With 2010 rapidly coming to a close, we have two opportunities to celebrate the holidays with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band. The legendary Fleetwood Mac co-founder will perform with his band on Dec. 30 at a Maui Celebrity Series concert at Maui Theatre in Lahaina, and ring in the New Year at a special party at Mala Wailea to benefit the MACC and the Maui Food Bank.
Fronted by guitarist/singer Rick Vito, the Grammy-nominated Blues Band includes bassist Lenny Castellanos and keyboardist Mark Johnstone. They will be augmented by Island Rumours' singers Eric Gilliom and Gretchen Rhodes.
The Maui Theatre show in Lahaina also features Tom Arnold, William Shatner, Shawn Hatosy, Nermin Zajic and Brian Evans; while the Mala Wailea includes rockers Alice Cooper and Pat Simmons, plus Canadian blues musician Colin James.
JON WOODHOUSE photo
Legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood brings his blues band, featuring hot guitarist Rick Vito, to New Year’s shows at Maui Theatre and Mala Wailea.
"We're happy to play and are all excited," says Mick. "It's become almost traditional (to play Mala Wailea). It's the core band with Gretchen Rhodes and Eric Gilliom, so at the end of the evening we'll become partially the Island Rumours."
As to rumors that Carlos Santana might jam with them, Mick adds, "he played a couple of years ago, but we've communicated and he is not able to come."
Paying homage to the blues rock roots of Fleetwood Mac, the Maui-based band is heralded for powering through classics like "Oh Well," "Black Magic Woman," "Shake Your Money Maker" and "Rattlesnake Shake."
A review in New Zealand's The Press raved: "What made Fleetwood's Blues Band an unheralded sensation was Mac alumni Rick Vito, surely one of America's finest guitarists, whose shimmering slide guitar and bluesy vocals made the quartet's set an event in itself."
Their debut recording, "Blue Again," received a 2010 Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Blues Album. This marks the only time Mick has been nominated for a Grammy outside of Fleetwood Mac.
Fleetwood has made a number of appearances at Maui events this year including recently jamming with John Mayall and drumming with Dr. Nat at the "Get a Job" premiere at the MACC.
A couple of weeks ago, he joined the super jam band Camp Freddy (featuring members of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Velvet Revolver and The Cult) at a show in L.A., backing guitarist Johnny Lang and Areosmith's Steven Tyler pumping out "Rattlesnake Shake."
"Steven and Johnny Lang and John McVie and I are doing a track on a new tribute album for ZZ Top," Mick explains. "We all got together and we had a ball. Steven is a really good drummer. He came on and played 'Wipeout' and kicked the hell out of it."
Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks has a new album in the works, which features some tracks with the legendary drummer and a re-teaming with Lindsey Buckingham.
"I played on a chunk of it, and from all accounts I didn't get fired," he humorously notes. "From what I've heard, I believe it's in the best top two things that Stevie has done. She's singing great and she's really excited."
By the way, Fleetwood Mac will not tour next year, but they are "contemplating the beginnings of another Fleetwood Mac album."
As previously reported, Mick is finalizing plans for a new Fleetwood's restaurant on Front Street at the former Planet Hollywood site.
"It's part of my life's plan here," he reports. "We're in lawyer-and-accounting-land now. By the middle of next summer we'll have a Fleetwood's on Front Street. I think it's going to be great. It's a restaurant, but people will be fed a certain proportion of music that I'll be involved in."
Cementing his commitment to contributing to our island, Mick just joined the board of directors of the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation. The MMMCF is a private, nonprofit organization that raises funds to support Maui Memorial Hospital.
"I'm thrilled," says Mick. "I felt people didn't know about the progress and some of the programs at the hospital. I'm a cheerleader when I know things need to be said. I'm going to take it seriously and help bring awareness to plans to more serve our community."
n The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band with Eric Gilliom and Gretchen Rhodes headlines the Maui Celebrity Series concert at Maui Theatre in Lahaina at 8 p.m. Dec. 30. The event also includes Tom Arnold, William Shatner, Hal Sparks, Shawn Hatosy and Brian Evans. General admission tickets are $85, premium tickets are $150, and $225 for VIP. Call 856-7973 for more information.
The Mala Wailea New Year's Eve benefit party for the MACC and the Maui Food Bank will feature the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band with Eric Gilliom and Gretchen Rhodes. Other special guests performing include Alice Cooper, Pat Simmons and Colin James. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $500. Call 875-9394.
The MACC's "Solo Sessions" series will feature Hapa's Barry Flanagan at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30 in a unique show where this exceptionally talented musician will present an overview of his varied career.
"It's going to be a journey from my Easy Coast beginnings to now," Barry explains. "I'll play the first two songs I learned on guitar, a bluegrass one and Bob Dylan's 'Shelter from the Storm.' They were both hard and took about a year and a half to learn. I'll work my way through Colorado, then bring Scotty Rotten out and revisit The Penetrators with some songs."
From there he will team with Maui musician Ron Kualaau. "Ron was a heavy influence on the first Hapa record," Barry says. "He was really the biggest influence on my handle of contemporary Hawaiian music." And chanter Charles Ka'upu, bassist Hutch Hutchinson and guitarist Steve Grimes will also perform with him. "So there will be 10 songs by myself and 10 with guests."
Barry just returned from a Japan tour with Hapa, which included a profound concert in Hiroshima. "Going to the Hiroshima memorials was life-changing for us," he reports.
"We're still reeling from the experience. We played 'One Day' and I asked the audience of 1,500 to sing with us on the ending chorus," he reports. "There were tears everywhere. It was one the heaviest moments I have ever had musically and emotionally.
"That night after the show, words come pouring out of me like a river of tears from reading the stories from some of the children who survived. I felt I had to write something, and I've teamed with (slam poet) Keolaha to do this piece that we're going to release as a single, and hopefully get some attention and donate the proceeds to the Children's Memorial at Hiroshima.
"It's called 'City of Peace,' and it's the most eclectic thing I have ever been involved with musically. We rehearsed it last week and it sounded amazing. Hiroshima is called the City of Peace for a reason; and it's the prime example of why we should never use nuclear bombs again."
Besides the new song, Barry has begun work on his first solo singer/songwriter CD. Back in 2003 he released the beautiful album "Instrumental Peace."
"It's going to be my first John Cruz record," he says. "I consider his two records the best singer/songwriter records that have ever come out of Hawaii. So that's where I'm setting the bar."
* Barry Flanagan performs a MACC's "Solo Sessions" concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 30 in the McCoy Studio Theater. Tickets are $25 and $45 for VIP with artist meet-and-greet (plus applicable fees), available from the MACC box office, 242-7469 or www.mauiarts.org.