Juneteenth has gotten quite a bit of attention this week, and it’s now a federal holiday.
As some of you know, I descend from slaveholders on my mother’s side of the family. According to the research I did, my great great great grandfather (notice that it’s not that many greats!) fled Louisiana toward the end of the Civil War, so his slaves were among those that were not freed until years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Not exactly a point of pride for the family lore!
As an aside, so much of my childhood made a lot more sense once I learned about this.
Enough of that for now as we are here to celebrate!
I reached out this week to my newest BFFs (which they don’t know!) Mobley and Jackie Venson about highlighting local artists. They were kind enough to point me to the Black Austin Musicians’ Collective, which was great! The bad part is that there is a ton of great music here, and picking out three artists was difficult. Do yourself a favor and hit their playlist here.
Kalu & The Electric Joint
Front man Kalu James emigrated from Nigeria to Austin when he was 18, which seems like a pretty darn good decision. I absolutely love his silky, velvet voice.
I think, as a kid of the 1970s, my musical tastes have been influenced heavily by two genres specifically: funk and punk. AND THEY EVEN RHYME!]
I was pleasantly surprised to find what a friend calls lo-fi punk with the band Pleasure Venom.
Brian Malik Baptiste, a native of Leander north of Austin, has a flow to his music that is undeniably catchy. His latest release is called Spectrum, and it covers the rainbow. Here is Orange.