Artist of the Month – May 2007, Carlos Santana


Hymns for Peace: Live at Montreux 2004 to be released on DVD

On July 15, 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival Director Claude Nobs introduced Carlos Santana and his Hymns For Peace Concert as “the highlight in the thirty-eight year history of the festival”. Indeed, this was the very highest praise from the most impeccable source. Carlos Santana and his band of music makers and spirit shakers went out the at night and exceeded every expectation. We are all so very fortunate that virtually every minute of this event -even the rehearsals – was captured on video.

Performed by: The Santana Band with Guest Artists: Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Steve Winwood, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Nile Rodgers, Angelique Kidjo, Patti Austin, Barbara Morrison, Idrissa Diop, Omar Hakim and more…

Two-disc set recorded in High Definition


Patti Smith – Twelve


I witnessed this article/video about punk poetess Patti Smith on msn Music. I am sharing that link embedded in this picture.

I was very moved by Patti Smith’s acceptance speech and performance at this years Rock and Roll Hall Fame awards. I love her frankness as she builds an immediacy with her audience. Patti comes across as genuine and honest in her interpretation of life, politics and art.

I have been a long time fan of Patti Smith ever since my college FM radio days when I played Patti Smith’s Horses and Easter albums extensively on the air.

Here is The New York Magazine web column about Patti Smith’s concert appearance at Carnegie Hall to help U.S. Tibet House. Again she proves how mesmerizing her artistry is live. Her psychic connection with the late Allen Ginsberg tells me how they are truly the soul of the poet. This is the cosmic poem, Witchita Vortex Sutra by Allen Ginsberg that Patti read in loving tribute that night accompanied by genius composer Philip Glass.

Tune in to the new dozen cover songs of other artists performed by Patti Smith. Her new SONY CD is titled Twelve. I love her interpretations, I believe you will dig them too

1. “Are You Experienced?” (Jimi Hendrix)
2. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (Tears for Fears)
3. “Helpless” (Neil Young)
4. “Gimme Shelter” (Rolling Stones)
5. “Within You Without You” (The Beatles)
6. “White Rabbit” (Jefferson Airplane)
7. “Changing Of The Guards” (Bob Dylan)
8. “The Boy In The Bubble” (Paul Simon)
9. “Soul Kitchen” (The Doors)
10. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana)
11. “Midnight Rider” (The Allman Brothers Band)
12. “Pastime Paradise” (Stevie Wonder)

Take a look at Patti Smith’s Rolling Stone Magazine interview here:

Live Earth – 7/07/07

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” – Kathleen Cleaver, widow of Eldridge Cleaver

Global Warming is everyone’s problem to solve.

Be there with us on one of 7 continents, 7/07/07. U.S.A. Live Earth is being held at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

I am anticipating a few more artists will be added to the concert lineup.

The Music Of Our Heart will be there covering this historic live music event and celebration.

I want to thank Al Gore’s team for the Ticketmaster passcode!

Gathering of the Vibes XII – Bridgeport, CT, 8/9-8/12/2007

If you live in the Northeast section of the United States and plan to attend a music festival in the summer of 2007 this will be THE FESTIVAL to attend! The Gathering of the Vibes XII will be held at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT from Thursday August 9th through Sunday August 12th. What better way to spend the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love than at a live music festival!

Surf over to their web site (link is in the image below) and learn more about this music event. I fully expect that even more music artists will be announced by Ken and the Tarrapin Family.

I plan to be at Gathering of the Vibes every day and serve as your onsite music journalist. I will be blogging from the event live (predicated on a wireless hot spot being available).

I look forward to seeing and grooving with you in Bridgeport in August.

Music of Our Heart

April 2007 – Umphrey’s McGee

The Music of Our Heart Artist of the Month for April 2007 is Umphrey’s McGee.

Sci Fidelity Records will release Umphrey’s McGee ‘s 4th studio recording The Bottom Half as a double disk on Tuesday, April 3rd. Umphrey’s McGee is a superlative Jamband with a intensely loyal following. The Bottom Half is an eclectic set of songs that transfer readily to your psyche and rest royally within your soul. You can sample two of the songs from The Bottom Half at Umphrey’s McGee’s MySpace.

The Bottom Half is Storm Thorgerson’s second compelling artwork design for Umphrey’s McGee. Safety in Numbers was their first collaboration. 

Carmine Appice Coming At Ya!

Carmine Appice continues to be a significant driving force in rock, flourishing at the age of 60 . Carmine’s musical heritage as a drummer includes such luminary bands as Vanilla Fudge, Cactus (who are also on the comeback trail after 35 years), Beck, Bogert & Appice, Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osborne. (A trivia note, Carmine Appice co-wrote with Rod Stewart, the song, Do You Think I’m Sexy.)

Carmine at his drum kit

Vanilla Fudge is still active and will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. The group will mark that landmark occasion with two new recordings. The first CD is due out shortly, Out Through the In Door a Led Zeppelin tribute. I saw Vanilla Fudge feature several of these songs live at Toads Place in New Haven last year. I was impressed with the interpretation intermixed with Vanilla Fudge’s classic signature rock sound.  The Led Zeppelin songs obtain new textures as the evolution is sewn with new thread. Led Zeppelin was once the opening act for Vanilla Fudge way back when it all began. Carmine Appice took John Bonham under his wing and helped him shape his sound. We all know the monster drummer Bonzo became, due in large part to Appice’s mentoring.   

Rhino Records will release a four-CD retrospective box set to celebrate in fine style, Vanilla Fudge’s 40th anniversary as a recording group.

If you are a Cactus fan there is plenty of new music for you to assimilate. Cactus released a studio recording last year, Cactus V that’s a real barn burner. Cactus consists of Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert (Always a commanding, melodic bass guitarist), Jim McCarthy, lead guitar and Jimmy Kunes on vocals. If you missed their reunion sets live last year not to fret. Cactus will be releasing a two-CD live set of their performances on Rhino Records sometime this year.

Please stay tuned to the MusicOfOurHeart blog as I plan to review both the Vanilla Fudge 2007 releases and the live Cactus recording.

I encourage you to pick up the April 2007 edition of Modern Drummer magazine. Carmine Appice is the feature artist for this issue. The feature article by Robyn Flans was my inspiration for this music blog post. You can read a portion of Robyn’s article here:

Rock On!

Jorma Kaukonen – Stars in My Crown

On Tuesday March 13, Jorma Kaukonen and Red House Records will release Jorma’s latest acoustical gem, Stars in My Crown. Jorma cultivates a time honored set of personal spiritual tunes that are each uniquely reflective and reverent. His guitar mastery fosters a renewed interpretation of old time blues classics as well as leads us to new songs and revelations. I loved when Jorma crafted a tribute to American country blues heritage on his previous recording, Blue Country Heart. The tradition is furthered happily with Stars in My Crown. We are gifted to Jorma’s keen jeweler’s eye as each track becomes a fine cut diamond. Jorma carves out for the listener an instinctual sound that enlists our trust and builds a mutual affinity.

Jorma’s maturity as an artist combines intuitive depth with a focused simplicity. There are several new enchanting songs that will engage you such as Late Breaking News and Heart Temporary. I have yearned to hear Jorma Kaukonen to record more Reverend Gary Davis songs. He appeases that need handily by including two of Davis’s songs on this CD, There’s a Table Sitting in Heaven and Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown. Another new song, Living In The Moment places us on the Fur Peace Ranch back porch rocking alongside Jorma in our easy chair.

Jorma, thank you for an insightful series of spiritual tunes that deepens our awareness and embellishes the music of our heart and souls!


Graphic Design and Dark Side of the Moon

Graphic design is the process of communicating visually using text and/or images to present information, or promote a message.

Graphic design is compelling when blended with the right music to form a harmonious audio visual experience. A major tipping point in the intersection of art and innovation is the classic work, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd (1973). Hipgnosis (1968-1983) was the British design firm who created stimulating album art for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and other classic rock groups. The Hipgnosis design team broke new ground constantly with their unique mind’s eye visual rock art packaging.

“The refracting glass prism referred to Floyd light shows – consummate use of light in the concert setting. Its outline is triangular and triangles are symbols of ambition, and are redolent of pyramids, both cosmic and mad in equal measure, all these ideas touching on themes in the lyrics. The joining of the spectrum extending round the back cover and across the gatefold inside was seamless like the segueing tracks on the album, whilst the opening heartbeat was represented by a repeating blip in one of the colors.” Storm Thorgerson.

Podcasters Unite! To ‘Bumrush The Charts’

The music documentary film, Before The Music Dies deals with the strangulation effect major music labels have had on the preferences of the music buying public.

We are mobilizing to show the labels that they do not control the charts. Their universe is going to change forever on March 22nd. Support our efforts and purchase Black Lab’s “Mine Again” on March 22nd from iTunes!

“Look whats happening out in the streets
Got a revolution got to revolution
Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers of America

Podcasters Unite To ‘Bumrush The Charts’
2007-03-05 10:39:37.373,
Story by: Kevin Kampwirth

On March 22, podcasters from across the globe will team up in an effort to elevate a song from an independent band to No. 1 on the iTunes sales chart. “Bumrush The Charts,” as it will be known, aims to encourage listeners, through blogs, indie labels and artists, to buy one song by one band on that particular day. The song chosen by the podcasting community for the kickoff is “Mine Again” by L.A.-based Black Lab, former major label darlings-turned-label-less crusaders.

“An important point to make, that some people on forums have not quite understood… is that the podcasting community chose the band—not the other way around,” says Neil Bearse, host of The Podsafe Revolution podcast. “The band has reached out to podcasters by allowing us to play their music, after they were jerked around by two major labels. As the RIAA et al are considering podcasters pirates and amateurs, bands like Black Lab are embracing the technology and allowing us to play their music royalty free.”

The goal of the project, according to their press release, is to “leverage the prominence of the iTunes charts to demonstrate the power of social networking and new media.” A commission from each sale of “Mine Again” will be put aside into a scholarship fund as well, and the Student Loan Network has pledged to match the first $1,000 the song takes in.

Austin – Live Music Capital of the World

Austin, Texas is a wellspring of viable to be heard and experienced music. Austin’s music litany speaks volumes to the listener searching for meaning and revelation.

Austin will be hosting the 20th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival. SXSW is an interactive, film and music festival and conference that has taken place every spring in Austin, Texas since 1987. The music festival is one of the biggest in the United States, with over a thousand performers playing in dozens of venues around downtown Austin for a week in March.

Points of History and Interest

Antone’s, Austin’s Home of the Blues,

The film, “Antone’s Home of the Blues” premiered at the SXSW 2004 Conference, chronicles Clifford Antone and his legendary Antone’s music club.

For some thirty years Antone supported the blues with a single minded passion and zeal, treating blues legends like royalty and encouraging a generation of youngsters to carry the torch. Antone died a month before this film was released on DVD and one couldn’t think of a more fitting epitaph. All of Antone’s burning passion and love for the music is brought to life through amazing live performances, photographs and reminiscences all stitched together in this heartfelt tribute.

Clifford Jamal Antone, Godfather of the Blues in Austin.

Another major venue responsible for establishing Austin as the live music capital of the world from 1970-1980 was the Armadillo World Headquarters.

Inspired by Austin, Texas’ burgeoning live music scene in the early ’70s, Austin City Limits has featured more than 500 different regional and internationally acclaimed artists on its stage over the years. From B.B. King and Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys to Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ray Charles and Leonard Cohen, each new season presents some of the best original music in every music genre. Its ability to consistently present an amiable mix of musical styles makes it a standout among television music programs.

Austin City Limits Music Festival an annual event

Austin Music captured in photos by a great photographer, Steve Hopson

Austin Musicians of Note

By no means complete a list of some of Austin’s influential musicians

Eric Blakely

Willie Nelson

Stevie Ray Vaughn

Los Lonely Boys (They rock! Texican)

Patti Griffin

Lucinda Williams

Where to Buy Music in Austin and Online

A great independent music store to buy Texas music, Waterloo Records

If you are a music memorabilia collector like me, check out Wild About Music,

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