Malawi Mouse Boys
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival
San Francisco, Ca
Recorded by Daspyknows
Recorded appx 50 feet from stage, left side of center rail next to trash cans
Schoeps MK4 w/NBox Tascam DR-2D 24 Bit 48K
Processed using Soundforge 11, resample, to 16bit 44.1K
TLH to convert to Flac
Malawi Mouse Boys
Landlocked Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and
when not strumming on their rudimentary guitars made from recycled
scrap-metal parts, these young musicians make a living selling the
local delicacy � mice on sticks as snacks for passing travellers � hence
their name. This is the first time their music has been out of Malawi
(in fact the first ever release in the language of Chichewa outside Malawi)
and the purity and earnestness of their voices is both enchanting
I woke up Sunday morning to a text from my friend at 3:10 that the blankets
were down. He admitted he really didn't want to get up at 2AM to do it but
he took one for the team. Much thanks to his efforts. I found parking on
Fulton Street right next to Golden Gate Park. Blankets down at Banjo and Arrow
right where expected. I orginally planned to spend the day at Arrow stage
except for Jerry Douglas at Banjo Stage. I had really liked his set last year.
My friend who put the blankets down suggested I record The Malawi Mouse Boys. I
decided to start the day at Banjo then switch stages. At around 8AM iput the
gear on so I was ready for the traditional breakfast with Emmylou soundcheck.
This is the only time where security walks the crowd telling people no pictures.
When the soundcheck started I was prepared. Emmylou Harris played parts of a
number of songs then she left and her band played a nice version of Hey Joe.
At 11AM the show started and the first band was four guys who were from Malawi.
This was one of two shows they were playing in the US after playing the Womad
festival. http://womad.org/artists/malawi-mouse-boys/. Most people were
listening and absorbing the experience just as the artists were. There were
a few rude people who just talked through the music. I finally had to move to
avoid one annoying talker. Overall it sounds great and these guys are worth a
listen. Next up was Hot Rize (with Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers) who were
fun. I enjoyed how they did the costume change and came out as another band
then changed back. At one point a guy showed up, dropped his backpack on mine
and started to clap right over my mics on my blanket. I told him to stop and
move but it did no good. Had to move again. The third band was Jerry Douglas
and Earls of Leicester. This was good but I enjoyed his band last year more.
The set ends and I shut the recorder down and start to pack for the stage switch.
I did not expect the encore and started everything again. I hit record in time
but must have missed the pause. So no encore.
I made it to the Arrow stage and my chair was missing. I looked around and
found the crazy guy had taken it. In the morning this guy was talking whether
anyone was listening or not. I reclaimed my chair and grabbed a seat. I was
looking forward to Blackie & the Rodeo Kings and they didn't disappoint. The
crowd was getting a bit wild by this point. One of my friends left but
fortunately another one stopped by. I knew he was there for one band so I was
debating whether to go it alone for the last band. Lukas Nelson (Willie's son)
came out and tore it up. The voice is similar but the playing is much harder
than his dad. I was going to bail after the set if some other friends on the
other side were planning to leave. They said they were staying so I moved my
stuff over to them. It makes a difference having people around who know whats
going on. Joe Russo's Almost Dead was a fun cover band. They were good and
tried to recreate the Grateful Dead sound. For anyone who never got to see
the Grateful Dead live its a good simulation and a fitting way to end a free
show in the park.
Just the basic taper requests here and please no vitriol:
Don't be an ass by selling this or using it in a video that is sold
Don't modify the info file
Don't remaster and/or post on other sites that are not 100% free
If shared keep info file intact but create a second file with any changes
Don't convert to lossy formats except for personal use
Do support the artists