Brushy One-String is Jamaica's--and likely the world's--foremost one-string guitar player. He was invited to perform just last month at New York City's historic Webster Hall as a part of globalFEST 2014. The annual music festival features 12 artists from around the world on three different stages in one night. For over a decade, the event has served as both a launching pad in the North American touring circuit for up-and-coming artists like Brushy, as well as a showcase of more established artists like Congolese-Belgian rapper Baloji or Romani brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia.
A couple of days before the showcase, KFAI's Minna Zhou sat down with the Jamaican bluesman for an intimate interview and performance session. In the interview, Brushy recounts his personal story in great detail, using his guitar as narrative accompaniment. He talks about the vision he had that led to his unique instrumentation; the process of finding his musical voice in the absence of his parents (his father was Jamaican soulster Freddy McKay, and his mother, Beverly Foster, sang back-up for Tina Turner); and his involvement in the acclaimed reggae documentary Rise Up.
Brushy has for some time been a YouTube sensation (look up "Chicken in the Corn"), but his international touring career is only just beginning. He is due to record a new album in the Spring of this year; release date to be determined.
The interview/performance session originally aired in the second hour of African Rhythms on February 6, 2014.
Songs, in the order played. All from Brushy's first studio release, DESTINY (2013):
"Greys in my Blues"
"Mr. DC" (Sugar Minott cover)
"Chicken in the Corn"