A highlight from Message Music: Michael Mwesno Dives Deep Into The Meaning Of Music
Washington you're listening to the world cafe. I am kalaheo today. We're exploring the deeper meaning of music that matters. This is message music and joining me on. This journey is world cafe contributor. Michael went solo artist bandleader and founder of winslow shakes. He's also been a programming. Assistant curator shows the lincoln center in new york city and most recently a visiting professor at the university of buffalo michael. So glad you could be here with us thank you. That was very beautifully. I would one where you were going to go. And and it always makes me feel very welcome in space. So i thank you. Well people need to know your accolades. So that's nice. I'm so glad we can. We can share your knowledge and we have three artists that are all somewhat tied together Can you talk a little bit about the sort of broad aspect of why you picked these very strong women world to really send a black woman. I feel it's time the whirlwind honoring that centering. It's finally happening in the new agent. Vishnu transitional world that we're in so for me it was the kind of arc an honoring of a free black women. Who are i think have changed because of music and culture and time and to kind of tell stories for also the impact. They've had in my life. And also i know the music that we do went so in the shakes. I think that's fantastic and we're starting with an artist today that everyone knows her name. The queen of soul aretha franklin but people may not know the whole story particularly in the song that you picked. Tell us a little bit about aretha franklin and this period of her career well this is very deep because when you were talking about Frankly you're talking about by now when we listen to this recording. This is the recording that transported her within the black community and say that because father was the great pow reverend ceo. Franklin who was. You could say the first mega church preacher. Who figured out. How put his sermons on records and sell them about the black community. Which is how for franklin traveled with him on these gospel tours and once a father would preach. She would be his added attraction. That would just kill the audience with with a gift and talent. So she's fifteen years old and by now she's already lost a mother and she's already a mother of two children. Well i mean just. It's incredible performance a powerhouse performance. Nine hundred fifty six is yield not to temptation. Tell me about the message that you hear that resonates in the saw. Its victorious. Song speaks to winning over the things that can suppresses. Two things are insecurities anxieties that we we should not be tempted by Negatively dot energy. We've been a life this message music. This is again. it doesn't matter what religion you are. We we extract and we look at the spiritual messages it within the music. And its victorious. Song is about being able to keep on going and to not deal with insecurities and to have faith with that sad we should. We should definitely lean into it. Well this is how we go. And this is how we go to the world of aretha. Franklin we listened to feeling her soul and a voice message. Music world cafe Ask that is aretha. Franklin yield not. You are listening to the world's cafe in our feature message music with cafe correspondent. Michael up next. Few people had more impact in modern music than sister. Rosetta tharp for those unfamiliar. Could you bring us up to speed on this incredible human being the deep black female link that inspired so many men now. She's interesting because the resort inspired so many links of men white and black. If you're talking about who. Johnny cash is listening to a fifteen years old on the radio. It's her if you talking about. Who elvis presley's listing to sixteen in. Mississippi is her if you're talking about who. Bb king's he's listening to her so she's so fundamental to v necks periods of the music and very interesting. This is a queer black woman that inspires all these black men to also build their art form. So we're talking about black human being again fundamental to a lot of what's happening in the world so that's why she's important. Yeah and you picked this train which is just an themm ick Y you know incredible collection music. Why did you pick the song. Well this train is interesting because actually a song. We shapes and it was a song of hope. Asanga protests a song that was sung within the black community food different periods but also the song speaks of so much liberation of in blackness in a sense of african liberation but also afro american liberation sense that we on a train we're bound to glory. We will get there. I also speaks of the afro american migration. that's also part of the context of the song. All of these people moving from the south to the north it has a lot of value for people finding meaning in the message of what the song is about. And and not just a broad message but for you a personal one as well. Oh yeah yeah. Yeah this is this. Is thomas blow field. This is put my godfather into the space. Now decide unusual englishmen that took it upon himself to raise display african boy when he was eleven years old he loves us to reform and he would go and see sister as far as a young man in the fifties when she would come over and play with a lot of the skiffle musicians so when i started leaving a sister is that a fall was a healing connection to me and him his relationship deepening. So this is music you and your godfather bonded over. That music was how he was able to use the trauma of my stepfather dying. And also my my mother being deported. Sadly you know and this is why.