Michael Franti/ Beatnigs/Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy/Spearhead

I had the whole Ben Folds/Ben Harper thing, but I actually think Ben Harper and Michael Franti are the same person. Maybe that’s why Franti changes group names so often—to throw people off his/Ben’s trail.

Michael Franti AllMusic page

Beatnigs AllMusic page

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy AllMusic page

Spearhead AllMusic page

Merle Haggard

All I can say is, if I drank as much as he appears to based on his songs, I’d be pretty haggard, too. (Thanks. I’ll be here all week.)

Merle Haggard AllMusic page

MC5

Is it OK to give a group a list if they only have three albums? I guess if their name only has three characters, it kind of balances it out, maybe?

MC5 AllMusic page

Mahavishnu Orchestra

Mahavishnu Orchestra was founded by John McLaughlin. Not by Mahareshi Mahesh Yogi, not by Swami Satchidananda. By John. McLaughlin. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about why I hate fusion.

Mahavishnu Orchestra AllMusic page

Los Van Van

I’ve heard Los Van Van referred to as “the Rolling Stones of Cuba.” I assume this doesn’t mean they released 10 years’ worth of classic albums, followed by 40 years of crappy ones.

Los Van Van AllMusic page

Little Walter

His name was Walter. He was little*. That’s all I got.

(*His given name was Marion, and for all I know he was, a la Randy Newman, six feet tall.)

Leon Russell

The two songs that come to mind when I think of Leon Russell are “Right Place, Wrong Time” and “Frankenstein.” The former is by Dr. John, the latter by Edgar Winter. Which basically means I have no idea who Leon Russell actually is.

Leon Russell AllMusic page