisWednesday 7/15 at 9 pm.
Midtown Social is redefining the California Soul sound with a no-fail good-time sweet spot. Blending soul, funk, and rock, the 9-piece ensemble draws on the arrangements by such family bands as Tower of Power, Sly and the Family Stone and Chicago, while offering provocative vocals influenced by Bill Withers, Tina Turner and En Vogue.
Happy Canada Day (aka Fête du Canada)! July 1 marks the date in 1867 when the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada (split into Quebec and Ontario) were united to form the Dominion of Canada. As a native Canadian, your Fog City Blues host is typically reserved about his northern roots, but tonight Devon gets the boreal blues out. Tune in for music from Canadian artists who've come through the Bay Area, and others you might not hear otherwise -Wednesday 7/01 at 9:00 pm.
Born in St. Louis to Sri Lankan parents, Bay Area-based singer-songwriter Bhi Bhiman pairs songs about immigration, history, race and global politics with a blend of bluesy pop, Caribbean-infused folk, Motown-inspired urban soul, and psychedelic garage rock.
Now in its 11th year, DjangoFest Mill Valley brings the music and spirit of the great French/Belgian Gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt, back to the Throckmorton Theatre this weekend. Festival Founder and Artistic Director Nick Lehr joins host Devon Strolovitch to talk about what's in store at this year's festival, and Oakland's own Jimmy Grant Ensemble returns to perform Gypsy swing and more live in the studio - this Wednesday 6/10 at 9:00 pm.
Oakland-based Fantastic Negrito sings songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn’t, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. Fantastic Negrito was the winner earlier this year of NPR's Tiny Desk Concert contest. He joins host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 5/20 at 9:00 pm.
As part of the spring membership campaign, Fog City Blues presents its second compilation of Bay Area artists playing original music live on your local public radio station. It's available EXCLUSIVELY as a thank-you gift when you become a member of KALW or renew your membership by calling 1-800-525-9917 or contributing online.
Hearing Macy Blackman is like stepping into an uptown New Orleans club such as the Dew Drop Inn circa 1955. He and his band, The Mighty Fines, forge a synthesis between early New Orleans Jazz and the R&B of the early '50's. Their new album, Friskin' The Whiskers, was conceived as a record for swing dancing, but it’s so expertly done by the Mighty Fines that it makes for great listening - even if you just sit there. Macy joins hosts Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 5/06 at 9 pm.
Founded in 2013 by Zebuel Early, Smoked Out Soul started out as a mixtape and quickly morphed into a full fledged funk party complete with live guitar and drums. Now Smoked Out Soul is a collective of DJs, Producers, and musicians who love soul music and who love elevating the vibe thru music. Two members of the collective, Will Magid and Paul Oliphant, join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 4/29 at 9:00 pm.
In two short years, Tumbleweed Wanderers have gone from playing sidewalk jam sessions to headlining venues around the Bay Area. The story and sound of the band -- an Americana inspired mix of soul and classic rock-n-roll -- spread throughout the Bay, the West Coast and across the country, essentially, independently. They join host Devon Strolovitch for a live in-studio preview of their new album, Realize,this Wednesday 4/22 at 9 pm.
Whether you've already filed, or are waiting for that extension, tune in for some blues views on the taxman and the almighty dollar this Wednesday April 15 at 9 pm. Followed at 10 pm by a special broadcast of Mark Naftalin's Blues Power Hour.
Karina Denike is a vocalist, composer, arranger and performer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her original songs are comprised of snippets of torch songs, doo wop drama, Eastern European lullabies, crackly records and girl group harmony. Karina's new album, Under Glass, will be released on April 14.
Bringing back the male/female duet! The Lucky Losers, featuring Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz, are a male/female led 6-piece band that perform retro blues, rock, swing, and soul, plus originals. Their forthcoming CD is called A Winning Hand, and they join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 3/25 at 9 pm.
Founded in 1968 as a summer outreach program, Young Musicians Choral Orchestra has transformed the lives of over 3,000 Bay Area Youth. Under the leadership of Executive Director Daisy Newman, who took the helm in 2003, the program erupted from a modest youth music program into a national model, providing a rigorous and robust combination of musical training, academic reinforcement, and personal development for low-income, underprivileged children.
Briget Boyle is a singer-songwriter, guitar player based in Oakland. With training in fields as diverse as Balkan folk singing, African drum and dance, Swedish massage, and theatre tech, Briget is an engaging and complex performer who brings a lifetime of discovery and struggle to her music. She joins host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 3/11 at 9 pm.
Jeremiah Lockwood is a scholar and a story-teller; a singer, instrumentalist and composer with with an expansive knowledge of musical traditions and techniques that spans from The Carolinas to West Africa to the synagogues of his youth. Son of composer Larry Lockwood and the grandson of the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg, Jeremiah began his musical career playing on the streets and subways of Manhattan performing with Piedmont Blues master Carolina Slim. Jeremiah is also the front man for The Sway Machinery, whose new album, Purity and Danger, has just been released.
La Mandanga is a five piece band located in the heart of Marin. Their sound can be described as Flamenco fusion. Combining upbeat rhythms, the passion of the gypsy, catchy melodies and haunting lyrics. They join host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio this Wednesday 2/11 at 9 pm.
Next week, 175+ Bay Area musicians will join 5 members of Sly & The Family Stone for UnderCover's encore tribute to the group's landmark album "Stand!" UC Executive Director Lyz Luke joins host Devon Strolovitch live in the studio along with trumpeter Will Magid and members of Bayonics and Tumbleweed Wanderers, as well as special guest Rustee Allen, bassist from Sly & The Family Stone. Fog City Blue
Ring in the new year with a listen back to some of our favorite musical performances by local artists and out-of-town visitors, live in the KALW studio. Followed by a special broadcast of Mark Naftalin's Blues Power Hour.Fog City Blues ~ Wednesday, 12/31 at 9 pm.
The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir's mission is to inspire joy and unity among all people through black gospel and spiritual music. Ahead of their 29th annual Holiday Concert at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, members of the choir join host Devon Strolovitch for a live in-studio performance on Fog City Bluesthis Wednesday, December 3 at 9 pm.