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A "declaration of WAR" is a MORAL IMPERITIVE, as we all know from our history lessons. So today I have two points that I would like to make about the current state, as it relates to MORALITY and YOUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to make things right!

POINT #1 - Back in the 1970's there was once a spectacular band. In fact this band was so spectacular, that it's music was the literal embodiment of what we refer to on this site as "great black music from the ancient to the future." This band blended together, jazz, soul, rock, blues and latin and more in an almost perfect balance that has been rarely achieved. As a result they produced a catalog of hit records with names such as CISCO KID, ALL DAY MUSIC, WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS, GET DOWN, BOLLERO, WORLD IS A GHETTO and more, that were so powerful, that the songs transcended demographics and became popular across the board with many people. In fact these songs became so popular that today, you can hear these songs being played on BOTH Black & white "oldies stations," across the dial. That's right, if there is a single thing that BOTH Classic Soul & Classic Rock stations have in common, it is the music of this band. Over the years, as is the case with many groups (almost by definition) this band broke up and formed multiple bands. One faction of the band (really just one member) got to keep and use the original name. The other faction of the band (everyone else in the band including it's most notable member Lee Oskar) is legally not permitted to use that original name. And neither is anyone else (including me.) Some of you (well really most of you) know this band. Grand Funk Railroad famously said of themselves "We're an American Band." I would suggest to all of you that the title "We're an American Band" is more appropriately applied to the band whose name I can't mention, but is today currently known as the "LOW RIDER BAND." Therefore, today I would like to DECLARE WAR against the legal rules that prevent me from disclosing the name of the artist who will be appearing with Mandrill in Los Angeles on Saturday August 4th @ the Ford Theatre Amphitheatre. Although I do understand that this type os situation happens with more frequency than we might like to see, and of course I do understand that once a court rules....However as a music fan, I consider this to be a MORAL OUTRAGE!!!

POINT #2 - The other thing that I would like to DECLARE WAR on is YOUR COMPLACENCY. That's right I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU!!! In my world there are few things finer in life than attending a LIVE MUSIC SHOW. Yeah I understand about the traffic, the seating, the sound system, the bad parking, the rude people and more that sometimes is part & parcel of attending a LIVE MUSIC SHOW. I also understand how technology via the internet, via DVD's, via cable TV and more make it possible to enjoy "almost live musical performances," without leaving the comfort of your own home. And I think that all of that technology is a way to avoid all of the potential hassles involved in actually PHYSICALLY ATTENDING A CONCERT. But I am also here to tell you that you are missing out on a terrific opportunity, to not only change your own life, but also to potentially change the lives of younger people who have probably never experienced THE LIFE ALTERING IMPACT OF PERSONALLY WITNESSING A SUPURB LIVE MUSICAL PERFORMANCE! Most all of you reading this know exactly what I am talking about, simply because you have probably experienced the type of LIFE ALTERING IMPACT OF PERSONALLY WITNESSING A SUPURB LIVE MUSICAL PERFORMANCE, for yourself. So therefore, if YOU live within a 100 mile radius of Los Angeles, I am making this a MORAL IMPERITIVE for you to take at least ONE PERSON WHO IS UNDER THE AGE OF 21 TO THIS SHOW ON AUGUST 4TH to witness a live performance of "GREAT BLACK MUSIC FROM THE ANCIENT TO THE FUTURE" IN ALL OF IT'S TRUE GLORY.

That's right, I'm DECLARING WAR ON THOSE OF YOU WHO TRULY BELIVE THAT THERE ARE NO CONCERTS TODAY WORTH ATTENDING. And in that spirit I want you to scroll down and read some recent concert reviews of Mandrill & the Low Rider Band, by a few Soul-Patrollers around the country, that have appeared in previous issues of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter. And then YOU TELL ME how if you live in the Los Angeles area, why you can't see your way clear to expose a younger person that you know to the sheer magnificence of a live presentation of the very Best that Black culture has to offer, when you know damn well that 20 years from now, it might not even exist? Why would you not enhance that person's life, when presented with such a rare opportunity to do so? I fully realize that in 2012, we usually wait for entities like the Unsung TV show to talk about these kind of topics. But I thought that a few of you out there might appriciate the perspective of as well on these topics?

Oh, you don't even live in California? THEN SEND THIS EMAIL TO 5 PEOPLE WHO DO.

(my apologies for yelling online, however yelling is probably in order when one is DECLARING WAR)

Next time out, I will opt instead for the simple elegance of "why can't we be friends..."

Please enjoy the concert reviews below and share...

--Bob Davis

Blues, Hip Hop and Soul Music Director

Two Mandrill reviews, one from the west coast (Los Angeles) and one from the east coast (NYC)...

Los Angeles: Mandrill + Special Guest: Low Rider Band Live in Concert 2012 @ Ford Theatre Amphitheatre SAT August 4, 7:30PM Mandrill show "review", NYC (6/23/2008)

Well, I wasn't planning on trying to "review" the Mandrill show, instead just soaking up their powerful, funky vibe. Sure, call it lazy. I assumed list-meister Davis would be up to task but since he was clearly too busy getting his impassioned air-guitar swerve on throughout the night (impressively, too) he asked me, for what it's worth, to chime in. I wasn't taking notes (on Bob's air-guitar, yes; the show, no) so I apologize for my lack of details, including on the cast supporting the mighty Wilson Brothers.

The first thought that comes to mind when witnessing Mandrill live is why are they not performing at the major US music festivals that permeate the summer across this country? Shows like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Mountain Jam, Vegoose etc., many of which that revolve around what used to be a grass roots "jam band" scene and have mushroomed into serious hosts of musical culture, showcasing a multitude of acts across many a musical genre. Mandrill would certainly get over at any of these festivals. I ask this, for if there is any band that is the ultimate "jam band" it's Mandrill. The Grateful Dead may've been credited with embodying the term, but Mandrill wears the crown. Any Mandrill fan knows that the band can do it all, and a Mandrill concert is literally a history lesson in the scope of 20th century Black music. Blues, gospel, jazz, doo wop, rock (n' roll, psychedelic, hard), classical, calypso, mambo, soul, funk, are all on display, not just throughout the set but often within the same song. Now this could sound like a disjointed nightmare in the hands of lesser musicians but Mandrill fluidly pulls it off with force, touch and power. Many of the hits they performed during their 90-minute set are classic examples of this and never cease to amaze me.
And these hits did not disappoint the several hundred (mostly Black) Mandrillites that congregated Sunday night for the show at the Blender Theater on 23rd St in Manhattan. It's a relatively newly renovated space (I believe it used to be a movie theater) with excellent sightlines. The two disappointments of the night was the lack of turnout (compared to the 25,000 folk that apparently checked Mandrill out in Philly the night before this must've seemed stark) and the sound system. A 600-capacity (I believe) room, a few hundred more folk could have squeezed in there, which in turn would've helped with the sound. Though it got better throughout the show, the room was quite "boomy", heavy on the low-end that made it difficult often to hear all the instruments on stage, particularly the keyboards and vibes, which was a pity as there was plenty of instrumentation going on amongst the 10-piece band which, due to the four Wilson brothers'-Lou, Ric, Carlos, Wolf--ability to shine on a multitude of instruments (particularly Carlos'), often sounded much bigger. In addition, their strong vocal harmonies managed to overcome the sporadic distortion of some of the vocal microphones. But nothing could hold back those Mandrill horns coming at you like a freight train, strong and thick as if they were birthed from the Big Easy's belly itself.

Mandrill's diverse and dynamic set was comprised entirely of original work and included many of their hits:

SETLIST (more or less)


Another of the many highlights was seeing longtime Mandrill drummer Neftali Santiago substitute behind the kit for a blistering rendition of "Hang Loose." Another was Lou Wilson's son, the One Sun Lion Ra rapping and singing his song "Black Woman" backed by a phenomenal twelve year-old drummer. Also, legendary pianist Randy Weston was spotted in the house. The band spent much time after the show meeting and greeting their fans. Rumor also has it Mandrill will be embarking on a much larger tour next year.

In short, a Mandrill show is nothing if not high energy, which they brought again and again. It's a shame there weren't more folk there to absorb it.

--Matt Rogers

Mandrill @ LA's MacArthur Park July 12th (7/21/2009)

Imagine an absolutely gorgeous SoCal Friday evening - sultry breeze blowing thru this ageless park settled near downtown LA. MacArthur Park once had the reputation of being a dangerous place, filled with drugs and other illicit activity - but an influx of newly renovated lofts and nu (mostly young) gentrifying city dwellers (it appears downtowns across the nation are being rediscovered as livable) has changed the landscape of the urban park into a family friendly gathering place.

The shell of the Levitt Pavilion bandstand rises above the green lawn as groups of folks have laid out their blankets and picked their choice spots. Kids are playing crazy on the playground to the left.......the bells and whistles of strolling vendors fill the air as they push/peddle their carts of sweet smelling hot dogs (onions, bacon, red peppers;) or those bags of rinds with hot sauce and lime cream.

Salsa music fills the air. We await the Salsa / funk / jazz/ reggae /rock / blues / gospel musical hybrid known as Mandrill. No hurry. Just awhile ago I met the current Mandrill guitarist Gemi Taylor, just hanging by the side of the bandstand with his wife and son (Bob, he specifically asked me to pass on his greetings to you and the rest of the Soul Patrol nation.). Knowing that Gemi once played with Graham Central Station, I had to ask him if he knew how Larry Graham was doing and if he was still performing. He claims as far as he knows Larry is still deep into his Jehovah Witness religion, "saving souls" and knocking on neighborhood doors in Minneapolis. Sure hope Larry gets back into the studio soon - as Little Richard's and countless other musician's life stories reveals - personal religion and funk can co-exist.

I saunter back over to my area and I am soon thrilled to be joined by foxy Sally Foxen, her cute friend, and some other Soul Patrollers Sally has corralled. Cops on those motorized scooters peruse the park.........but all is good and peaceful.......THESE ARE ALL MY PEEPS! Soon we hear the back of the bandstand come alive with tambourines, whistles, and honking horns as that distinctive mardi gras/carnival parade starts snaking around the stage announcing MANDRILL IS IN THE HOUSE.

"Mandrill" is the first song out of the gate, and the party is off and running! Soon, the three Wilson brothers - Lou, Carlos, and Ric - are front and center and the crowd is dancing to "Rolling On." These are real live musicians/pros on the stage, as they start exchanging instruments (horns, congas, guitars, and bass) as they kick into the salsa of "Cohelo" followed by the funk of "Positive Thing."

"Hang Loose" has folks up and dancing and "everybody........trying to be somebody!" Veggies are good, but give me some "Mango Meat" anytime. The brothers then shifted gears, with brother Carlos dedicating a somber "House of Wood" to Michael Jackson - the brothers singing that calypso harmony. We all had to git to do some walking, so "Fencewalk" morphed into "Git it All." The mighty Mandrill had to do an encore before the park curfew set in - so we all got high with "Ape is High."

Great musicianship. As custom, the Soul Patrollers all met with the guys in Mandrill after the concert and thanked them for their continuous great music and the ultimate keepers of the funk flame. Not a bad way to kick off the weekend!


Two LowRider Band reviews, one from the west coast (Compton) and one from the east coast (Wilmington)...

Los Angeles: Mandrill + Special Guest: Low Rider Band Live in Concert 2012 @ Ford Theatre Amphitheatre SAT August 4, 7:30PM The Lowrider Band drops the funk-In Compton (5/14/2008)

"if you running the country, and you ain't running it gotta get down! "Get Down" - WAR

Talking about songs Barack could/should use at his rallies - yeah buddy! Never were there more prophetic and timely lyrics from a still-prophetic-still timely band as those warbled by *War (oops *The Lowrider Band - but more on this unfortunate band name controversy later.)

On May 10, 2008, some old musical friends that first formed a garage band in the early 1960's, traveled back to their roots to reclaim the city that raised two of their founding members - of course I'm talking bout' favorite sons Howard Scott and Lonnie Jordan of War. The occasion was the 120th Birthday Celebration of the "Hub" City of Compton, California, and how apropos to have as the highlight of the birthday celebration 4 original members of the seminal funk/calypso/latin soul group birthed as War.

The group looked fantastic, with original members Howard Scott on guitar, Harold Brown on drums, Lee Oskar on harmonica, BB Dickerson on bass; with Lance Ellis (saxophone), Chuk Barber (percussion), and Telvis Ward (keyboards) filling out the band. Before the music jumped off, the band gathered at the front of the stage and Compton's Mayor Eric Perrodin gave them some big-time props, while Lee Oskar presented a signature harmonica to the Mayor. * It was then mentioned by the emcee that the use of the name "War" (as a SoulPatrol member mentioned last
week) was somehow legally wrangled away by Lonnie Jordan who tours in a War band with only himself as an original member - and the current Lowrider Band is forbidden to use the name. Howard Scott re-iterated what a great travesty the situation had created - but the Lowrider Band was the real deal and so what the hell - "let's get the Compton party started!"

The band jumped into church a day early with the opening choir urgings of "Slippin Into Darkness" and just like in church- we all rose to our feet and the party had indeed started. "Cisco Kid" was next with Lee throwing down some wicked harmonica solos, "Get Down" had young and old dancing, and morphed into a slow, funk blues. "Southern Part of Texas" took us back up again and melded sweet with the whiffs of of b-b-que blowing across the plaza. "Low Rider" featured Howard at his baritone best, and the band didn't even have to sing - the crowd became the band. "Why Can't We Be Friends" found Howard going out into the crowd as the citizens of Compton (my hometown also), young and old, black and brown, trading off singing this anthem of unity and showing that indeed we all can get along - especially thru music. "Me and Baby Brother" closed the show - a perfect ending to a taut, 7 song set by a superior funk band.

If I may jump on my personal musical high-horse for a quick sec, I'd like to urge all young Soul-Patrol musicians to please go see the Lowrider Band when they come to your town. We need more music like this. I'm sure Howard and the fellas would be more than happy to talk to you afterward and encourage you to play your real instruments and strive to "Deliver the Word." All-n-all, last Saturday was a picture day of All Day Music....

"All the thinks that used to fix me - they don't fix me like the groove."

Duane Lance Filer
'southern part of Cali

The Lowrider Band @ Riverfront BluesFestival - Wilmington, DE (8-7-2011)

At 4:30pm, the Wilmington folks (along with those who traveled from Philly and other places) were treated to a special show featuring 4 of the original members of WAR....this is NOT the WAR band that you have seen traveling the country with keyboardist Lonnie Jordan (who is an original WAR member), but THIS IS THE **REAL** WAR. The Lowrider Band consists of Howard Scott (OG WAR guitarist/vocalist), Harold Brown (OG WAR drummer), Lee Oskar (OG WAR harmonica player), B.B. Dickerson (OG WAR bassist/vocalist), Lance Ellis (saxophonist), Telvis Ward (keyboards), and Chuk Barber (percussionist).

The guys kicked off the set with the Latin funk of "The Cisco Kid", featuring Howard Scott on lead vocals...the fans were up jamming and singing with the Lowrider Band....these guys sounded GREAT!!! The funk stew got a little hotter with the brooding "Slippin' into Darkness", featuring standout basswork by B.B. and the wild synthesizer soloing of Telvis!! What Lowrider Band show would be complete without a song to put a smile on your face..."Why Can't We Be Friends?" The most interesting part of the song was actually the audience participation when Howard gave some of the fans the one could really sing except for this white girl who sounded like she has (perhaps) done lead vocals for a group before...this girl sounded GREAT too!! "Southern Part of Texas" was good with the some funky rhythm guitarisms by Howard and some sound percussion work by Chuck Barber. "The World is a Ghetto" started with an insane harmonica solo, courtesy of Lee Oskar...the fans were lovin' this as B.B. did the lead vocals. "Low Rider" was good, and featured a young kid named Josh who played the hell out of a harmonica for three minutes...the crowd participation for this song was definitely there. After performing a new song (a slow one), it was time for to break out the dancing shoes...folks dance like it was the 70's to the super-funky dancefloor scorcher, "Galaxy"....yes, funk fans, IT WAS "OUT OF SIGHT!" The dance fever continued to the funky "Me and Baby Brother". Unfortunately, the show had to end at 5:30pm.

-Dr. Brookenstein

Los Angeles: Mandrill + Special Guest: Low Rider Band Live in Concert 2012 @ Ford Theatre Amphitheatre SAT August 4, 7:30PM

Los Angeles: Mandrill + Special Guest: Low Rider Band Live in Concert 2012 @ Ford Theatre Amphitheatre SAT August 4, 7:30PM
Mandrill the ("beast from the east") meets the Low Rider Band ("best in the west") for the FUNK BLOWOUT OF THE CENTURY. Yes it's a "Brotherhood Reunion" including Mandrill (Fencewalk, Git It All, Ape is High, Suzie Ceasar, Don't Mess With People, and more) + Low Rider Band (Cisco kid, All Day Music, Why Can't We Be Friends, Get Down, Bollero and more). Special suprise performace!!!

Ford Theatre Amphitheatre SAT August 4, 7:30PM
2580 Cahuenga Blvd, East, Hollywood, CA 90068
Box Office Info: Tel 323-461-3673

Order tickets online @

If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back soon with the next edition, with email alerts for local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.
Bob Davis

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