New documentary explores Basquiat

When it’s coming to the West Coast, is beyond me — but I can’t wait.

Velvet Kente

Had coffee with this dude, Joshua of the band “Velvet Kente,” last year in Fresno. Caught his act at the Starline — an awesome spoken word poet who can rock too.

Since then, he’s obviously been up to big things. Opened Thursday for Corrine Bailey Rae in Memphis and one of his songs was featured on Project Runway.

Rare Hendrix/Love acetate disc recording appears on YouTube

Was in Book Soup in Hollywood a few weeks ago for the book signing of “Arthur Lee: Forever Changes.”

For the uninitiated, Arthur Lee was the lead singer of Love — a multi-ethnic LA band that ruled the Sunset Strip during the mid-1960s along with The Doors and the Byrds.

Beyond being a master performer, mulit-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Lee was revered by Morrison, Robert Plant and a host of musicians who went on to achieve fame. It’s also argued by some that Hendrix’s psychedelic style was influenced by Lee (Lee himself claimed Hendrix adopted his style).

Lee was the mastermind behind “Forever Changes,” Love’s most noteworthy album, garnering a #40 ranking on Rolling Stone’s list of “Best Albums of All Time.”

Love was the first rock band signed to the Elektra label, and one of the first — if not the first — multi-ethnic rock bands with a black lead singer at the helm.

Over the years, Lee’s life story would itself become the stuff of legend — with a prison sentence on trumped up gun charges and no shortage of drugs and backstage rumors thrown in for good measure. Although the legend lives on, sadly Lee succumbed in 2006 to leukemia.

During the book reading, Einarson related that a “lost” recording from acetate disc containing a recorded jam session between Hendrix and Lee has appeared on YouTube. I looked it up, and sure enough it’s there. Someone purchased the lost acetate from e-Bay, believe it or not, and was gracious enough to post the recording after purchasing it.

Newbies to Arthur Lee and Love probably wouldn’t grasp the importance of this rare recording — but for fans, it’s definitely a treat. Here’s one of the recordings, “Loon” — Arthur Lee,  Hendrix and Love, jamming in the studio. 

Regina Leonard, Sept 18. @ Hollywood House of Blues

San Diego by way of North Carolina singer/songwriter Regina Leonard brings her marvelously bluesy vocals to House of Blues on the Sunset Strip on Sept. 18. Leonard has spent the past decade honing her voice in practically every San Diego venue that comes to mind — and now she’s finally getting some of the recognition she deserves beyond Diego. Can’t wait for an album to drop — and it’s only a matter of time before the world beyond SoCal takes notice.

Will definitely be there to check out the show. Interview will be available posted on CaliBlackRock.com afterwards. In the meantime, check out this clip, “Angel from Montgomery.”

Welcome to CaliBlackRock

Welcome to my new blog ya’ll.

My girlfriend has been telling me for months that I need to start a music blog, to share my ruminations and thoughts on my ultimate love with the world. So here it goes.

The main goal of this blog is to celebrate, honor and profile black rock musicians in the Golden State. Of course, the blog won’t be restricted to that topic alone, but it will nonetheless be a resource for concerts, interviews, release dates — and the occasional political debate.

I don’t by any means claim to be an expert — just a dedicated fan with a penchant for all things black rock, from “Arthur Lee and Love” to “TV on the Radio.”

To a lesser extent, you’ll also see reggae and blues profiles on this site as well.

So, let’s get this party started with one of my favorites, the BellRays from Riverside, CA.  To quote Kandia Crazy Horse, think “The Stooges, only with Tina Tuner instead of Iggy Pop.”