Live Music returns–homelessness in Austin getting worse

Last night, Jessica and I ventured deep into South Austin to hear Moe and The Mau Mau Chaplains perform at Sam’s Town Point. On the drive there, we drove under the overpass at Menchaca and Hwy 71. In 2018, this exact location is where we shot the video for Under The Overpass and it was shocking to see how a little over 2 years later this location is now full of homeless people. This became a touchy topic for many people in Austin after our City Council made it legal for people to camp in our city in 2018 and it will be on the ballot on May 1st to see if it will be overturned. I hope our local and state leaders can work together to find a solution that works for everybody without making our homeless people criminals.

During the event, you could really feel that people were so glad to be out and enjoying live music again after such a long absence from Covid. Here’s a clip of them performing Under The Overpass:

Time is Running out to Save Live Music Venues–moe featured on spectrum news

Music4Life artiste, Alan Moe Monsarrat and Flamingo Cantina owner, Angela Tharp were interviewed about the future of venues in Austin.

Alan Moe Monsarrat has played music his entire life and it is also how he makes his living. As the lead singer for the reggae band Mau Mau Chaplains, his live performances this year look much different.

“It’s difficult for people who’ve worked their whole lives to suddenly be told that they can’t work, and there’s nowhere to work, and there might not be anywhere to work after it’s over,” Monsarrat said.

His band’s usual spot, Flamingo Cantina in Austin, where they have a residency, has been closed since March. For now, the Mau Mau Chaplains have been live streaming performances every week through Flamingo Cantina’s Facebook page.

Angela Tharp, the owner of the venue said the streaming is one way they can continue serving patrons, as they have been bringing people together since 1991. She said she believes the Flamingo Cantina more than just a music venue.

“We’re kind of a community center, if you will, for like-minded people and people who love reggae and world and latin. It gives them a place to be themselves and celebrate life with other folks, and I think it’s got a healing factor to it, as well. I think after these last nine months of being closed, it’s been really a challenge for people to not have that live music aspect,” Tharp said.

You can watch the video and read the full article on their website.

Song of the day on KUTX

We are so excited for Moe’s song, Turn The Tide to be picked as Song Of The Day on KUTX today! We found it so interesting that they picked this song to feature from all the songs on album. Thank you so much to the folks at KUTX!

The KUTX team looks high and low for songs and artists that should be on your radar. It’s a no-frills showcase for some of the great music that comes through the “live music capital of the world.”

Amigos perfectos

One of the singles from our Agriculture album is called Perfect Friends. Since the song had an obvious Tejano sound to it, I thought it might be cool to do a remix in Spanish. Moe did a great job singing it. It took him less than an hour to cut the lead vocal once we figured out where and what to sing. Big thanks to Karina Nistal for helping us out with the translation and grammar to make an English song work in Spanish too. We also have to thank Joel Guzman for his accordion that just turned out amazing and the Tijuana Trainwreck Horns too.

Agriculture – New Single & Video from Alan Moe Monsarrat featuring General Smiley

Our new single from Moe will be released on Friday, July 10, 2020. The song is called Agriculture and features General Smiley.

(AUSTIN, TEXAS – JULY 10, 2020; source: Music4Life) – Austin-based record label Music4Life releases new reggae single, “Agriculture.” Alan Moe Monsarrat (The Lotions, I-Tex, Mau Mau Chaplains) and singer General Smiley (Studio One, 1/2 of “Michigan & Smiley”) have come together to encourage others to start growing their own food and decrease their dependence on commercially grown food. The video will be released on Friday, June 10th on the Music4Life YouTube.

Alan Moe Monsarrat was inspired to write this song based on a conversation with a Rastaman in Jamaica: “Some years ago, my girlfriend Angela and I were in Negril, Jamaica sitting in a seaside bar. The bar was playing a Mau Mau Chaplains CD on their system. While we were sitting there an elderly Rasta gentleman came by to say he loved it and we started to talk with him. Being well aware of the rampant hunger which exists there, I asked him why more people didn’t grow food in such fertile soil? The Rastaman told me the Christian preachers tell the people not to worry about doing that because “Jesus is coming and He will take care of them.” The Rastaman said the youths should get off the couch and do a likkle farmin’.”

“It’s been a long time since the people were fighting for the freedom of marijuana in Jamaica, so when it was finally decriminalized, I thought all I need is one acre to plant my own,” said General Smiley.

“When Moe brought me this concept, it really resonated with me. I know many of us have no idea how our food is produced. One of the ways we can help people take control of their diet and what they put into their body is to encourage people to connect to the Earth and grow their own food,” said Music4Life owner, R.J. Johnson.

This is the 2nd song that Moe and General Smiley have produced with Music4Life together after their 2018 song and video, Under The Overpass. Both songs will be included on Moe’s solo reggae album coming later this year from Music4Life.

PRODUCTION CREDITS:

Alan Moe Monsarrat: lead and background vocals, bass guitar, lyrics
Errol Bennett aka General Smiley: Vocals and lyrics
R.J. Johnson: keyboards and drum programming, background vocals, recording engineer, final mix, videography
Marc Schaefgen: guitar
Ras Gilbert: kette drum, cabasa, tambourine
Mark Wilson: saxophone
Micah Shalom: trumpet, trombone
Chris Fischer: mastering
Zach Jones: graphic design
Annie Spratt: photography
Zojak Worldwide: digital distribution
Shay & Tom Taylor: videography and video editing

Thank you for supporting our work! 

Phillipidon – Special

The latest single from Phillipidon, Special was released on Friday, March 6th.

According to Phillipidon:

“Special is about a spunky, beautiful lady who’s like a breath of fresh air, and who constantly energizes your daily activities like a merry muse.”

The song Special has been featured in the live set of Music4Life for the last couple years. Releasing Special allows his international fanbase an opportunity to enjoy the song as well including his monthly performance at Jamaica Live concert series in Kingston. 

The riddim track was created by musician Marc Schaefgen and @DJRJ with Marc on bass and guitar and RJ handling keys, drums and engineering. Horns were provided by some of Austin’s finest horn players: Darren Conway on trombone (also a band member), Tom Robinson on saxophone, who we have worked with since the 90s, and Jeff Lofton, who’s been recognized several times by the Austin Chronicle as the jazz musician of the year.

Music4Life will perform Special with Phillipidon at the SXSW 2020 Reggae Day Party at Flamingo Cantina on Tuesday, March 17th at 5:00 PM with the Music4Life band, which also features one of Austin’s veteran reggae singers, Alan “Moe” Monsarrat of the Mau Mau Chaplains, formerly with I-Tex and The Lotions.

Production Credits:
Phillipidon (Philip White): lyrics, lead and background vocals
R.J. Johnson: keyboards, drum programming, background vocals, engineer, final mix
Marc Schaefgen: bass guitar, electric guitar
Angel Austin: background vocals
Alan “Moe” Monsarrat: background vocals
Trombone: Darren Conway
Trumpet: Jeff Lofton
Saxophone: Tom Robinson
Chris Fischer, Critical 1 Studios: Mastering

Music4Life at SxSW 2019

We’re very excited to be featured on the 2019 SxSW Official Reggae Showcase at Flamingo Cantina on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. For more info, you can check their website.

Here’s the full schedule for that evening:

8:00 PM – Music4Life featuring Moe & Phillipidon

9:00 PM – Roots From The Clay

10:00 PM – Lion Heights

11:00 PM – Spiritual & The Oufah Band

12:00 AM – General Smiley & Lakandon

1:00 AM – Stonebwoy

Under The Overpass – Moe featuring General Smiley

Moe and General Smiley are attempting to convey the plight of so many elderly homeless people on the streets. It’s something we see too often. While solutions to this problem are difficult to devise and implement, it is our hope that our song will call attention to it and provoke positive change. The song was inspired by a woman named Shirley who is homeless in Austin and she is featured in the video which was released by Music4Life on October 19, 2018.

Production Credits:
Alan “Moe” Monsarrat: lead vocals, bass guitar
R.J. Johnson: keyboards and acoustic drums, recording engineer
 Marc Schaefgen: guitar
JaRon Marshall: keyboards
Mario Vela: percussion
Kim Pollini: background vocals
Chris Fischer: Mastering
Steven Stanley: Mixing

Big thanks to Ras Gilbert for linking us with General Smiley.