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"Give thanks and
praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let's get together and feel all right.
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right;
Let's get together and feel all right."
from the album EXODUS by Bob Marley named by TIME magazine as the greatest album of the twentieth century.
Meeting Bob Marley is a special and profound experience. The night before I had performed his song "No Woman No Cry" at The Sweetwater in Mill Valley, California, with guitarist Gary Sangervasi. Gary is one of the best reggae sound and rock players I know. I met him when I taught high school poetry in San Francisco and he was one of my students. Gary comes with me to Solomon's Tower in San Francisco where we meet Bob Marley. Marley's music plays in the background of the record store. Bob's hips are swaying in rhythm to the music. There's more to his presence than his dreadlocks, being a man of creative passion with a genuine outpouring of love. He captivates my attention & there is a deep spiritual seeking in his eyes, and the graceful motion of his hips, and in his simple smile there is peace about him, even though he has cancer.
Bob is dancing in front of me and Gary, and writes a note and hands it to me:
Bob Marley's inceptive spiritual orientation is as a Christian, and he performs Biblical songs like "The Lord Will Make A Way". Influenced by Ethiopian illustrations of a dreadlocks Jesus, and incited by Rastaman Mortimo Pianno, Marley recorded an obscure first record, adapting the doo-wop hit "Crying In the Chapel" and changing it to "Selassie In the Chapel". The soul searcher who's early acoustic gem "Pray For Me" saw himself as a soul singer in the genre of rhythm and blues, and inspired by the ska vibration and tempo, and African-Jamaican folk drumming, a new unique soulish sound called reggae is born.
In Ethiopia, 1930, RasTafari Makonnen, became "His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie, king of kings, lord of lords, the conquering lion of the tribe of Judah", from the house of David and claims his lineage with King Solomon and Queen Sheba, the 225th restorer of the Solomon dynasty, a throne 3000 years old, the throne of God on earth, promised by God to endure as long as the sun and moon.
"Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness - and I will not lie to David - that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." (Psalm 89:36-37). Some consider him the promised messiah. They quote Jeremiah 23:1-8 to justify their belief that the scattered flock of Africans would be righteously restored, and his followers look to him and call themselves "Rastafarians". They believe Jesus looks like them. In the climate where Jesus grew up his skin was tan dark, his hair long. They wear a mane of dreadlocks, the ultimate symbol of their independence from Babylon. Reggae music is their conscious vessel to spread their message. They say they are faithful to living life according to the Bible. They adhere to a principled code. They study the Bible from an Afro-centrist view. They read of Moses marriage to an Ethiopian woman, and how Christ's apostle Philip baptized an Ethiopian Jew on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 8:26-40). They begin to see themselves as a remnant to be recovered.
Jeremiah 23 also cautions about false prophets and deceit in the heart. The Bible also warns us about idolatry, and idol worship as irrational, degrading, demonic, defiling, enslaving, and abominable. Idols can be anyone or anything, whatever elevates itself equal to or above God, in whatever form the object of worship takes.
Emperor Selassie made a historic visit to Jamaica in 1966, and for the first time saw people, Rastafarians, worshipping him as God. The emperor, a true Ethiopian orthodox Christian, was deeply dismayed. In Kingston, at a news conference, he tried to dispel the myth, that they might renounce their idolizing him as a Divine human. RasTafari said: "I am a man, and man cannot worship man."
Bob Marley is an international icon, but his pursuit of God is genuine and no one can deter him from this true path. Seven months before he passes away from cancer at the age of 36, he renounces the Divinity of Selassie and is baptized into the Ethiopian Orthodox church. The Archbishop christens him in the chapel with a new name, "Berhane Selassie", meaning "light of the Trinity". He hugs his family and they weep together for about a half an hour that day. One his dying day, he stretches out his hand and his last words are "Jesus, take me".
BLUES IN THE DAYLIGHT
Listen here MONDAYS 1 - 3 PM pacific coast time
Come hear blues history, and great and obscure blues artists, with program manager, Joey Patenaude, on KMUN Coast Community Radio in Astoria, Oregon.
This informative musical program is for blues lovers everywhere. Listen in.
October 5, 2015
Joey shares many blues tunes with us, country blues, classic blues, harp playin’ blues, blue lady & brand new blues. Some of the musicians covered in this week’s BLUES IN THE DAYLIGHT include Percy Mayfield “smooth, slow swing” on “Hopeless”, Buddy Guy “Got My Eyes On You”, Sam Cooke “You Gotta Move”, Joe Louis Walker “Silver Tone Blues”, “Laughing Blues” with Dan Pickett, Ed Bell “Shake Me Like A Dog”, Roy Bookbinder, influenced by the Reverend Gary Davis, “The C.C. & O’ Blues”, “The Man From Mars”, Smoky Wilson’s traditional electric blues emulates Howlin’ Wolf on “44 Blues”. Joey Patenaude is the disc jockey host & chooses all the platters to play and this week brings us some of the great blues harmonica pioneers, “I’m Not Beggin’ Nobody” by Sonny Boy Williamson II, aka Rice Miller & Little Boy Blue played the harmonica as a solo instrument and could play with no hands. He’s recorded with English rockers The Yardbirds, The Animals & Jimmy Page. Little Walter Jacobs showcases his harmonica blues talent on “I Gotta Go”, Jimmy Rodgers “Act Like You Love Me”, Billie Boy Arnold, and Little Walter on “Crazy Mixed-Up World” a “super sizzling hot blended sound”. Songstress Etta James on “Smokestack Lightnin’”, Danielle Nicole “Welcome To The Wolf Den”, Susan Tedeschi “Back To The River Blues”, and Shemekia Copeland, daughter of Texas blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, whose new CD is “Outskirts Of Love”, all bring us Lady Blue. Joey shares the story of Iron Board Sam, who strapped his legless keyboard to an ironing board giving him his name, and at some of his concerts he would give away ironing boards. He once was backed by a band that included a very young Jimi Hendrix. He invented his own “button keyboard” which had a regular keyboard arrangement underneath which was fitted guitar strings, giving him a three-pronged sound. Joey leaves us with this thought. “In the smart age we live in, with smart phones, smart cars, smart watches, what’s next, smart buttons for my shirt?”
September 28, 20158, 2015
View of San Francisco from inside Alcatraz prison
Joey brings us another musical history lesson focusing on jailhouse songs, including “Prison Wall Blues” by Sleepy John Estes. Sleepy John was one of the early influences of Bob Dylan’s music especially on “Bring It All Back Home”. Neil Pattman continues the incarceration songs with “Prison Blues” and Brownie McGhee with “Prison Woman Blues”. “Worried Man Blues” is by Big Joe Williams who plays a nine string guitar. The song was also covered by the Carter family, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Johnny Cash & Van Morrison. I’m familiar with the folk group Kingston Trio’s version called “A Worried Man”. Joe celebrates the birthdays today of blues greats, playing several songs by Koko Taylor and Houston Stackhouse. I remember Koko Taylor from the 1960’s. She recorded “Wang Dang Doodle” that was covered by the Grateful Dead. She also recorded “Queen Of The Blues”. When I was staying in Bronzeville in south Chicago in July, I was reading a book of poetry by Gwendolyn Brooks called “A Street In Bronzeville” and one of the poems is “Queen Of The Blues”. It begins,
Mame was singing
At the Midnight Club.
And the place was red
She could shake her body
Across the floor.
For what did she have to lose?”
Joe spins some Houston Stackhouse for us, “Pony Blues”, written by Charlie Patton, and “Big Road Blues”. I come to understand the Grateful Dead’s true roots and connections through this song and many of the blues classics.
September 21, 2015
What a treat! Joey brings us great blues music today from Ray Charles, Fenton Robinson, Bobby Radcliff, Fiona Boyes, and Jeff Healy with songs from "Last Call" I especially enjoyed, and many more, with interesting background stories about each musician, makes this blues broadcast of deep roots, its ties to rock 'n roll, jazz and soul, unique.
Tune in next Monday at 1pm Pacific Time.
LP aisle at KMUN radio station
Artist: Gail Starr
Guitar Maestro Joey Patenaude
The widely acclaimed "Northwest legend" leads guitar in many bands, playing Grateful Dead rock, reggae (with Ma Barley), bluegrass, big band and jump boogie swing, country folk, jazz, New Orleans street beats and gumbos, and an eclectic mix of Chicago and Southern blues. He performs withThe Bond Street Blues Band who have appeared throughout the Northwest at numerous festivals, concerts and clubs, including a regular stint at the White Eagle in Portland. In addition to the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, this Astoria band has performed at the Seaside, Cannon Beach, Eugene, and Long Beach outdoor concert series', Clatskanie's Performing Arts Series, Gray's River Covered Bridge Festival, as well as prominent blues venues in Portland and throughout Oregon. Bond Street's latest offering, Chickenshack Boogie Nights, includes classic blues material from traditional to contemporary with exceptional solo work on guitar, piano, saxophone and harmonica, all backed by a rock-solid rhythm section and performed by band members Joey Patenaude, Tom Peake, Peter “Spud” Siegel, Bill Uhlig, Calen Uhlig, Johnnie Ward and Mike “Scheckie” Metzner.
KEVIN MORGENSTERN WROTE SONGS AND PLAYED GUITAR WITH ROBERT HUNTER & COMFORT