First day in New Orleans. Royal Street in the French Quarter. Who sails around the world to record music and is looking for musicians in New Orleans is at the right place. Because here they all are – the buskers of New Orleans. On the famous Royal Street in the French Quarter. It was raining all day when we arrived but we put on rain jackets and started our search. Up and down and up and down again we walked the long street but for some reason we stayed unlucky. How is that possible? In the city of Jazz? A few hours later it was still raining and we were completely soaked and ready to give up. Then finally – at first we only heard her voice, we looked at each other and turned around. Behind the next street corner stood Kia, picked her banjo and sang. And what a voice! She has a voice that can’t be described, something between country and blues but just good. Of course she wanted to participate in our project and logically we recorded her the next day on the riverside right next to the Mississippi. Sometimes you can also call us the “Lucky Conductors”.
We were on our way across the United States with Jack Mantis and our new American school bus to record musicians all over the East Coast. Jack’s song “Radiate” which we started when we first met each other a year and a half ago, slowly received a soul while adding more and more instruments to it. Jack had an idea and couldn’t stop thinking about it: We were in America and he wanted to have the thoughts and feelings of a Native American for the song to make it perfect. It wasn’t easy but in New York we finally found our man. And we didn’t know how but Tiokasin did something to “Radiate” we would have never dreamed about – just wow.
And again we met an old friend of Jack’s – Julie Scott lives in The Hague in the Netherlands with her husband and has known Jack and all his band members for many years. Of course for us no road was too long (especially not in Holland) and so we quickly made our way to The Hague from Amsterdam and we knew right away after Julie’s first singing warm-up exercises: The trip was definitely worth it. So worth it! Because Julie was the second person after Jack Mantis who had wet eyes after showing her our Travelling Man video. And when she started singing, I suddenly had wet eyes. What an emotional day!
Ellen is a friend of Hannes’ from Germany. And if you haven’t made it to join the boat in Australia, or Thailand, or India, or South Africa, or Brazil, or the United States… then you’ll at least make it to Amsterdam and its beautiful Grachten!
For many years Dom has been playing in a band together with Jack Mantis in South Africa. At the moment he lives somewhere in Europe but most of the time he tours around the world with his keyboard. When we were in France he obviously couldn’t help it but join the boat for some time and accompanied a few of our songs on his piano on the dock right next to “Marianne”. Ah, it was just amazing to have Dom with us. He only had to listen to a song quickly and then played the perfect backing the second time he heard the track. The world needs more musicians like him!
Seemsoe is Jack Mantis best friend. Both ran into each other many years ago in the graffiti scene in South Africa and have been inseparable ever since. Which isn’t easy all the time because Jack is from South Africa and Seemsoe is German. So it takes quite a while sometimes until they can paint a picture together again. After Seems had heard the one and other story about the Sailing Conductors he came for a visit whenever he could – so he flew to New York to join our legendary American school bus and then meet us again in Boulogne sur Mer in France a few months later. And then finally with his favourite instrument, a Korg synthesizer. Because Seemsoe is not only good at painting!