“Diamond Joe” – Chris Westoff & Mad River Theatre



Chris Westoff is an accomplished artist : Musician, actor, and the director of the Mad river theatre in Ohio, with Mr Bob Lucas.
In this stollen little video, Chris performs “Diamond Joe”, based on the recording of John A. Lomax of Charlie Butler in Parchman, Mississippi, 8 March 1937.
Recorded in Boston, February 2014


2014 : Mad river Theatre play about Jackie Robinson 


“The Spring of Bourges” – Music Festival review


festival_bourge2014The 2014 edition of the worldly acclaimed music festival “Printemps de Bourges” (“Spring time in Bourges”) was for this 38 edition of the event a very unique “pot pourrie” of musical venues.

I could only attend for 48 hours of the music extravaganza but what I heard and witnessed was, once again, beyond my expectations. 

The Printemps de Bourges has always been the world laboratory for the discovery of new talent.
It is hosted in the town of Bourges, located in central France, and the festival is probably one of the top 5 musical event in Europe for the festival goers and and the industry. From fresh New talents to prestigious world renown block busters of the music scene, Labels, booking agents, managers and music aficionados all gather for an entire week and the city transform itself into a Meca of sound and melodies for the enchantment of its goers and of the people of the town. 

Born in Bourges, I have attended 29 festival up to now, never missed the incredible chance to discover music at its glance and to discover the new trends in music. I have seen the festival transformed itself, following the moving and ever changing rhythms of time and melodious music scene.

Attending Bourges’s Printemps as a journalist means a lot of walking, a lot of listening, a lot of emotions and discoveries.
I enjoy walking through the banks of the Auron, the river that traverse the medieval city to attend the various places where the festival takes hold and mingle with the crowd. The “Printemps”, as it is refered by everyone,  is the largest indoor venue on the European music scene.  It takes place all over the beautiful town of Bourges  in various locations  : this year they inaugurated a renovated “W” scene which every night welcomes 6000 “festivaliers” (the French word for people attending the festival), the Palais d’Auron, the city’s musical biggest concert hall, the “22” a smallest venue for upcoming artists, the Auditorium, the prestigious Palace of Jacques Coeur, the 1000 year old Cathedral (Patty Smith Performance in 2013 in the Cathedral was one of the most memorable event of that year)…And the off festival in the 50 bars in the town that for a week welcome the French music scene and transforms the entire town into a musical heaven.

The blockbuster and young prodigy Stromae opened the show this year with a spectacle of lights, Rythm and entertainment that electrified its public. The Belgium young raising star was followed by a series of well known musical blockbusters, ie Shaka Ponk, Skip the Use, that gathered the Electro-Rock public. If ou want to get a taste of this year’s selection of artists, I  invite you to discover Biffy Clyro, a Scottish formation of electronic musicians, Simon Neil, Bisou BisouOlympia Fields, tha Arctic Monkeys, Christine and the queens, Week end Affair, the young Reggae man  Naâman, and Cats on Trees.

My 3 favorite 2014 “coup de coeur”
. Benjamin Clementine,  an english musician, poet, and pianist who gave and outstanding performance  in the historical Palace Jacques Coeur.
. The Tindersticks, the english Indie-Rock formation led by Stuart Stapples, performed in the Cathedral
. The “les ogres de Barback“, a French brotherhood of 4 brothers and sisters that came to bourges this year with an African Fanfare EyoN’lé.

Emerging artists and new electric scene form an incredible combination that appeals top the wide public of the festival. It’s genra is spectacular, the variety of its attendance in age, social profile, music taste is, to my knowledge, unique in the world and it’s always a wonder and a surprise to arrive, after reading the little interactive app presentation of the musician, to discover new voices, new rhythms, new sounds and to witness the energy of the young public attending the event.

I was in Bourges for a little more than 48 hours this year, I did not sleep much and attended as many concerts as I could. I feel privileged and extremely lucky to be covering the festival alone as it gives me total freedom to move, search and discover emerging artists and new sounds. 

Some facts about the Festival

. 500 concerts in  6 days
. 240,000 people attending (it triple the population of the town)
. 90 % of the concerts are full
. 380 Journalists from all over the world.
. The Festival team is over 1,000.

Links to follow up to learn, see and hear more

Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/pages/Le-Printemps-de-Bourges
Twitter : https://twitter.com/PrintempsDB
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeDj2e7MeXRYgGtNL9sPT5g
Instagram : https://instagram.com/leprintempsdebourges/

The 2014 program and the portfolio of posters


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Daniel Johnston, Walking the cow in Devil’s town.

Daniel Johnston was born in 1961 in Sacramento.
Mr Johnston is a painter,  singer,  pianist and  guitarist, who could be considered a Pop/Folk/Rock artist in a style that he invented himself called, Lo-Fi.
Hypersensitive to the very tips of his fingers, along with Syd Barret and Rocky Erikson, his music is unique.
His soulful work and art have enlightened and touched  many followers .
His songs are a constant flow of emotions that are woven with poetry and humour and his music is brimming with  profound and intense sensibility; a true witness to authenticity.  In his first album “Songs of Pain” in 1981, he  put together his first trials.

When he is not walking the cow in the devil town, Daniel Johnston tours and performs. In 2010 he was playing with the Beam Orchestra and touring Europe. Mr Johnston self published most of his albums and the themes are recurrent: love, the devil, death, King Kong, Captain America, Casper the friendly ghost or the Beatles. I was fortunate to see him live in 2010. I would not have missed his concert for all the music in the world and even scored a front row seat. It was one of the most memorable concerts of my musical life.

Mr Johnston seemed weary and not in peak form that evening, even though his performance remained stellar. If you are unfamiliar with this artist, investigate deeper and I am certain you will be a convert, and join the crowd with Sonic Youth, Kirk Cobain or Tom Waits amongst many others.

Here is a link to begin your investigation : http://www.hihowareyou.com

Inspired by the artist and his music, Antoine Fraval created a happening mixing various inspired sources. We worked together for a day and created this little video for you to enjoy.



“Daniel”- D. Johnston tribute

Artiste : Antoine Fraval
Soundrack : Daniel johnston – the story of an artist
Studio courtesy : pamelamoulton.com
Production : www.espritvoyageur.net

Based on the song from “The Story of An Artist” from Daniel Johnston, Antoine Fraval, a French performer and myself decided to mix, in a very simple way,  the prolific world of this iconoclast artist with his peers, and make his words resonate with the fragility and poetry that he inspired us. Body and paper translate literally, or not, in French, certains of his assumptions with a sense of humor. Notice the presence in the background of Serge Gainsbourg, and of course the allusion to Bob Dylan’s first musical video that revolutionized at the time the music industry.A minimal choreography, and the poetry of Master Johnston, through the work of Antoine and his interdisciplinary approach of Art.

Pericardium – Ella and Edo

Meet Ella and Edo in the grounds of the abbaye of Pontlevoy. After a collaboration to create a dance Dreamscene that we shot in the gardens of the abbey of Pontlevoy. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdm78SggZsE[/youtube]

Moira Smiley & Voco

Voco 2011 (from Left to right : Pilar Díaz, Moira Smiley & April Guthrie)

Moira smiley & VOCO is a visionary blend of voices – redefining harmony singing with the power & physicality of folksong, the avant-garde fearlessness of Béla Bartók and the delicious, vaudevillian accompaniment of cello, banjo, accordion and body percussion. Moira Smiley leads an ensemble of extraordinary musicians who share a passion for spreading powerful, emotional music with lush four-part vocal harmony, cello, accordion and banjo. Original improvisation-built songs steeped in Appalachia and Eastern Europe. Named #1 a cappella group in the U.S. in 2007, VOCO is the energy of street singing and the elegance of a string quartet. Recently featured in Dirty Linen and on more than 100 radio stations nationwide on NPR’s “Harmonia”, VOCO has released two critically acclaimed CDs in ’08-’09: “Small Worlds” and “Circle, Square, Diamond & Flag”. VOCO is sweet, hard-driving Americana mixed with crooked eastern European dance and dissonance. It’s all rounded out with body-stompin’ percussive movement and joyous, magnificent, hair-raising harmonies – music that mourns and dances at the same time. (more about Moira and voco here : http://www.moirasmiley.com/VOCO_main.html)

This song is extract from her last album. And this beautiful video clip made by Peter Hastings. Bravo !


You can sing with her if you visit her web site there :

And become the next co producer of her next almbum ! How ?  Watch this  : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAN-pFXUUXA

More on : http://www.moirasmiley.com


The Burning Desire String Band

The Burning Desire String Band is composed of musicians Marc Mueler, Bob Lucas, Frederic Park and Bob Willoughby. A quartet of musicians collecting old time songs, from blues to traditional folkloric music, they can, and will play it all.

This little Cession was recorded live in Pontlevoy.



The Ducs !

Imaginez un mélange d’envolées lyriques à la pointe de Bobby, des mélodies entre Brel et la Mano, une poésie à fleur de peau qui se rapproche des textes du grand Aristide, des Ogres de Barbacks, un air de famille pour sur, des hurlements à la Léo, des qui nous viennent tout droit de Chatelerault, une bande de meilleurs copains qui se sont rencontrés sur les bancs de l’école primaire pour monter leur premier groupe “Exile”. Quand on les entend, on ne les oublie plus. J’avais eu la même impression en rencontrant la famille des Ogres à Clapiers en 1998, du temps de “la rue du temps”, Arnaud et ses beaux frangins me rappellent Fredo Burguieres, son frère et ses jolies soeurs. Une histoire d’amitié et de famille musicale.

La puissance lyrique de 2N2O, les percus de Damien, Romain “CZ” et sa guitare trépignante de rock, la basse ou la guitare de Jean Philippe…une alchimie et une energie indescriptible. De celle dont on ne peut pas manquer le live.
Il faut l’entendre et les voir pour le croire.
Des ovnis de notre planète rock qui s’inscrivent dans la droite lignée de leur prédecesseurs.
A l’occasion de la tournée pour leur nouvel Album “62”, ils sont venus nous rendre visite à Pontlevoy, l’occasion d’un concert au Commerce et d’une promenade dans notre belle abbaye ou ils ont trouvés refuge dans les nids des jardins sacrés…

“62” est un must de l’année qu’il vous faut découvrir si, vous zoossi, vous êtes des amoureux de ce type de musique, comme nous, loin de la pop qui nous soul (;-)…
Les nouveaux cœurs, les nouvelles voies de la chanson française parcequ’il savent porter le lyrisme en associant à cette poésie des temps moderne, une musique mélodieuse et envoutante, pour la faire luire toute la nuit…. Jugez par vous même !

So meet Donald, The Duke and ….and for the name of the two other ducs, you either  have to guess by looking at their poster or ask them as they are touring around France for the next 6 months, more info on : www.lesducs.net

& leur dernier album (Avril 2014) Anita: Links to their digital album :  http://lesducs.bandcamp.com/album/anita

1-2-3-4 :


Neil Young Inducts Tom Waits – “Make It Rain” and “Rain Dogs”

 I am aTom Waits fan…So I am happy to relay this short video made during the induction of Mr Waits at the Rock and Roll hall of fame in April 2011. I was fortunate to see Mr Waits in concert a few years ago, in Paris. Astounded at the price I had to pay to get in, the only thing I could afford on my way out, was a little booklet from Tom Waits. Here is a page of it…

Tom Waits (vocals, keyboards, guitar, percussion); born December 7, 1949).
Tom Waits is a gruff-voiced, big-hearted singer/pianist who is to songwriting what Charles Bukowski is to poetry, Jack Kerouac is to prose and Edward Hopper is to painting. A true original, Waits’ specializes in story-songs about all kinds of beautiful losers: nighthawks, boozers, grifters, drifters, dreamers, con men and other flotsam from the underbelly of American life. A canny street poet, he sings in a gravelly voice shaped early in his career by a predilection for unfiltered cigarettes and strong drinks. He’s given up drinking but the growl remains – sturdy, impassioned, hard-bitten, one-of-a-kind.