Originally created 06/04/99

Misty river setting suits Macha's style



The last time the trance-inducing band Macha was in Augusta, multi-instrumentalist Joshua McKay visited the Jessye Norman Amphitheater on a reconnaissance mission.

Approached about performing at the Riverwalk Augusta waterfront venue, Mr. McKay liked what he saw. "That is an idyllic spot," Mr. McKay said in a recent phone interview from his Athens, Ga., home.

Macha will be the closing act for Soul Splash, a music and arts festival from noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater on the riverwalk. The band is scheduled to perform at 9 p.m., after fellow Athens rockers Five Eight.

"I can't wait. We love playing outside. It completely fits our music," said Mr. McKay. "We'll be playing right when the sun goes down."

Such a setting befits Macha's music, a blend of mystical Eastern influences, Latin rhythms and psychedelic rock. "It's a real ritualistic feel," said Mr. McKay.

Macha formed in 1996, after Mr. McKay's brother Misha, who plays drums, moved to Athens. The brothers, who were born on the same day two years apart, played together previously in Gainesville, Fla.-based band Emperor Moth.

They were joined by multi-instrumentalist Kai Riedl and began recording songs at home and playing live shows. The lineup was completed with the addition of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Wes Martin.

Macha uses nontraditional rock instruments like the Javanese zither, Sumatran gong, hammered dulcimer, various double reed horns and a thing called the Fun Machine. According to Mr. McKay, the Fun Machine is a big '70s-era keyboard designed for family amusement. Its name lights up in blue lettering on the side, he said.

"It lights up like a mother ship," he said.

Speaking of mother ship, the band known for landing a space craft on stage, Parliament Funkadelic, drew a large, diverse and enthusiastic crowd to the amphitheater May 27 for a show co-promoted by the Soul Bar and Red Lion Pub.

Soul Bar co-owner Co Co Rubio estimated that 1,300 people showed up for the P-Funk concert. He said 1,000 tickets were sold and another 300 were given away.

Mr. Rubio hopes 500 to 1,000 show up Saturday at the Soul Bar Sunsplash. Artists will be doing demonstrations and selling their wares. Food and beverages will be available.

Gates open at noon. Admission is $5.

Kent Kimes covers entertainment and arts for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3626 or feature@augustachronicle.com.

On stage

What:

Soul Bar Sunsplash

When:

Noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday

Where:

Jessye Norman Amphitheater

How much:

Phone:

737-5726

Schedule

1 p.m.:

The Daltons

2 p.m.:

Bud Hudson Jazz Explosion

3 p.m.:

Supachief

4 p.m.:

Shaft

5 p.m.:

Jackson

6 p.m.:

The Funky Leftovers

7 p.m.:

Deathstar

8 p.m.:

Five Eight

9 p.m.:

Macha