Michael Franti occupies a unique position in the current music scene. He was a founding member of late-’80s experimental funk band the Beatnigs — which combined noisy, industrial punk and hip-hop with hard-hitting political songs, eventually evolving into the marginally more accessible Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Since forming Spearhead in 1994, Franti’s sound has grown more melodic. He’s now known for writing and performing catchy, often socially conscious, singalong pop songs that combine folk, reggae, rock, soul, hip-hop, and assorted world music flavors into an intoxicating amalgam.
That magical blend was very much in evidence when Franti and his right-hand man, guitarist Jason Bowman, stopped by the AG Sessions studio for a three-song set that included “I Got Love for You” (from 2009’s All Rebel Rockers), and two recent tunes: “It’s Good to Be Alive Today,” and “Once A Day,” which contains the characteristically Frantian refrain, “Everybody ought to hug somebody at least once a day.” If it’s good vibes you’re after, this is the place. Some nice guitar-playing, too, from Franti and Bowman.