E.G. Bailey nominated for the Independent Music Award

E.G. Bailey’s ‘American Afrikan’ album nominated
for the Independent Music Award’s Eclectic Album category

Congratulations to E.G. Bailey on his nomination. Presented by the Music Resource Group, with judges including Tom Waits, Seal, Suzanne Vega, Adam Duritz, Gavin Rossdale, Aimee Mann, Andraé Crouch, Toots Hibbert, Vijay Iyer, McCoy Tyner, AAnthony DeCurtis (Rolling Stone), Kathleen Brennan, Pete Wentz, Bettye LaVette, Ozzy Osbourne, Arturo Sandoval, Martin Atkins, Andrew W. K., Shelby Lynne, Kevin Lyman (Warped Tour), Bill Bragin (Lincoln Center), Pat McGuire (Filter Magazine), the Independent Music Awards is an international program that honors top-ranked independent artists and releases. This year, E.G. Bailey’s critically acclaimed and genre-hopping spoken word opus, have been nominated for Eclectic Album category. More information about the Independent Music Awards is located at www.independentmusicawards.com. Fans can also vote here – http://bit.ly/h7M58z. You can listen to the album at Tru Ruts’ Bandcamp page.

Known for celebrating artists that follow their own muse, The 10th IMA Nominees are an eclectic mix of rising stars including Strawfoot (Alt. Country Song), Hemoptysis (Metal/Hardcore Song), and Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three (Amerciana Album) and established talent including telecaster virtuoso, Jim Campilongo (Instrumental Album), experimental multi-genre artist, Flying Lotus (Music Video and Dance/Electronica Song), and indie rockers, Ra Ra Riot (Pop/Rock Album). Perhaps better known as major label acts, this year’s Nominees strutting their independence include former Hole bassist, Melissa Auf der Maur (Indie/Alt./Hard Rock Album), and songwriting legend Jackson Browne with David Lindley (Live Performance Album).

Winners will be determined by a panel of 62 influential artist and industry judges and will be announced in mid-March 2011. Music fans have until July 11 to cast their votes at The IMA Vox Pop Jukebox to determine the fan-selected IMA Winners. Past winners and nominees include: And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Cursive, fun., The Flatlanders, Spinerrette, Holly GoLightly & The Brokeoffs, Vienna Teng, The So So Glos, Cephas & Wiggins, The Matches, All That Remains, The Cliks, Oran Etkin, State Radio, Lee “Scratch Perry, The Very Best, Tim Easton, Marco Benevento, Kes The Band, Jamie Lidell, Lacuna Coil, The Trews, Joan As Police Woman; Koko Taylor, Miguel Migs; Speech, God Forbid, Lionel Louekee; Jeff Healey, Johnny Dowd, Chris Whitley, Ike Turner, The Apples in stereo, Mary Gauthier, Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland), The Mooney Suzuki, and Denque Fever among many others.

“He makes language live!” – Amiri Baraka

“There is so much history, culture, and experience packed into American Afrikan that to summarize would be to attempt to summarize all of African American experience.” – Jon Behm (Reviler)

“A powerful testament of bailey’s skill of mobilizing poetry for contemplation, remembrance, and a subtle, but no less insistent, call to action.” –Justin Schell

“No matter how long it takes for bailey to drop ‘da proverbial bomb’, it will have been well worth the wait.” – Dwight Hobbes

With co-signs from Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets and the legendary Amiri Baraka, Twin Cities spoken word artist, poet, musician, organizer and educator, e.g. bailey, presents his first full-length album, AMERICAN AFRIKAN, a spoken word concept album that begins in Africa, crosses the Middle Passage, explores America and ends up somewhere that defies easy definition.

Part musical theater piece, part audio chapbook and part performance art experiment, AMERICAN AFRIKAN mixes the beat-influenced poetry of bailey with music that blends hip hop, funk, jazz, electronica and more, creating a sound that is at once progressive and challenging yet smooth and listenable.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that an hour-long spoken word album wouldn’t be much fun to listen to; many aren’t. But as Umar Bin Hassan says in the album’s liner notes, “The sounds on this album are just as important as the words.” Through bailey’s voice, through the Igbo nuns on ‘Oracles of Equiano’, through Aimee Bryant’s rendition of ‘Motherless Child’ and through the album’s diverse sonic palette, AMERICAN AFRIKAN succeeds not just as a piece of literature or poetry, but as a cohesive musical journey.

The project features contributions from Katrah-Quey, hipgnosis, Ben Durrant, Mankwe Ndosi, Ibe Kaba,  Sankaradjeki, Assaad Lakkis + Abstrakt Collision, Aimee Bryant, DJ Limbs, Idris Goodwin, M.anifest, Starskie, DJ Stage One, Sha Cage, Walter ‘Q-Bear’ Banks, Jerry Stearns, Simon Husbands, Andy Shaffer, Karin Odell, Elliot Looney, Uche, Matt Wood, Julian Murray and others.

e.g. bailey + Sha Cage produce Liberian radio documentary

New Beginnings: The Story of  Liberians in Minnesota

For some time now, Minnesota has been a refuge for immigrant communities displaced from their homes due to a variety of circumstances. One of these communities is the Liberian community, which grew rapidly in the aftermath of a series of civil wars that ravished their country. However the story of Liberians in Minnesota does not begin with these civil wars but stretches back more than 50 years.

In this radio documentary, we look at this history, along with the growth and development of the community. In a series of conversations with a wide-range of Liberians in Minnesota including Wynfred Russell, Abdullai Kiatamba, Piso Tarr, Yeamah Brewer, Mameneh George, Charles Dennis and others, in addition to other prominent figures in the community including State Representative Keith Ellison, professor of history Peter Rachleff and theatre director Wendy Knox, this programs provides an overview of where the Liberian community in Minnesota stands today, the contributions it has made to the state and what the future holds.

The documentary is produced by Liberian-American artist e.g. bailey, and his partner Sha Cage. The three-part documentary will air on KFAI Fresh Air Radio (90.3fm Minneapolis/106.7fm St. Paul) on February 16th, 21st and 23rd at 7:30pm. It can also be streamed online at wwww.kfai.org.

E.G. Bailey co-curates 13th season of Late Nite Series

Where can you see Twin Cities storyteller Amy Salloway share the stage with Julliard-trained powerhouse playwright/actress Stacey Karen Robinson from the Bronx? Or folksoul singer Gina Breedlove, who has worked with Ani DiFranco, Toshi Reagon, and on Broadway in The Lion King, in the same evening as local dancer/choreographer Julie Warder, authors from the Givens Black Writers Collaborative, and “sound composer” Mankwe Ndosi?

At the Non English Speaking Spoken Here: The Late Nite Series, curators e.g. bailey and Laurie Carlos enter their 13th year bringing some of America’s most dynamic interdisciplinary performers together to explore the cross-currents of contemporary culture through music and sound, text and images, and movement and dance.

Pillsbury House Theatre presents Non English Speaking Spoken Here: The Late Nite Series on Saturdays, October 23, October 30, and November 13.

When you attend a Late Nite performance, you’re part of a family and every good family has a good meal. That’s why we always serve up great food before you digest some amazing art. Be sure to bring your appetite when you join us for Late Nite. Food from local chefs served at no extra charge starting at 8 pm in the lobby where audiences can mingle with artists before the show. The show starts at 9 pm.

Pillsbury House Theatre
3501 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407
612-825-0459

Free Food at 8:00pm.
Show at 9:00pm.

$10 Adults
$5 for students/seniors
FREE for anyone under 16.
Tickets at show or online at
pillsburyhousetheatre.org

Ruts Revival

RUTS REVIVAL

featuring GUANTE + BIG CATS!, SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE, SHA CAGE, TRUTHMAZE, E.G. BAILEY, CHANTZ EROLIN, QUILOMBOLAS + others

with special guests I SELF DEVINE (Rhymesayers), ANALYRICAL (Background Noise Crew), SKETCH TC, DJ STAGE ONE, 2013 (featuring members of Junkyard Empire) + others

The Tru Ruts crew has been putting in work, both on stage and behind the scenes, for a very long time. A record label, a theater production company, a film studio and a Twin Cities cultural institution, Tru Ruts is dedicated to supporting talented, forward-thinking artists, putting on events that go beyond the same ‘ol, same ‘ol, and nurturing the next generation of young writers and performers. Join us in celebrating some big steps made over this past year: national distribution, slam championships, high-profile performances, critically-acclaimed album releases, successful youth programs and much more. And THANKS for all the support!

May 1st • Fine Line Music Cafe
318 North 1st Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55401
www.finelinemusic.com

8:00pm doors • $5 (21+) • $8 (18+)

Freestyle Theatre presents Experiments in Hip Hop Theatre

EXPERIMENTS IN HIP HOP THEATER
+ ANNUAL URBAN GRIOTS Spoken Word GATHERING
WED. APRIL 21st, 2010

Tru Ruts/Free Style Theater is excited to showcase an evening of 10 Minute Hip Hop & Spoken Word theater spotlights.  This effort is a precursor to a larger festival the company is organizing in Fall 2010 under the curation of  E.G. Bailey and Sha Cage. Tru Ruts is known locally, and nationally, as a cross genre producer whose mission is to bring innovative artistic endeavors to fruition that honor and celebrate culture and tradition.  Bailey and Cage move effortless as spoken word performers, actors, directors, community organizers and educators. The two had been in conversation with the national Hip Hop Theater Festival (NY) and the  Walker Art Center about the viability of a festival of this nature and have since moved to nurture Twin Cities based works and artists. Participating artists range from newcomers to heavy hitters including: Hip Hip lead artist of the BLEND, Toussaint Morrison;  Slam Champion, Guante; Writer and Director, Anton Jones; Playwright and Poet, Ed Bok Lee; and selections by Cage and E.G. Bailey featuring Amiri Baraka’s work along with Spoken Word luminary J. Otis Powell!, dancer Aneka McMullen, musicians Kevin Washington, Chris Cox (Junkyard Empire/2013), and Josh Granowski.  The community is invited to witness this provocative (experimental) evening spotlighting selections from each artist followed by a short dialogue about this developing art form.

Tickets can be purchased at www.bedlamtheatre.org. The Theater show is at 7:30pm and is followed by the big annual URBAN GRIOTS gathering bringing the spoken word community together in music, dance, and community at 9pm. Tickets for both shows are $15 or $3 for Urban Griots. Music by DJ Steely (Kinda Cloudy). For more information call Bedlam at 612-341-1038.

“This evening will be a great snapshot that allows the larger Twin Cities community to see what an incredibly diverse urban theater community is burgeoning right here under our heels. In recognition of the absence of artistic access for developing actors and directors involved…we hope to help nurture this ‘locally grown’ voice and talent for the next few years and ultimately produce a larger Midwest festival that brings artists together to cross pollinate. There are already so many talented artists on the precipice of the form. We are excited to have Bedlam on board as a Partner.” e.g. bailey & Sha Cage

Tru Ruts on Rift Magazine

Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records secures national distribution. The local upstart label/community based arts collective has started using IDC (Independent Distribution Collective) for their distribution.  This label has had many great releases over the last year and is releasing American Afrikan – E.G. Bailey’s debut album this Saturday at the Bedlam Theater.

Originally posted on Rift Magazine on 19 February 2010.

Spoken-word work gets right to the point

CD review: Spoken-word work
gets right to the point

By John Ziegler, Duluth News Tribune

He can come on like a freight train. Words are his medium. He will make you laugh. He will make you cry. He will make you think.

His name is E.G. Bailey and his brand-new release “American Afrikan” combines spoken word, poetry and music to explore what it is to be an Afrikan in America today. It doesn’t just skim along the surface in that exploration, it heaves from below like a bulldozer churning up slabs of concrete, tree roots and old asphalt in its quest — Bailey leading the narrative charge.

Using language like John Coltrane used the tenor or soprano saxophone, Bailey — together with friends such as Aimee Bryant, Katrah Quey, Sha Cage, Hipgrosis, D.J.Limbs, plus African poets Ibe Kaba and Sankaradjeki; Dubai jazz ensemble Abstract Collision, and Mankwe Mdosi, the singer from Atmosphere — uses bits of pre-recorded sound, field recordings (including Liberian work songs from the Mano Tribe) and jazz. He rails, he whispers, he implores, he exhorts and subtly weaves his spell.

“K Street Blues: The Bailout Plan” sounds like it could have been Sonny Rollins captured on the Williamsburg Bridge in 1952 talking to the skyline with his horn.

“America” is Bailey (with Abstract Collision giving an eerie, angular backdrop) holding a mirror up to our own country with all its actions and how they have morphed over time. “America with your varicose veins and Catholic guilt, I fear you and I love you … America, it’s getting harder to defend you.”

Aimee Bryant’s stirring multi-tracked version of “Motherless Child” is a riveting take on this black spiritual.

“Afrikan is the New American” has an almost Prince-like groove smothered in chicken grease.

Bailey is the real deal. He has created spoken word dynamics in film, theater and recordings during his travels through this country as well as England, South Africa, France and Serbia. He is the founder of the MN Spoken Word Association, Tru Ruts Endeavors and the Spoken Word and Hip Hop Institute at the University of Minnesota. He’s been inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in the New York Modern Museum of Art.

“American Afrikan” is not just a journey but an adventure that, during February’s Black History Month, explores identity, history, culture and what it means to be black in America today.

The CD release of this wonderful piece of art takes place Saturday evening at the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis and should not be missed.

E.G. Bailey / “American Afrikan”
Genre: Spoken word/Poetry/Jazz/Hip Hop/Electronica
Label: Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records
Web site: www.egbailey.com, myspace.com/egbailey
Produced by: E.G. Bailey and Ben Durant

Upcoming show: Saturday at 9:30 p.m., the CD release party at the Bedlam Theatre, Minneapolis. Cost $5. Ages 18 and older. Includes special guests Guante, Sha Cage, Mankwe Ndosi, Ibe Kaba and more.

John Ziegler has worked in the music industry for the past 35 years as a radio host, interviewer, record producer and professional musician.

E.G. Bailey in l’étoile magazine

E.G. Bailey “American Afrikan” CD Release
@ Bedlam Theatre
1501 6th St S.
Minneapolis

10pm / 18+ / $5 advance

This weekend, E.G. Bailey is going to drop a bomb — a “proverbial bomb” that is! On Saturday, the Bedlam Theatre hosts the release show for Bailey’s debut album, titled AMERICAN AFRIKAN, showcasing his creative mix of powerful spoken word, performance art and hip-hop/funk/jazz/electronic music. Additionally, the night will feature the work of many more artists and musicians like Guante, Mankwe Ndosi, Truthmaze, Chantz Erolin, Aimee Bryant, Ibé Kaba, Sankaradjeki, Dameun Strange, Kahll Brewington, DJ Stage One and more.

Originally posted on l’étoile magazine on 18 February 2010.

E.G. Bailey featured in Star Tribune

Bailey comes home
By Chris Riemenschneider
Star Tribune

Spoken-word artist and Tru Ruts label proprietor E.G. Bailey might have what you’re looking for in the form of his first full-length CD, “American Afrikan”.

Looking to celebrate Black History Month to the tune of something besides “We Shall Overcome?” Spoken-word artist and Tru Ruts label proprietor E.G. Bailey might have what you’re looking for in the form of his first full-length CD, “American Afrikan,” a thought-provoking collection that also provokes some cool grooves out of Bailey’s flowing poetry.

Inspired by Bailey’s trips to Africa, the disc laces field recordings and traditional African verses with modern digital beats and live drums. In “Liberia,” for instance, he expounds on a “nation waiting to be reborn” over the rhythmic clanging of hammers from field workers. In the title track, he trades verses with African poets over a steady treadmill-like beat and soulful backup vocals by Atmosphere touring member Mankwe Ndosi. Themes of identity, reclamation and rebirth permeate the album and should make for an equally evocative stage show. The release party is Saturday at the West Bank’s Bedlam Theatre with guests Guante, Sha Cage and more (9:30 p.m., $5).

Originally posted on Star Tribune on 18 February 2010.

E.G. Bailey featured on TC Metromix

‘American Afrikan’ E.G. Bailey CD Release

‘American Afrikan’ is not just a CD release party, but also a musical celebration of Black History that brings together some of the leading African and African American performers in the Twin Cities. Spoken Word innovator E.G. Bailey’s CD is a musical exploration of language and blows out of the water traditional concepts of old school ‘spoken word’ featuring M.anifest, Truthmaze, Members of Junkyard Empire, Sha Cage, Guante, Mankwe Ndosi, J. Otis Powell!, Chantz, See More Perspective, Dameun Strange, Andy Shafer, and more.

When: February 20 : 10 p.m.
Price: $5
Event Phone Number: 612-341-1038
www.bedlamtheatre.org