Afrolicious’ ‘higher calling’ at High Sierra

QUINCY — “It’s a higher calling type of thing when you know you are doing the thing you love the most in the world and other people are loving it, too.” This is from Afrolicious bandleader Joe Cheo “Pleasuremaker” McGuire.

The San Francisco-based band which includes North Shore guitarist Zebuel Early played an uplifting set July 5 before an enthusiastic crowd in Big Meadow at the High Sierra Music Festival.

“It was the right band on the right stage at the right time,” Early said. “People were ready to get loose. There was a really good vibe. It felt wholesome to see kids and people from all walks of life out there enjoying it.

During one song, Early put his young guitar student Ben Cutler on his shoulders and walked to the front of the stage.

The band formed out of a Thursday night Afrolicious party in the Elbo Room in the Mission District. After three years, band members began to write original material. The size of the group varies and sometimes has as many as 12 members. Early has been in Afrolicious two years.

Pleasuremaker described how it feels when the band connects with the audience: “It’s an electrical charge. Time freezes, you feel weightlessness and you have total awareness. You are definitely entering the spiritual realm.”


About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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