Mick Fleetwood is back on Maui after spending time recording in L.A. with his Fleetwood Mac bandmates. The legendary drummer will kick off three days of music tonight at Fleetwood's on Front St., playing percussion with guitarist/vocalist Rick Vito, who will present his exotic King Paris show.
There will be more music from King Paris on Friday evening, and then Mick will head the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band on Saturday night.
With Christine McVie officially back with Fleetwood Mac for the first time since 1998, the musicians have been busy recording new music for a forthcoming album, with a probable 2015 release date.
Mick Fleetwood (background) and Rick Vito (foreground) will play during a King Paris show at 8 tonight and Friday at Fleetwood’s on Front St.; tickets are $99 for dinner and show and $20 in advance or $25 at the door for show only. The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band performs at 8 p.m. Saturday; cost is $99 for dinner and show and $50 for show only. Call 669-6425 for details.
JON WOODHOUSE photo
"I've been away for a couple of months," Mick explains. "The core of the band convened and flushed out mainly a whole load of material that Chris had been touching on during the last year, from when she started thinking about returning. It was a major thing to come back from complete retirement from the music business after 16 years."
According to a Los Angeles Times article, it seems the sessions produced some great, classic sounding Mac tracks.
"It went incredibly well," Mick enthuses. "We went back to the studios where we made 'Tusk.' We worked really hard for two months and came out with nine more than basic tracks. It was truly great.
"Stevie (Nicks) was not part of the process as she had already committed to do a solo album, seemingly the last one for Warner Bros. Then adding Stevie to the mix, we're intending the whole thing will hopefully come together as an album some time in 2015.
"John (McVie), who is recovering from cancer, came in and he's doing great. It was an interesting equation that Stevie happened not to be there. It became hugely productive for Lindsey (Buckingham) and Christine because it really reconvened what it was that Lindsey had been missing, which was a directly musical and vocal connection. Stevie is not a musician - she writes beautiful songs on the piano. It actually turned out for the better. We didn't have to honor Stevie and Chris and everyone all at the same time."
The composer of some of the group's biggest hits, including "Don't Stop," "You Make Loving Fun," and "Little Lies," Christine McVie was a little anxious about returning to the fold.
"It's a lot to reconnect and be part of a process; it's like getting back on the bike," Mick notes. "She was nervous. She had so pulled away from the whole thing.
She'd pulled away from the seething mass of Fleetwood Mac politics and lifestyle. Her criteria was very simple: 'This has to be happy, and it has to be alive and vibrant or I'm not into this.'
In a Huffington Post interview, Christine McVie reported her return to the band has "been the most profound experience of my entire life."
"She spent quality time with all of us prior to going into the studio," Mick continues. "And she's been a great influence on some of the internal dysfunctionality we've had in this band. The title of the (upcoming) tour is one of Lindsey's (new) songs, 'On With The Show.' Chris said, 'That would be a good title for the tour.' It's what this is all about. Enough of the nonsense. On with the show. We've all had our ups and downs, but basically we all adore each other, and let's get on with the show."
Maui played a significant role in a healing process that helped Christine McVie overcome a fear of flying and decide to rejoin the band. Sitting in with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band at the Castle Theater in February last year proved rejuvenating.
"The crazy trip to Maui she made and the blues gig, which is the same band playing at the restaurant this weekend, that lineup is connected to Chris' journey back to Fleetwood Mac," Mick explains. "Chris has said the first time she walked on stage was at the MACC with Rick (Vito) and Steven Tyler and Mark (Johnstone) and Lenny (Castellanos). It was magical. That was the switch, there's nothing like a visit to Maui to flick the switch.
"Chris has talked freely about it, she never got on an airplane again after moving back to England from L.A., until she came to Maui. I travelled with her back to Maui, and that's the beginning of the story. She woke up:?'What am I doing, I miss playing, I miss my friends, I miss part of my life.' She went through a long journey over 15 years and came to the conclusion that she wanted to travel and live, but she was petrified about getting on a plane. She got help and the chap she was working on it said, 'Where would you book a ticket if you could?' She said, 'I would like to visit John and Mick and I love Maui.'
"She decided that life is not over. She had lived a very private life until she realized a switch needed to be flicked. I think she suffocated something that was so intrinsically part of her DNA, that eventually it loomed big enough to say you've got to let me out. The creative part, this little elfin creature said, 'Please let me out.' Now it's out; the goblin and elf are wreaking havoc, because she's a real force of energy and hugely vibrant and a total joy."
Mick will head to the Mainland in August for band rehearsals, and the Fleetwood Mac "On With The Show" tour begins Sept. 30 in Minneapolis.
Mick Fleetwood is just one of the musicians making an appearance in the fascinating, new documentary, "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon," screening Wednesday evening at the Maui Film Festival's Seaside Cinema at the Grand Wailea Resort. Willie Nelson, Anne Murray, Steven Tyler, Sammy Hagar, and of course Alice Cooper, all share their love for Maui's legendary rock star/celebrity chef manager/promoter.
Making his Maui debut last November, Australian musician Xavier Rudd mesmerized a sold-out audience with a phenomenal display of musicianship playing a band's worth of instruments all by himself.
A soulful singer-songwriter, surfer and environmental champion, he plays around 15 instruments in concert, sitting onstage surrounded by a complicated arrangement including three didgeridoos, lap steel guitar, acoustic guitars, assorted percussion, a stomp box, bass and harmonica.
Rudd is especially acclaimed for his didgeridoo playing, the unique Australian instrument known as the yidaki by Aboriginal people in the Arnhem Land region of the country's Northern Territory.
"It's powerful; it's different from any other instrument," Rudd emphasizes. "The yidaki has a great spirit that travels with it. They have such a strong presence."
Arriving in Hawaii from shows in Japan, Rudd's music was most recently heard on the soundtrack of the surf film, "Spirit of Akasha," which premiered at the 2014 Sydney Festival.
* Xavier Rudd performs at 7:30 tonight at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater. Tickets are $30 and $45 (plus applicable fees). For more information, call 242-7469.
One of Hawaii's finest musicians, Barry Flanagan will present a rare Solo Sessions performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the MACC's McCoy Studio Theater. The composer of such Hapa gems as "Lei Pikake" and "Ku'u Lei, Ku'uipo," Barry is a masterful guitarist with a unique playing style.
As the New York Times noted: "Mr. Flanagan played a signature instrumental, 'Olinda Road,' that neatly justified his stature as an innovator in the field. Throughout the evening he indulged in intricate finger picking and tricky harmonics."
* Barry Flanagan Solo Sessions tickets are $30 standard and $45 for premium seating (plus applicable fees). Visit www.mauiarts.org.
In celebration of Ebb & Flow Arts 15th season, the first of three North South East West Festival 2014 concerts will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Makawao Union Church. Executive Director and founder of Ebb & Flow Arts, Robert Pollock, will perform a piano recital. The program includes works by Erik Satie, Olivier Messiaen, Halim El-Dabh, Dina Koston (premiere), Alexander Scriabin, Robert Pollock, George Walker, Claude Debussy and Thomas de Hartmann. A preconcert discussion will be offered at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Jazz/blues fans might want to head over to Kona next weekend for the Third Annual Big Island Jazz & Blues Festival, taking place at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel from June 5 through 8.
The great lineup includes trumpeter/former Kool & the Gang vocalist Skip Martin, saxophone legend Donald Harrison, former Saturday Night Live Band trombonist Steve Turre, acclaimed New Orleans band The Iguanas, drummer Jason Marsalis (younger brother of Wynton and Branford Marsalis), blues harpist Johnny Sansone and Maui's Benny Uyetake.
General admission tickets are $60, with premium seating available for $85. The hotel is offering special festival room rates; for details, call (866) 977-4589. For tickets or more information, visit www.bigislandjazzandbluesfestival.com.