Saturday, February 26, 2011

NEWS: Hot Tuna Meets the Blues

Hot TunaCover of Hot TunaBy Emily Cary

Hot Tuna icons Jorma Kaukonen of finger-picking guitar fame and Jack Casady, guru of bass guitar, join forces with harmonica wizard Charlie Musselwhite, and Grammy-winning bluegrass guitarist/composer Jim Lauderdale for a cross-country tour. Musselwhite will perform songs from his latest CD, "The Well," nominated for five 2011 Blues Music Awards, and all team up to shake the rafters in a family friendly pairing of Hot Tuna Blues.

When teenagers Casady and Kaukonen began playing together in Washington during the early 1960s, Casady was already a seasoned local performer. Starting in junior high, he would sneak out at night to the clubs to hear a potpourri of styles, sitting in with the professionals once they discovered his talent. While Kaukonen was in college, Casady perfected his skills.

By the time they reunited in San Francisco in 1965 as members of Jefferson Airplane, Casady had switched to electric bass and Kaukonen had developed the guitar style that sets him apart. The duo founded Hot Tuna by 1970 and began the ride to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along a road paved with blues, jazz, bluegrass and folk.

Looking back, Casady is amazed that his parents allowed a 12-year-old to stay out late visiting local clubs and later on going to school the next day after playing most of the night, but they knew he had a passion for music. His father, Dr. William Casady, was a dentist in Washington. That was most of what young Jack knew about him, but when he was looking around the attic and found a guitar and a four-string banjo with one broken string, he learned that his father had played them while going to school in the 20s.

He began teaching himself to play the guitar. Curiously, it disappeared shortly before Christmas of 1956, but he discovered a note on the tree saying that he was entitled to 12 private guitar lessons. Years later, after his parents died, he found among their possessions a Life magazine addressed to his father's waiting room. He was on the cover. This discovery proved to him that his parents were proud of his accomplishments.

During the 1970s, Hot Tuna moved away from acoustic blues to heavy rock. Kaukonen and Casady eventually parted company to play in other configurations until reuniting in 1986 and performing on the Jefferson Airplane reunion album in 1989. By the 1990s, they were alternating between acoustic and electric styles. Today Hot Tuna is represented by the original duo along with Barry Mitterhoff on mandolin and Skoota Warner on drums.

The Hot Tuna friendship that began in Washington 50 years ago has soared through side trips to Bob Dylan's folk circuit, band personnel changes, collaborations with major artists, more than two dozen recordings and workshops where they share their expertise with musicians at all levels. When they are not touring, Kaukonen runs the Fur Peace Guitar Camp in Ohio and Casady teaches there on his signature bass. This spring, their first Hot Tuna studio album in 20 years, "Steady As She Goes," will be out on CD and downloads under the Red Horse label.

Emily Cary is a prize-winning teacher and novelist whose articles about entertainers appear regularly in the DC Examiner. She is a genealogist, an avid traveler, and a researcher who incorporates landscapes, cultures and the power of music in her books and articles.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Wikipedia Malcolm X and What Do You Get?

Malcolm X at Queens CourtImage via WikipediaBy Derek Lavelle

Have you ever Wikipedia'd Malcolm X and found the same info that is already on the internet? You know the same old story of how he lost his father to murder and his mother to mental health, went to prison, then became a Nation of Islam Minister that fought civil rights. Of course you will also read that he went to Mecca and changed his racial perspective, and then was murdered in 1965.

But, there is much more to his story than you will read on Wikipedia.

Did you know that the Malcolm X autobiography is considered one of the top ten books of the twentieth century? Why? Because Alex Haley had more interest in how he became reformed from drugs and prison than he was about segregation. In the Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley gives the reader the 6 steps that the Nation of Islam used to clean up drug addicts and prisoners.

Also Malcolm X was a junior high school dropout. Inside his autobiography you will learn why he dropped out of school and how to use this information to keep some kid you love today from quitting school.

Wikipedia will not tell you how Malcolm X talked a friend who loved music more than he loved money into becoming a member of his robbery gang. Then when Malcolm steals from his own gang and gets caught by the police he turns state evidence against this same friend that he led astray.

These are just a few of the many things that Wikipedia will not tell you about Malcolm X because most of these things are not mentioned in the many books that have been published on his life.

If you want to find more info on Malcolm X than just the standard information that already exists on the internet, do not Wikipedia Malcolm X, find a book that digs deep into his life to give you the full story.

Derek Lavelle learned the truth about Malcolm X while training in a boxing camp named after Muhammad Ali. Older Muslims spelled out the complete truth that Malcolm never told in his autobiography. Read it all in The Many Mistakes of Malcolm X. Click here:

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Facts About Malcolm X - Was Egypt Coming to America?

Malcolm XImage via WikipediaBy Derek Lavelle

A fact about Malcolm X and his story concerns Egypt and the Nation of Islam. In 1961, black America was marching and chanting against a segregated government similar to the recent protest that is happening in Egypt.

Black Americans were fed up with an unjust and unequal government that limited and segregated them from the rest of its citizens.

However, in 1961 the Nation of Islam unveiled an architectural drawing of a hospital, museum, worship center and library proposed to be built in their newspaper "Muhammad Speaks."

Malcolm X states in his autobiography that this University and Hospital was going to fashioned after the University of Cairo in Egypt. But, most blacks in America didn't even know that the University of Cairo in Egypt existed.

Blacks also didn't know that the University of Cairo is one of the oldest and finest universities in the world. It is especially renowned for its Medical and Surgical center around the world. And the University of Cairo also produces one of the finest medical schools in the world.

If this center was going to be fashioned after The University of Cairo were Egyptians going to build it?

Was Mr. Muhammad bringing Egypt to America?

Is it possible that this was a direct attempt by Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam to combat the inferior image that segregated America had made of Africa and African people?

An Egyptian hospital would have changed the image of Africa in the minds of many Americans, especially, African Americans who at that time were ashamed of their African heritage.

The timeless city of Cairo, Egypt and its Renown University of Cairo would have been a huge factor in making black people proud of their African descent.

However, this center was never built because of a mistake Malcolm X made concerning the murder of President Kennedy in 1963. Malcolm X's "chickens coming home to roost" comments sent a tremor through the Islamic world and created a division between himself and his leader, Elijah Muhammad that would never be resolved.

This one fact about Malcolm X kept Egypt from coming to America.

Derek Lavelle once a promising boxer learned the Nation of Islam story while in a boxing camp named after Muhammad Ali called M.A.P.S (Muhammad Ali Professional Sports). At MAPS in 1981 Derek met older, original Nation of Islam men that had remained loyal to Elijah Muhammad during Malcolm's exodus. Read his book "The Many Mistakes of Malcolm X in Kindle or ebook form. Go to:

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