Local People

Published on October 8th, 2014 | by TLV News


Local Musician: Keith Fondren – a.k.a. Doc Prana

ColumnHeaderLocalMusicianDrumsMusic Style/Genre: Jazz Rock Fusion

Hometown: Batesville, Mississippi

Early music experience: Motown is where I learned from the baddest bass players in the world. All the musicians I knew were playing with such artists as Stevie Wonder, The Dramatics, Parliament Funkadelic, The Four Tops, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Supremes, The Temptations…wow! I was like a kid in a toy shop. The wonderful thing about these musicians was that they had no ego, as good as they were. Teaching me how to read music, how to be a studio bass player, learning to play upright bass. Behold, I fear not in the valley of great bass players! I found out that I could hear whole musical compositions in my head—original concepts of my own. The musicians I knew could play quite well, but couldn’t write a great song. My song writing led me to a recording contract with MCA Records.

KeithFondrenDocPranaFavorite musicians/bands? Charlie Parker, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Thelonius Monk, John McLaughlin, Bill Perry Jr, Dizzie Gillespie, Sunny Adé

Music schooling: Motown was my school. Everything I needed was right at my grasp. The top music composers and musicians. We had a place called the Rapa House, it would open at 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays. All the musicians finished with their R&B gigs would meet there, horns, keyboardists, guitarists and bass players. It was an open jam session to 6 in the morning. You had to know the jazz standards or read from the Fake Book. You had to come with it or get the F**k off the stage!

Favorite style/genre: Universal

Favorite instrument: Bass Guitar

Where do you practice? In my mind.

Have you ever been hassled for practicing? I live on a farm, so I pretty much have my own way.

What was the first concert you witnessed? Sly & The Family Stone

What bands have you played in? I really never played in a lot of bands. Writing and composing songs for others has been my forte. Bill Perry, Jr. and I, we’re recording the Trio CD at Mr. Burkhead’s studio, should be out in about a month. Also, recent project Journey To The House of Fire is more on my jazz fusion side. I’m innovating my own style, bringing forth some complicated musical jams.

One thing you would like to change about Oxford’s music scene: Bring in more than one style of music.

Most famous person you’ve jammed with: George Clinton / Parliament Funkadelic

Are you an artist or do any other creative arts? I’m an abstract expressionist. I’ve shown my art work at Southside Gallery with Jeri Allen, Mr. Dunlap, Ole Miss Museum, and the Powerhouse.

Do you have a “day job”? If so, where? I work on campus, and also my farm.

Where do you hang out in Oxford? I really don’t hang out, working too much.

Aspirations: To give it all I got and have no regrets, no excuses. Remember your next breath could be your last, don’t waste it on bullshit.

Got a website? http://docprana.wordpress.com/ The Local Voice Ligature

Originally printed in The Local Voice #133 (published June 16, 2011).


Mississippi Food Summit & Agricultural Revival to Explore the Future of Farming and Food November 7th – 9th
Photos from tonight's Thacker Mountain Radio - featuring Paul Williams, and Tyler Keith

About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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