Markus James – “just Say Yes”
Check out Markus James's brand new rock music video "just Say Yes". This is what Markus James had to say when we asked:
Was there a particular message you were trying to convey in this video? Why?
"After performing in Mali, West Africa one year, James had an epiphany about the connections between what he’d heard there and some of the North Mississippi Hill Country music he saw and heard in the film made from Robert Palmer’s classic book, Deep Blues. “I came back to the US, saw the Deep Blues film, and was amazed to see the exact same thing that I had just seen in the sand dunes outside Timbuktu: three drummers and a guy playing what they call a cane flute. It was an obvious connection between the musical traditions I had been immersed in in West Africa and some of the traditional music in North Mississippi. I was on my way back to Mississippi, this time to perform in Oxford, and this whole process led me to record and eventually perform with some of these great drummers. These guys also do other things like farming, construction, making white lightnin, etc; they are not slick session players who work in studios in a city. So, having recorded in all kinds of rough environments in West Africa, I felt right at home setting up mics on a porch, hanging mics from barn rafters, in a carport, and just rolling; and this seemed perfectly normal to them as well.” "
Markus James has been recording and performing original, blues-based music with traditional West African musicians for many years; his five critically-acclaimed Mali-based albums have been warmly received all over the world. He has had tracks included on two European compilation sets that also featured Robert Plant and Ali Farka Toure, among others. His work with three traditional Malian music masters was the subject of the award-winning documentary film, Timbuktoubab, which was seen on PBS stations around the U.S. His last album, Snakeskin Violin, featured collaborations with a shaman in Mali, old school drummers in Mississippi, traveling Touaregs in California and African Diaspora musicians in the U.S. Featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the album also drew rave reviews from Billboard, Living Blues and the “House of Blues Radio Hour,” among many others.
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