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Be the Mule Blog

South of Spain and Rock Jazz, in Yoruban

Hey dear friends.

Writing from the southern coast of Spain. We have a few days off from shows on this Europe Tour and are spending them in an apartment just south of Malaga. Its been lots of concerts and travel for as long as I can remember, so nice to be in one spot for some days to work on music and get some perspective together.

Last week we had a run with 6 musicians from Cuba, Los Hermanos Arango, playing tunes from both our groups, and some new arrangements of tunes off Son of a Hero. Their music is much more Afro than Afro-Cuban. Songs are sung in Yoruban and they don’t have a traditional drum set in the group. Deep in the Earth music.  They all stayed in our apartments in the south of Mexico City and everyone got along, which can make for good music. Its only about communicating, either we listen or its not worth anyone’s while except the ego’s.


The leader of Los Hermanos Arango is Feliciano Arango, a bassist and arranger, and character. He commands the stage and drives the music and does it all with love. The rest of the family admires him greatly. Its beautiful to watch and better to feel when you’re in it with them on stage.


Eugenio Arango plays percussion. His voice cuts through whatever we’ve learned and lost and sits with the spirit. I loved standing next to him and playing.


Christina Arango is a singer and percussionist and a wonderful person. 


The music they play is not the Afro-Cuban music we’ve heard in jazz circles. Its much closer to Fela Kuti than to Afro-Cuban jazz or salsa. Bata drums, not fusion. 



It was a gift to spend time with Los Hermanos Arango and we’re looking forward to doing it again. Much of my time on stage with them was spent listening, much more than playing. It wasn’t about me, or them, or A Love Electric, it was about what we were creating together. We created something new, truly new I believe, only because we wanted to explore and enjoy the challenge of it, and came out of it all as a wild family.


Eugenio and Feliciano brought new arrangements of “Hush”, “By Hand and Body”, “Elijah”, and “Hollywood Nation”, all off of our Son of A Hero record. Their arrangements were detailed and jumped between our kind of psych rock music into chants and montunos and other more traditional to Yoruban music passages that I don’t know. Brave arrangements.


We filmed a bit and had a quick few hours in a studio to get a tune together that Im hoping will help us get things together to record a full record. My friend Saulo Corona is going to put it together into a nice looking video, but for now, here’s my rude cut below of a few simply filmed shows that maybe help give an idea of what we are up to.




Thanks much for coming by here.

Much Love


Pick up a copy of Son of a Hero if you haven’t yet


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