3 episodes

Welcome to The RudeWoke Sessions: Stories of Defining Moments! Join host Karen Kohler in conversation with creatives of all kinds, getting inside the uncurated story of their lives to reveal the defining moment that changed everything and set them on their paths as passionate artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, activists, explorers and more.

Rudewoke Sessions Podcast hosted by Karen Kohler

    • Society & Culture

Welcome to The RudeWoke Sessions: Stories of Defining Moments! Join host Karen Kohler in conversation with creatives of all kinds, getting inside the uncurated story of their lives to reveal the defining moment that changed everything and set them on their paths as passionate artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, activists, explorers and more.

    Session 03 - James Gavin, "Nothing But Desire"

    Session 03 - James Gavin, "Nothing But Desire"

    Karen Kohler in conversation with James Gavin, author of four acclaimed books and a much-published freelance journalist who has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Time Out New York, the Daily Beast, and JazzTimes. His subjects have included Annie Lennox, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, John Legend, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Miriam Makeba, Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Ned Rorem, Edith Piaf, Karen Carpenter, and Jacques Brel. A native New Yorker and graduate of Fordham University, James is the recipient of two ASCAP Awards for excellence in music journalism. He has contributed liner notes to over 500 CDs and his essay for the box set Ella Fitzgerald – The Legendary Decca Recordings was nominated for a Grammy. His acclaimed books include Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of New York Cabaret (1991), Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker (2002), Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne (2009) and Is That All There Is?: The Strange Life of Peggy Lee (2014). His next biography about British pop icon George Michael will be published by Abrams, due out in June 2022.
    On a snowy morning, I traveled from Brooklyn to James' apartment in Manhattan and settled into a long chat with him surrounded by heaps of recordings, signed posters, books and CDs of the many singers and musicians he's befriended worldwide. This Rudewoke Session is a unique conversation between a lover of singers and a singer; a veritable master class in what makes for authentic human connection in the art of song interpretation. Among the topics we covered are:
    * his solitary childhood and the comfort he found in books
    * the awakening that led him to become enraptured by the human voice and want to enter the world of singers
    * his early mentors and the theatricality of Catholicism
    * the importance of empathy and the lure of sadness
    * what makes for honesty in singing and passionate storytelling
    * the reason he feels so alive in Brazil, his second home
    * his advice for young writers and the writing process
    * and why he believes we're living through a major time in world history, one that will be taught in history books, and much much more.

    • 2 hr 9 min
    Session 02 - Luba Mason, "It's About Freedom"

    Session 02 - Luba Mason, "It's About Freedom"

    My guest today is American singer, actress, dancer and songwriter, Luba Mason.
    Luba has starred on Broadway in shows like How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Paul Simon's Capeman, Jekyll and Hyde, Chicago, and most recently as morphine-addicted Mrs. Burke in the critically-acclaimed Girl From the North Country featuring the music of Bob Dylan.

    Born in New York City to first-generation immigrants from Slovakia, Luba is married to Panamanian musician, actor and activist Ruben Blades. She just released her third solo album, Triangle, for which she chose the uncommon line-up of just voice, vibraphone and bass to showcase an eclectic form of musical cross-currents she calls Mixtura.

    Our conversation is timely, rangy and revealed as Luba shares key awakenings, rude and otherwise, along her rich journey through art and partnership. We discuss:
    * her pressured childhood as a young, aspiring musician and younger sister
    * the trait her favorite Broadway roles all have in common
    * how meeting Latin music icon, Ruben Blades, opened up her world and musical affinities
    * her thoughts on the key ingredient necessary for both art and partnership to thrive
    * her next dream project as she continues to challenge herself and grow
    and much more...

    • 1 hr 42 min
    Session 01 - Dennis McKenna, "The Plants Are Running The Show"

    Session 01 - Dennis McKenna, "The Plants Are Running The Show"

    My guest today is Dennis McKenna, American ethnopharmacologist, lecturer and author. Dennis is founding member and director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit dedicated to investigating the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines. And he is founder of the newly created McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. Dennis has written several books including an autobiography, "The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss," in which he shares the story of his relationship with his older brother, Terence McKenna (ethnobotanist, poet and mystic). In our conversation, we discuss:

    * Dennis' earliest aspirations and the pivotal figures in his and Terence's childhoods
    * the McKenna Brothers' impactful journey to find the "secret" at La Chorrera
    * his insights into plant wisdom and thoughts on humanity's future
    * and much more...

    SHOW LINKS
    * McKenna Academy - https://mckenna.academy
    * Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Brotherhood-Screaming-Abyss-Dennis-McKenna-ebook/dp/B00A8KWLYK
    * Heffter Research Institute - https://www.heffter.org

    • 1 hr 49 min

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