Meshell Ndegeocello was at her go-to repository of auditory delights—Amoeba Music on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles last October showing off her tote bag of goodies as part of their irregular, funny and revealing “Whats In My Bag” sessions.

The YouTube clip gives a pretty good idea of Meshell’s catholic musical and artistic tastes – from short films by Norman Mailer to Hal Ashby’s happy/sad/hilarious Harold and Maude to Outkast to PJ Harvey and much more. The last item she grabbed was a bespoke air-freshener of “Saint” Dolly Parton.

Asked if she’d support Saint Dolly for President of the US, Meshell didn’t hesitate for a millisecond.

“The world would be a much better place!
I think she’s fair, not divisive! Loving, yet discerning.
These are qualities I’m looking for.
These two choices we’ve been given? I’m not down for it.
Remember, the left and right wings are just parts of the same dirty bird.
So, I am so totally down for this … if she could take it.

Meshell will be heading our way later this week to do two warmup gigs in Sydney and Melbourne early next week before heading to Bluesfest in Byron Bay for two shows on Thursday and Friday.

She last played Bluesfest back in 2019 and used the inevitable downtime in 2020 and following to work up her new(ish) and wonderful-beyond-measure long player, The Omnichord Real Book that dropped in mid-2023 on the fabled Blue Note Records.

You can get The Omnichord Real Book on all the usual formats and is available through all the usual outlets – though I recommend the double vinyl and that you buy it through an independent record store if you can.

For those not familiar with Meshell’s extensive and eclectic catalog then you owe it to yourself to illuminate your musical collection.

You won’t regret it.

Oh, and did I tell you that last month Meshell won the inaugural Grammy Award for Best Alternative Jazz Album for The Omnichord Real Book?

That’s her second after winning the Grammy for Best R&B song in 2021 for Better Than I Imagined.

The following brief biographical sketch gives but a glimpse of the breadth and depth of her career.

Meshell is an unassuming colossus whose body of work extends far beyond the early hits and virtuosic bass playing with which she is most associated. “If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night),” her taunting and funky breakout single, immediately set her apart as an instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, and producer.
Less than a year after the song entered Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop, dance, and pop charts, Meshell was nominated for four Grammys, including Best R&B Album for Plantation Lullabies (1993) and Best Pop Vocal Collaboration for “Wild Night,” her Top Ten hit duet with John Mellencamp. Ndegeocello has remained impossible to typecast ever since. A preternatural synthesist, she has mixed and moved across jazz, blues, soul, funk, and reggae, as well as folk and rock.
As a leader, she has alternated just as freely between small combos and large ensembles, and as a session musician and featured artist has written and recorded across an even wider spectrum of styles. In addition to her lithe and melodic primary instrument the bass guitar, and vocals encompassing authoritative raps, pensive spoken word, and ethereal choruses,

Meshell Ndegeocello (mish-EL ən-DAY-gay-oh-CHEL-oh) will play the Factory Theatre in downtown Marrickville on Monday 25th March, then on Tuesday 26th March at the Melbourne Recital Centre before heading off to Byron Bay for the two gigs at Bluesfest.

Me? I’ll be off to Marrickville for the Monday show at the Factory Theatre. After listening to Meshell on CD and vinyl for near on 30 years I can’t wait to see and hear her in person!

Watch this space for a report from the gig.

And Dolly Parton for President? If I could vote for her she’d get mine.

And Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter for VEEP!