Posted in music | pictures on September 2, 2009

words & photos by Jacob Blickenstaff

Eli 'Paperboy' Reed and Barbara Lynn @ The Bell House
Brooklyn Soul Festival

The 1st Brooklyn Soul Festival was a great success. Sell out crowd on the 1st night and nearly so on the second. The crowd was a nice mix of the soul intelligentsia, older music fans and twenty-somethings out to hear some good music. Both backing bands, Eli Reed and the True Loves and the Sweet Divines/Divine Soul Rhythm Band did a phenomenal job bringing the groove and nuance out of a large range of material with obvious love and attention. That set the stage for the artists - Hermon Hitson, Roscoe Robinson and Barbara Lynn on the first night and Maxine Brown and Otis Clay on the second - to shine brightly and deliver stunning performances.

One of the great highlights for me (among many) was Maxine Brown performing a gorgeous take on "Piece of My Heart" - the song originally performed by Erma Franklin, then Janis Joplin, and then interpreted again by Ms. Brown around the same time. If felt as if the whole room was singing along.

The music at the festival was able to connect the different groups and ages in attendance as well as the artists themselves. Many musicians who had played previous nights at the monthly series Dig Deeper were in attendance. Dean Parrish, Lenis Guess, Otis Clay (on the night before he performed) and Baby Washington were all enjoying themselves, watching each other perform with respect and reverence.

The music of the festival spanned blues, gritty funk, Brill Building craft, Hi Rhythm grit, gospel raves and plaintive ballads - and most importantly connected with the audience as great music of the here and now.

More pictures from the first night, below...

back stage with the True Loves
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Otis Clay (2nd night performer), Roscoe Robinson and Hermon Hitson
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Otis and Roscoe
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Roscoe and Otis
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Roscoe, Otis, Hermon
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Eli Reed
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Hermon Hitson

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Hermon
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Attis Jerrell Clopton, drummer
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Hermon

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Eli

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Roscoe

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

True Loves Horns

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Roscoe

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Barbara Lynn

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

True Loves

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Roscoe and Hermon watching from the side
Brooklyn Soul Festival

All 3 joined for the finale, Ray Charles' 'What I Say '
Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Brooklyn Soul Festival

Pictures from Night Two coming soon.

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Comments (9)

When does Eli's major label debut drop?

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2009 2:09 PM

And how long after that does the major label drop Eli?

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2009 2:20 PM

and how long after that will the Major of drop label Eli?....it works

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2009 2:37 PM

The Bell House might be my favorite place to see a show now. Great beer. Great sight lines. Good acts. And they have those beer and food tastings every month.

Posted by Kurt C. | September 2, 2009 2:46 PM

The next Dig Deeper show is going to be pretty great - Marva Whitney - who worked a great deal with James Brown - at Southpaw on 9/26 - her first NYC show singe 1969!

Posted by Jacob | September 2, 2009 3:12 PM

What is "soul festival"?

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2009 3:30 PM

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