Keeping things fresh with new endeavors
In August Fleetwood Mac will celebrate 50 years since the original band made its debut at the Windsor National Jazz & Blues Festival in the U.K. August also marks the fifth anniversary of Fleetwood’s on Front St., founded by the band’s legendary drummer, Mick Fleetwood.
In commemoration of the anniversaries, Mick is gearing up for a monthlong celebration at his Lahaina establishment, and is releasing a deluxe coffee-table book, “Love That Burns: A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac,” which focuses on the early days of the group.
Published by Genesis Publications, which specializes in rock ‘n’ roll art books, the title comes from a song composed by Fleetwood Mac’s brilliant, founding guitarist, and singer Peter Green.
“It’s one of my favorite songs of Peter’s and an appropriate title,” Mick explains. “It’s a chronicle covering the inception at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival up until the day that Stevie (Nicks) and Lindsey (Buckingham) joined. The focus is on the formation years with Peter Green. The book is dedicated to Peter and everyone who has been in the band.”
Mick says he got the idea for the lavish work from an old mate, George Harrison.
“It’s sort of a shaggy dog story. I was in London probably 16 years ago and George Harrison was still with us, and he had this beautiful book crafted with Genesis. It was like picking up a Bible — it was so beautiful, a work of art. I know he had a good experience putting it together, so I had a dream of one day we could do something, meaning Fleetwood Mac.
“About two and a half years ago, before the last Fleetwood Mac tour when we went to England, I was in L.A. in a rock ‘n’ roll clothes shop and I saw this beautiful book with Jimmy Page telling the story of Led Zeppelin. Right there and then I said to my nephew, we need to phone Genesis up. We’ve been working on the book, and then it became worth waiting until the 50th anniversary.”
A limited edition work with only 2,000 printed, all copies are signed by the drummer.
Reminiscing about the formation of Fleetwood Mac, he says, “It’s amazing how many bands were on that (first) show.”
The historic lineup at the Royal Windsor Racecourse on Aug. 13, 1967, included Cream, Jeff Beck, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Donovan and Chicken Shack, which featured a young Christine Perfect (later McVie) on keyboards and vocals.
“Chicken Shack with Christine was playing in the tent and we were on the main stage,” he recalls. “John McVie was not actually in Fleetwood Mac, although it was called Fleetwood Mac. He was standing at the side of the stage waiting to play with John Mayall. That gig was very prophetic. John ended up marrying Chris and she ended up joining Fleetwood Mac. She would follow us around whenever she could, and she ended up being a massive part of our history.”
On June 9, the new album, “Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie,” will be released. Comprising songs written by Buckingham and McVie, including three songs co-composed by the two musicians, it features the Mac’s iconic drummer and bassist playing on all tracks.
“I think it’s fantastic,” says Mick about the forthcoming recording. “It’s very much a body of work that represents Lindsey and Christine. And there’s still a huge amount of material in the can.”
After releasing a new Mac EP in 2013, other tracks were laid down when “the core of the band convened and flushed out mainly a whole load of material that Chris had been touching on, from when she started thinking about returning,” Mick explained in a previous interview. “It became hugely productive for Lindsey and Christine.”
“People wanting to hear what’s going on should be really happy,” he continues. “I think the album is great. They will go out on a short tour to start with and during that they will drop out to do some Fleetwood Mac shows.”
In mid-July, Fleetwood Mac will co-headline major festival concerts on the West and East Coasts with the Eagles. Steely Dan, the Doobie Brothers, Journey, and Earth, Wind & Fire will join the two bands at Classic East and Classic West shows at Citi Field in New York and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, respectively.
“It’s over two days, one day with the Eagles and one with Fleetwood Mac,” he says. “I want to be there for the Eagles. This is a big deal for them, coming out without Glenn (Frey).”
Next year Fleetwood Mac will head out on the road for a major tour. “We’re back at it in 2018,” he reports.
In an interview about the new duet album in the May edition of the British music magazine Uncut, Christine McVie suggested 2018 could be a farewell tour. Mick says it’s not a farewell tour.
Buckingham is also hoping to release a solo album later in the year, and McVie is toying with the idea of a blues solo album, likely calling on Mac’s drummer and bassist for help.
With his namesake band off the major touring circuit at the moment, Mick has spent more time joining Maui and Mainland musicians on stage at Fleetwood’s.
“When I’m here it’s about a couple of times a week,” he says, having recently played with his Blues Band, Sammy Hagar and the Peterson brothers, who backed Steve Miller.
As far as news about Fleetwood’s on Front St.’s basement club, plans are moving along, he notes.
“It’s in a forward motion with the institutional things you have to do, so we can use it to play down there. It’s good news.”
Looking down the road the busy musician is dreaming of a major event with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band.
“I’m working on putting together some shows in Europe with an aggrandized version of the Blues Band and have it be a tribute to Peter Green. And have at least one really grand show where I can enlist some really cool people, all guitar players, to come and in a way say thank you to Peter Green. There are many who have huge amounts of respect for him.
“I also might end up in New Zealand doing some work with Neil Finn (of Crowded House fame) doing a crazy Mad Dogs and Englishmen-type tour. It will probably involve taking the Blues Band down there again for some shows, and then heading back here for a busy Christmas.”
Legendary singer Maria Muldaur takes the stage tonight at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s McCoy Studio Theater in Kahului. Best-known for her seductive ’70s pop hit, “Midnight at the Oasis,” in more recent years Muldaur has become an acclaimed interpreter of American roots music from blues and early jazz to gospel, folk and rhythm and blues.
Her recent albums include the Grammy-nominated “Maria Muldaur & Her Garden Of Joy,” which featured guest artists including Taj Mahal, John Sebastian and David Grisman.
“Muldaur sounds positively energized by this return to her roots and delivers one of the best vocal performances in her long and storied career,” praised BluesSource.
Born and raised in New York’s Greenwich Village, Muldaur explored American roots music from an early age. She first performed with the Even Dozen Jug Band, and then joined Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band. Her first solo album, “Maria Muldaur,” released in 1973, featured the hit single “Midnight at the Oasis.” In later years she recorded acclaimed jazz, blues, gospel and swing albums.
In 2008, she released “Yes We Can!,” a powerful album of protest and peace anthems. Backed by the funky Free Radicals band (including Maui’s “Hutch” Hutchinson), she brilliantly recast some classic songs like Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” and Edwin Starr’s “War (What Is It Good For),” aided by the Women’s Voices for Peace Choir, which included Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, Phoebe Snow, and Odetta.
Her most recent album, “First Came Memphis Minnie,” is a tribute to the late Memphis Minnie, with guest performances by Raitt, Snow, Koko Taylor and Rory Block.
“I consider Memphis Minnie to be not only a trailblazing musical pioneer for all women, but my personal blues hero as well,” she says.
* Muldaur & Her Red Hot Bluesiana Band perform at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the MACC’s McCoy Studio Theater. Tickets are $55 and $65 (plus applicable fees). Call 242-7469 or visit www.mauiarts.org.
In a year when Maui was abundantly honored with Na Hoku Hanohano nominations, only four received awards on Saturday night in Honolulu.
Grammy winner Kalani Pe’a won Contemporary Album of the Year for “E Walea,” and Molokai’s Ra’iatea Helm won Female Vocalist of the Year for “He Leo Huali: ‘A Pure Voice.’ “ Guitarist Jeff Peterson won Instrumental Album for “Wahi Pana, Songs Of Place”; Kanekoa was honored with Reggae Album of the Year for “Tales Of The Fruit Stand Mystic”; and slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr. won Christmas Album for “Maui Slack Key Christmas.” The Anthology winner, “Kamaka Ukulele Presents: Keep Strumming,” includes Maui’s Andrew Molina and Helm.