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Be the Mule Blog

2015 in Review is Now ◆ January Pt. 2 ◆

We released "Music is My Mother Language", a short documentary directed by Billy Martin and I at a film Festival in Chiapas. I got to live out one of my most ambitious dreams in playing trio with Billy and John Medeski.
We had soundchecked and were set up to play in the city plaza for the festival, I had brought some new tunes we ran quickly, a take on Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush", Rage Against the Machines's "Bombtrack" and some others I thought would fly. All sounded good in check, Medeski had a real organ, and the plaza in San Cristobal de las Casas is beautiful. 
A couple minutes before the show, as our film was being shown, a big group of protestors in masks arrived to city square and shut the festival down. There is plenty to protest and for good reason in Chiapas, so we moved on down the street to a friend's jazz club, DaDa Club, packing way too many people inside to play two sets with Medeski, Martin and myself. John had to play a Nord through a not enough watt Fender bass practice amp. People danced anyhow and I took a lot from playing with two of my heroes, watching and feeling how they communicate. The first tune we played was "Gravy Waltz". I took a the first solo and was really safe, played maybe 2 or 3 choruses and then looked at Medeski to hand it off. He shook his head with a "you're not done" look. He was right. I played a bit longer and realized the challenge I wanted was what I was going to get.
The dream was realized and we showed the film the following afternoon in the city plaza.

You can see the film by joining Music Mission at

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