Today All Things Considered Honolulu Host Dave Lawrence continues our Off the Road series of interviews with musicians sharing how the pandemic and other crises have touched them.
John McLaughlin is considered among the greatest guitarists of all time for his technical skill and remarkable resume. From his early days with Miles Davis, including performing on the landmark Bitches Brew album (even having a song named after him on the classic record), to his groundbreaking Mahavishnu Orchestra that redefined the potential of fusion, to the Indian-based Shakti collaboration, to his trio project with fellow virtuosos Paco de Lucia and Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin has earned a reputation for his ferocious playing, lightning speed and unusual songwriting.
During the pandemic John has done several charitable recording projects to support musicians who are struggling, following the leveling of the touring entertainment industry, including a project, the Quarantine Blues, which saw him collaborate once more with Carlos Santana and his wife Cindy Blackman Santana, recording their parts remotely from Hawaii. Another, which we feature in our segment and have the video below, was his Lockdown Blues, recorded with John’s 4th Dimension Band recording remotely.
John explained the paralysis of the music and touring entertainment industry due to the virus, how he’s particularly troubled by the current state of affairs in the United States, and shared why he feels so strongly about the Black Lives Matter / police reform movements.
Hear the complete new interview:
See the video for John’s 4th Dimension Band effort, Lockdown Blues: