Gaye Adegbalola performs two shows in Palo Alto, Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22. Tickets at EventBrite, for either the indoor show at The Mitchell Park Community Center or the next afternoon, free in the park. Both shows presented by Earthwise Productions. Mark Weiss of Earthwise is also the Executive Producer of a new 3-song EP on Gaye’s Hot Toddy Music, distributed via Vizztone and Red Eye. The songs came out of a correspondence between Weiss and the blueswoman, over a two year period. The songs are: “Tell Mamala (for VP Kamala Harris)”, “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold His Body Down” (“A song of resurrection” — about former US Senator John Lewis); “Keep the Faith” which the liner notes describe as a reaction to “the pandemic fueled fear of the unknown, isolation, even witness to a Capitol’s desecration…when we name our fears we tame our fears and we can wallow in the beauty of our own being, deepen our faith and sing a song of FREEDOM”. Anna Konstantopoulos opens both shows.
Gaye is a former junior high school science teacher who co-founded the outstanding all female band Saffire –The Uppity Blues Women, which released eight cds between 1990 and 2009, on the influential Alligator Records run by Bruce Iglauer out of Chicago:
The Uppity Blues Women;
Old, New, Borrowed & Blue;
Live & Uppity.
Ain’t Gonna Hush;
Havin’ The Last Word;
Plus an Alligator solo record “Bitter Sweet Blues” in 1999. And a deluxe reissue of the first self-titled set.
“The concerts are the direct result of Bruce Iglauer writing a memoir about his record label and me buying it from the window of the bookstore at Town And Country”, said Earthwise’s Mark Weiss. “I read the passage about Gaye and then send her a note via email, and soon enough we were tossing around music ideas that resulted in her new EP and then flying her out here”.
The Earthwise series is eclectic but has featured blues events with Pinetop Perkins, Henry Butler, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Diunna Greenleaf and others. Beyond the brace with Gaye Adegbalola, Earthwise is producing two shows with DaShawn Hickman, a sacred steel player from North Carolina: Friday, June 3 at Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz and Sunday, June 5, at Mitchell Park Center. In terms of its uppitiness, Earthwise is also producing live musical with San Francisco Mime Troupe, Saturday July 30, also at The Mitch Bowl.
For a limited time, Gaye’s fans can stream “Tell Mamala” on Lions With Wings’ Bandcamp and all proceeds from downloads will trigger a matching donation to the Zami Nobla, the National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging, of Atlanta.