Mick Fleetwood will be heading out next spring with Fleetwood Mac, but before then he will celebrate the holidays on Maui with some special gigs at Fleetwood's on Front St.
First up, guitarist/vocalist Rick Vito returns to our island as King Paris playing Friday night, with "Chandu the Genie Giant" on percussion.
"King Paris will do two shows on the roof," says Mick. "And I'll play with the King and the bellydancers."
JON WOODHOUSE photo
A former member of Fleetwood Mac, Rick was inspired to concoct the exotic character of King Paris while exploring an interest in Indian music.
"It's a chance for me to combine my love of the theatrical with music, and I really like playing different scales and beats," he notes. "It's totally different from the blues rock thing that I normally play. I spent so much of my life concentrating on blues and rock 'n' roll (including playing with Bonnie Raitt, Bob Seger, John Mayall, John Fogerty and Roy Orbison), and then I started listening to Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan and Indian slide guitar players like Mohan Bhatt. It was exciting to learn a new language and expand my world."
On Saturday evening, Vito will front the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, and on Monday the legendary drummer will field a combo of the Blues Band and Island Rumours.
"Eric (Gilliom) will be on the roof with his R&B band, and the main show will be downstairs," says Mick. "We'll do a bluesy thing and then bring Eric and Gretchen (Rhodes) on. It will be a great New Year's party."
The famous British musician recently played Santa at a Christmas show with the Kit Kat Club cabaret.
"It was a lot of fun," he notes. "Santa was surrounded by gorgeous girls."
Mick was recently on the Mainland checking out venues for the Mac tour, which will kick off in Columbus, Ohio, on April 4 and take them all over the globe.
"The big wheel is going to start turning," says Mick, who hopes Hawaii will be included at some point.
Beginning rehearsals with Fleetwood Mac on Feb. 16, the band may release a couple of new songs by tour kick-off.
"Stevie (Nicks) has recorded some vocals on two or three songs," he reports. "She's been working with Lindsey (Buckingham). That's exciting news. We're hoping Stevie will add to the stash that me and Lindsey have. We could pull together an album. We've got nine songs in the can and they're all pretty much done. We may get something together before the rehearsals. It will be a teaser for the album."
* Celebrants will be able to ring in the New Year California-style with Mick Fleetwood and Friends on Fleetwood's rooftop at 10 p.m., and in the main dining room at midnight. Dinner reservations begin at 5 p.m. Cost is $175 for dinner and show; $100 for show only. Friday and Saturday shows are free. Call 669-6425.
The star-studded major New Year's Eve event takes place at Mala Wailea with legendary rocker Alice Cooper fronting his band with special guests including Michael McDonald and Weird Al Yankovic.
Alice arrives on Maui having just performed at his annual benefit Christmas Pudding show in Phoenix that included former Eagles' guitarist Don Felder and actor/musician Johnny Depp.
In late November, Depp joined Alice at a show in L.A. which Rolling Stone noted was, "Joyously decadent, cartoonish and rebelliously loud." Covers that Alice played included the Doors' "Break On Through (To the Other Side)," the Beatles' "Revolution," Hendrix's "Foxey Lady" and the Who's "My Generation."
Praising Alice's band, the mag review noted: "He was with a younger five-piece band, often sharing center stage with Australian guitar virtuoso Orianthi, who was an energetic foil for Cooper in black leather and lace and platinum hair down to her shoulders."
A former guitarist with Michael Jackson, Orianthi will play the Wailea gig.
"This is the best band I've had in my life," says Alice.
* Alice Cooper and Friends play Mala Wailea on Monday. The sold-out evening is a benefit for the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and the Maui Food Bank. Party starts at 8:30 p.m.
In a 2009 interview with MTV producer Bill Flanagan, Bob Dylan was asked to name some of his favorite songwriters. He mentioned Jimmy Buffett, Gordon Lightfoot, Warren Zevon, Randy Newman and John Prine.
What did he think of Prine?
"Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism," Dylan reported. "Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about 'Sam Stone,' the soldier junky daddy and 'Donald and Lydia,' where people make love from 10 miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that."
Inducting Prine at the Nashville Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2003, Kris Kristofferson pronounced: "If God's got a favorite songwriter, I think it's John Prine."
Recently honored at the Library of Congress by American Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, Prine has been elevated from the annals of select songwriters into the realm of bonafide American treasures.
Kooser once said: "I've been following John Prine's music since his first album came out and have always been struck by his marvelous writing: its originality, its playful inventiveness, its poignancy, its ability to capture our times."
Long considered a "songwriter's songwriter," Prine's songs have been recorded by artists including Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Ben Harper and Joan Baez.
Many of his compositions, like "Paradise" and "Angel From Montgomery," have become standards. And "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," may be the funniest song about patriotism.
A central figure in the Chicago folk revival movement, Prine released his self-titled debut album in 1971. Word of his talent spread and while in New York recording, Bob Dylan backed him on harmonica at the Bitter End club.
Prine continued writing and recording albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1991 he won a Grammy for "The Missing Years." In 2003, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for songwriting by the UK's BBC, and that same year he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In a concert review the Orlando Sentinal proclaimed: "With his Never Ending Tour, Bob Dylan has made it hard for other troubadours to garner too much attention, but John Prine offered a quiet reminder that he's also an enduring American treasure. Prine delivered a generous assortment of character-driven songs steeped in wisdom, sadness and whimsy."
*John Prine plays at 8 tonight at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater. Tickets are $41.50, $51.50, and $61.50 (plus applicable fees), available at the box office, by calling 242-7469, or online at www.mauiarts.org.
To celebrate Kihei's First Friday event, Stella Blues will host a free party with a great lineup of Ahumanu from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., John Cruz from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and the Vince Esquire Blues Band from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Mixing afrobeat, funk, electronica, hip-hop, and world music, the Californian seven-piece group AfroMassive will play Casanova at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Flashdrive will open, and the night will include a set by DJ Plush. Admission is $10 at the door.
And finally, Steve Zuwala will front the high-energy country rock band, Above The Law on Jan. 4 at the MACC's McCoy Studio Theater in a benefit for the Maui Food Bank. Steve is a country music musician from Nashville who has won two Hawaiian Music Awards. Tickets are $25 (plus applicable fees).