David Mort’s latest book Voodoo Child now available on Kindle

David Mort’s latest book “Voodoo Child” is available now from the Kindle Book Store. You may be interested in it as it covers the evolution of the blues and rock.

One of rock music’s more iconic images is that of Jimi Hendrix onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival in ’67, kneeling over the remains of his burning guitar after his performance of “Wild Thing.” He was beckoning the flames to rise as if summoning up demons and dragons from hell, which is what several fans described as witnessing after ingesting “Monterey Purple,” a strain of LSD concocted especially for the event.

Thirty years earlier, a bluesman by the name of Robert Johnson supposedly made a pact with the Devil at the crossroads in return for becoming an Ace” on the guitar. So perhaps Jimi had made a similar pact as both their souls were claimed at the age of 27. And before Robert there was another “Ace” named Charlie Patton who, like Jimi, could play the guitar behind his back, above his head and with his teeth. And before Jimi there was T Bone Walker who performed in a similar fashion. And as these three musicians were African Americans with Cherokee ancestors, perhaps they’d inherited an added spiritual dimension.

By the time Robert Johnson made his supposed pact however, the myth was already as old as the hills. The fact is that most blues musicians were itinerants who’d chosen a life on the road over a mundane, family or domestic existence, leading loved ones to conclude they were dancing to the devil’s tune.

For the purposes of my story, which traces the evolution of blues, r n b, soul and rock n roll from the Mississippi flood of ’27 to the deaths of Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, all such talented musicians, those deemed “Aces” “Kings” or “Queens,” had made similar pacts with the devil. Artists such as Buddy Holly, Bessie Smith, Eddie Cochran, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, who when their respective souls passed over, often after meeting a violent death at an early age, could be claimed to play for the “ARKestra Paradiso.”

This “ARKestra,” so called because it boasts two players per instrument, performs in a room whose walls are made of a membrane fashioned from tightly stretched goat skin or vellum. Therefore, it can pick up on sound waves travelling through air and water. This room is situated in an old slave ship named “the Paradiso” which floats on a giant underground lake, so can detect vibrations through its wood, taut ropes or sheets, and surroundings. This lake is in a giant cavern known as the Orpheus chamber, situated deep inside a mountain, home to stalactites, stalagmites and crystalline, flower like structures named anthodites, which also pick up on vibrations passing through rock. Consequently, these musicians are performing in a closed environment that resonates like a gigantic bell, thereby creating a wall of sound.

The “ARKestra” is composed of pairs of those musicians deemed “Aces,” “Kings” or “Queens,” plucked from the flood of misery that segregation created to help change the New World for the better. They mentor and sympathetically resonate with musicians still alive, and working through their performances and recordings, seek to create a new vibe called the “big beat,” woven from different strands of music.

The old slave ship, “Paradiso,” is also home to the largest record repository in the world. Known as the “ARKhive,” it comprises two copies of all the recordings ever made in the New World, arranged year by year in the aisles of the original slave hold.

David Mort

Rolando Morales and Estaire Godinez to perform at Fairmont San Jose May 19

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Thursday May 19, The San Jose Fairmont, Lobby Lounge, 170 South Market St., San Jose CA, 9pm-Midnight.  Rolando Morales returns for you South Bay fans to this elegant venue.  Enjoy fine wines, unique martinis, appetizers and sushi along with the Rolando Morales Duet, this time featuring the amazing Latin percussionist/vocalist from Prince and Rolando’s first band, Passion and Grace, Estaire Godinez; and Rolando Morales leading the way on guitar and vocals and his magic pedal board.   Free!  See www.fairmont.com/sanjose/ for info, or call (408) 998-1900.

WomenNow and New Delhi Restaurant host Spring India Day on June 11th in Union Square

WomenNow and New Delhi Restaurant will be hosting their second Spring India Day on June 11th in Union Square in the heart of San Francisco. Spring India Day is a free annual festival. It is a celebration of the colorful and exuberant Indian culture.

Come join us as we take over beautiful San Francisco’s crown jewel – Union Square – for a full day of fun and entertainment. Spring India Day will be featuring henna artists, Bollywood dancing, music, a high couture fashion show, and more! Our food booths will entice your taste buds with several Indian regional cuisines including samosas, keebabs, curried rice, exotic island delights, South Indian delicacies, and roadside chat selections.

Where: San Francisco’s Union Square
When: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Date: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

This event is organized by WomenNow TV in association with New Delhi Restaurant and benefits Compassionate Chefs Cafe a 501(c) non-profit organization with a mission to help Kids Across the Street in the Tenderloin After School Program and Across the Ocean in Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India to help them become global citizens.

Gandhi’s intention behind his Ashram in Ahmedabad, India, was to help uplift the underprivileged. On this very location, we are helping to fund the school for children of Harijan (Untouchable) Street Cleaners. This school helps us continue Mahatma Gandhi’s movement to eradicate the social injustice of being labeled Untouchable. These children will help to uplift their impoverished communities from within. It is most basic of all human needs to be clean and have nurturing human touch.

Closer to home, we are also supporting Tenderloin After School Program – which provides valuable services to kids of families living in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. The Tenderloin After School Program serves as a shelter from the street culture and many harmful influences that abound in this area. TASP provides kids with a safe space to be, where they can play and study, and get the proper support and training necessary to succeed in life.

Compassionate Chefs will be hosting a photo booth next to the main stage with props and backgrounds. Bring your smiling face and help out a great cause!

Great harpist/violinist Carlos Reyes joins guitarist/vocalist Rolando Morales May 28 for Sausalito Seahorse Performance

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Carlos Reyes will join Rolando Morales for a short set to close out dinner. Carlos Reyes made his debut on harp with the Oakland Symphony and his debut on the violin with the Oakland Youth Symphony at just fourteen years of age. He has worked in the professional recording industry for commercials, solo artist and instrumental background music for the acclaimed children’s shows “Sesame Street” and “Villa Alegre” when he was still in his teens. He has enchanted audiences on international tours ever since.

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This duet will be followed by a concert and dancing to the World Class Rolando Morales Group featuring from Gregg Rolie and Dianne Reeves, the amazing bassist Gary Brown; from Lauryn Hill, the exciting drummer David Flores; from Venezuela, the Grammy-winning Latin percussionist/vocalist Omar Ledezma; from Paraguay, the thrilling violinist and harpist Carlos Reyes; and the powerful Rolando Morales leading the journey on guitar, guitar synthesizer and vocals.

An Evening with Rolando Morales and Carlos Reyes at Sausalito Seahorse May 28

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Saturday May 28, “An Evening with Rolando Morales and Carlos Reyes,” Sausalito Seahorse, 305 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, approx. 8:30-11:30pm.  After a full year away, these two passionate musicians finally return to Seahorse to put on their unique show at this fun waterfront restaurant and club.  The great Paraguayan harpist/violinist Carlos Reyes and passionate guitarist/vocalist Rolando Morales will play a short set in duet to close out the dinner hour, followed by a concert and dancing to the World Class Rolando Morales Group featuring from Gregg Rolie and Dianne Reeves, the amazing bassist Gary Brown; from Lauryn Hill, the exciting drummer David Flores; from Venezuela, the Grammy-winning Latin percussionist/vocalist Omar Ledezma; from Paraguay, the thrilling violinist and harpist Carlos Reyes; and the powerful Rolando Morales leading the journey on guitar, guitar synthesizer and vocals.   Don’t miss it!   $15.  Make your  reservations at (415) 331-2899. www.sausalitoseahorse.com

Rolando Morales performs at Barone’s Restaurant in Pleasanton May 27

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Friday May 27, Barone’s Restaurant, 475 St. John St., Pleasanton CA, approx. 7:30-10:30pm.   After 1½  months away, Rolando Morales returns to one of Pleasanton’s premier dining establishments for his only appearance of the month at this venue.  Enjoy exquisite meals, libations and Rolando’s vast repertoire in the intimate Cocktail Lounge.  See www.baronespleasanton.com, (925) 426-0987.

Ms. Janice Maxie-Reid joins Rolando Morales to perform at Vine at Bridges

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Saturday May 14, Vine at Bridges, 480 Hartz Avenue, Danville, approx. 8-11pm. The Rolando Morales Duet returns to this cool winery and nightspot. Enjoy a wonderful selection of wines, superb dinners and munchies while enjoying this powerful duet. Tonight Rolando reunites with the uber-talented keyboardist/vocalist who shared the stage with Stevie Wonder and Sting, Ms. Janice Maxie-Reid; and on guitar, voice and his pedal board of magic, the passionate Rolando Morales. Don’t miss it! www.thevineatbridges.com, (925) 820-7210.

Rolando Morales is worth overcoming Superstition on Friday 13th at Don Pico’s Bistro

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Friday May 13, Don Pico’s Mexican Bistro, 461 El Camino Real, San Bruno, 6 to 9 pm.   Crush superstition with Rolando Morales on solo guitar and voice in the intimate Restaurant Room.  Call (650) 589-1163 and see www.donpicosbistro.com.

Why are people paranoid on Friday the 13th?  There are a lot of stories ranging from the bible to the Canterbury Tales.

One of the most popularised myths attempting to explain the origin of the Friday 13 superstition stems from events on Friday 13 October 1307, when hundreds of Knights Templar were arrested and burnt across France.

This myth caught the public’s attention after it was used by Dan Brown, among other historical fiction writers, and has been peddled endlessly by conspiracy theorists linking the Knights Templar to everything from Freemasonry to the Holy Grail.

Don’t be a Drumpf, enjoy the day and dance your troubles away.  Don Pico’s Bistro also has amazing food.

Rolando Morales to perform for 13th Annual “Mujer Latina” Luncheon in Marin

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Thursday May 12, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 13th Annual “Mujer Latina” Luncheon, Embassy Suites Hotel, 101 McInnis Parkway, San Rafael CA, 11:30am-1:30pm.  Celebrate Latinas and women in business!

Rolando Morales will perform starting at 11:30 for the VIP Reception.  The Keynote Speaker will be Sheila Lichtblau, Sr. Deputy County Counsel and past President of ALMA, Assn. of Latino Marin Attorneys.  $50 Chamber Members/$65 Non-Members.  Includes pre-lunch Host Wine Reception, complimentary wine with lunch.  RSVP to email: hccmarin@um.att.com.  (415) 721-9686, www.hccmarin.com.

Rolando Morales is performing at Maria Maria Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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Rolando Morales is performing at Maria Maria Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday May 10, Maria, Maria Cantina, 1470 North Broadway, Walnut Creek, approx. 6-9pm.

Rolando returns to Carlos Santana’s Walnut Creek restaurant for Taco Tuesday.  $1 tacos, baby! Enjoy Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his huge repertoire and big sound on the front patio.  See www.mariamariarestaurants.com; (925) 946-1010.