Fun With Tunji

Report filed 12/20/99 - 7:19am Transcription madness here at the Anytime/Anywhere studios. Spent many hours on the phone last week doing interviews for the Relix book. Spoke with David Gans of the Grateful Dead Hour, among his many other projects - lots of folks don't know that he's been a contributing writer for Relix on and off over the years. In fact, Gans wrote a cover story on Ozzy back in '82 that in retrospect became a 'defining moment' for the mag's direction. Also spoke with Blair Jackson, author of the excellent new book, "Garcia, An American Life," and former publisher of the Golden Road, a top notch Dead fanzine that was around in the '80s and early '90s, as well as David Nelson, a Relix favorite who has also been featured in this journal and our CD Review section.

Had several other very informative conversations with various writers and photographers. For a while there it was alot of talking. Now it's alot of typing. Over the past few days I've been converting this first wave of interviews into the written word. Not necessarily fun, just necessary. Although it's been busy banging away here at the word lab, I did manage to get out for a little fun with Tunji at Winstons on Wednesday. And I'm glad I did!

Unlike their short set opening for WMO at Blind Melons, Tunji had all night long to weave their polytextured brand of jazz, soul and Afro-funk mutations at Winstons. Playing just a couple of tunes from their fine debut, Last Night's Wine, most of the two set performance featured new material. Some of the new stuff is slated for their upcoming -live- album, scheduled for release in a few months. Eric Gerber, Tunji's manager indicates that the band also plans to cut a studio album sometime early next year.

Never one to pass up an opportunity to sit in, AG from WMO added the brassy melodics of his slide trombone to Tunji's deeply grooved jams, and as you might expect, the results were spectacular!

Aside from having a blast with Tunji, things have been pretty quiet around here. Got a nice two song CD from Tom Chaffee, an L.A. based, instrumental guitarist. Together with a bass/guitar rhythm section, Tom Chaffee & the Saturnalia, have a bluesy rock sound that'll remind some folks of Led Zeppelin's acoustic blues explorations. On the two song sampler I received, Chaffee plays both acoustic and electric guitars and does a good job with both. Not sure how that'll translate to the live setting, but given what I hear on these two songs, this guy is definitely worth a shot if you have the opportunity to check him out live. Chaffee indicates that the band is hitting the road in March and asks that I pass along his invitation to venues or booking agents from around the country to contact him at (310)636-7823 or thru his website.

Also got the new schedule for next year's seminars at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp. For any of you that missed the feature article in the 10/99 issue of Relix, the Fur Peace is an incredible guitar camp/retreat in the rolling hills of Megs County, Ohio. In addition to a weekend's worth of instruction from world class musicians, including Jorma and an assortment of his friends, the Fur Peace features an ever expanding library of books, videos and all sorts of other music related stuff. There's also onsite gourmet dining and a separate performance hall. Tell ya what, Jorma's got a great thing going at the Fur Peace. If you are a guitar player, and especially if you are a Jorma fan, you might be interested in a stay at the Fur Peace. Contact Ginger, the camp director at (740)992-6228 or thru their website.

OK, that's the news and a couple of extra bonus, public service announcements. It's been fun, but there's another taped interview staring me in the face that needs to be transcribed...