Saturday, August 30, 2008

An African Tribute to James Brown at the MFA Boston

A Funked Out Season Finale:

BragginBilly here, can't believe the summer is fading up already. Last Wednesday the Museum of Fine Arts wrapped up the Concerts in the Courtyard Series. It was a tough year weather-wise, (most of the shows ended up being moved inside) but a great one for music. Kudos to organizers Brendon Downey and Dan Hirsch for putting it all together and bringing Boston some amazing acts here in '08.

Senegal's Cheikh Lo

Fred Wesley

Fred Wesley played with James Brown, Ray Charles & Van Morrison

Pee Wee Ellis

Ellis played with James Brown & Van Morrison!

Vieux Farka Toure

Malian singer/guitarist

WHAT A YEAR! - The season opened up with Jose Gonzalez (see previous post) and along the way you had greats such as Beth Orton, Grizzly Bear, Grupo Fantasma, and if you were quick, you got to catch Bon Iver as well. Vetiver and Phosphorescent were remarkable - seriously, the subtle and yet stunning Vetiver set may have been one of the best Boston shows of the year! Phosphorescent got lost in traffic but showed up late to put on a great show! (A side note to Phosphorescent's centerpiece: Matthew Houck, please turn towards the crowd when you do a guitar solo - the audience want to see you play!)

STILL PROUD: The grand finale, as we said was a double set of Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown featuring Cheikh Lo and Vieux Farka Toure. The stage musicians included Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley - two living legends, who were key members of James Brown's Horn Section.

It was an entertaining show and a great time for everyone there. Much dancing was done by young and surprisingly old alike. I'm looking forward to next year and I hope they can keep it going. There's no such thing as too many good music venues. The MFA has been one of the best in town this year!

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