words & photos by Jacob Blickenstaff
Maxine Brown & The Sweet Divines
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.
"The Sweet Divines seem to be taking a tip from the Sweet Inspirations, a sixties soul quartet that included Cissy Houston, who was Whitney's mother and Dionne Warwick's aunt. In addition to recording their own songs the Sweet Inspirations sang back up for Aretha Franklin and Elvis. Similarly, the Sweet Divines have sung back up for soul singers such as Sharon Jones (see Purplish Rain). In a move that seemed to bring everything full circle, old school soul meets retro soul, on Saturday the Sweet Divines sang back up for Maxine Brown, who was backed up by the Sweet Inspirations in the 1960's." [The Strongest Women I Know]Read more about it with Jacob's first night's pictures HERE. More pictures from the second night, below...
Baby Washington and Maxine Brown
Maxine Brown and Dean Parrish
Hermon, Roscoe, Eli, Otis joined each other for the last song, Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me"
Festival Organizers Richard Lewis, Eli Reed and Michael Robinson.
Pictures from NIGHT ONE HERE