Entries tagged with: Syl Johnson
The Dig Deeper series, organized by DJ's Richard Lewis (DJ Honky) and Michael Robinson, is now nearing it's 3rd year anniversary of presenting near-forgotten yet influential and vital soul artists to a NY audience. Last Friday (6/24), they brought back Syl Johnson who had played a sold-out show at Southpaw in December last year. Pictures from the Bell House show, which was opened by The Sweet Divines, are in this post.
Syl Johnson was recently the focus of a 6-LP + 4CD box set on the Numero Group label that was released around the same time. Following the Bell House show, Syl and the Sweet Divines played the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, MA. (Wilco play NYC on September 22 at Central Park Summerstage. Ticketing info is forthcoming.)
Dig Deeper will be celebrating their 3rd anniversary Saturday, July 23 back at Southpaw with Lou Pride backed by the Solid Set. Tickets are still available.
More pictures of Syl Johnson in Brooklyn below....
Syl Johnson supporting Yo La Tengo @ Maxwell's (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Deep Groove soul singer Syl Johnson will return to the NYC stage to play a headlining date at The Bell House on June 24th. Tickets are on sale. There he'll be supported by The Sweet Divines who are also scheduled to play a show with soul frontman Lee Fields at Southpaw on May 21st. Tickets are on sale for that too, as is the recently-released "My World" instrumentals on vinyl.
Lee's last show was another sold out affair on Friday, April 1st at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band...
"Bradley left everything he had out on the stage in about 45 minutes and was promptly relieved by headliner Fields, with the Menahan Street Band staying put and subbing for Fields' usual backing group, the Expressions. Looking like a pint-sized Lou Rawls, veteran singer Fields ably continued the retro-exploration into Daptone's dictionary of journeyman soul. As with Bradley, Fields is an older fellow influenced by the torchy, balladic nature of artists like James Brown and Bobby Womack as well as Al Green and the Hi Records crew." [Magnet]Charles Bradley heads out on tour later this month with instrumental group the Budos Band, who don't have any NYC-area shows scheduled, but who are on the bill of the (gulp) "Dave Matthews Band Caravan" festival taking place in Atlantic City from June 24-26 with The Flaming Lips, Delta Spirit, Dr. Dog and many more.
On a somewhat related note, the funky saxophone great and member of The JB's, Maceo Parker, will play SOB's on May 18th. Tickets are on sale. The show is one of two scheduled for Parker in NYC. He'll also play a FREE show at One Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 12th with DJ Spinna.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Maceo "Funk Dance Party" is the first in a 3-part series of free 'Celebrate Brooklyn' dance parties at the location. May 19th's "Tropical Dance Party" will feature La Excelencia & Que Bajo?!, and May 26th's "Bhangra Dance Party" will feature Red Baraat & DJ Rekha. They promise "Sweeping views, great lawn, dance lessons, beer garden, bike valet & it's free! Three spring evenings featuring some of the coolest dance bands on the planet, the funkiest DJs under the stars, and the greatest view in the world!"
More tour dates and some videos, below...
"The 2011 Solid Sound lineup thus far: Wilco (Fri. & Sat.), the Levon Helm Band, Thurston Moore, Syl Johnson & the Sweet Divines, Here We Go Magic, Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, Pillow Wand (Nels Cline/Thurston Moore duo), Handsome Family, Liam Finn, Sic Alps, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Glenn Kotche, Pronto, the Autumn Defense, Comedy Cabaret curated by John Hodgman featuring Wyatt Cenac, Eugene Mirman & Morgan Murphy, plus the return of the Story Pirates -- all at the largest contemporary art museum in the country with the backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts."Solid Sound goes down from June 24-26 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Tickets are on sale now.
DOWNLOAD: Charles Bradley - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" (MP3)
Charles Bradley album art (reminds me of something...)
Lotsa great funk and dancefloor grooves are coming to Southpaw and elsewhere for you old soul fans/45 collectors out there.
Charles Bradley is no stranger to hard times. Born in Gainesville, Florida in 1948 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he spent the better part of his childhood living on the streets. One of the more optimistic moments of his childhood came in 1964, when his sister took him to see James Brown at The Apollo. Brown's energy and showmanship would form a lasting impression on Charles. He went home and immediately began practicing microphone tricks with a broom attached to a string, imitating the Godfather's every move.No Time for Dreaming (the LP) will be celebrated at a Record Release show with Menahan Street Band (mems of Antibalas, El Michels Affair, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the Budos Band) at Southpaw on January 25th, 2011. Tickets are on sale.
Forty years later, Charles was still trying to make ends meet, still trying to make it as a musician. He was performing his James Brown routines under his alter ego "Black Velvet" when Gabriel Roth of Daptone records happened upon his show at the Tarheel Lounge in Bedstuy. Roth recognized his raw talent and directly brought him into the studio for a session with The Sugarman 3.
Charles Bradley's last show was with Lee Fields at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 11/20, and Lee Fields & The Expressions have another show in the immediate future: 1/7 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are now on sale. Still no opener listed. I'd suggest Budos Band but they just headlined AND SOLD OUT the same venue recently themselves.
Speaking of Daptone, legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint will join Daptone queen Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings at Best Buy Theater during their two day stint at the venue (tickets for both Dec 30 and Dec 31 are still available).
Toussaint collaborated with The Meters in the 70s, who will also be in NYC in the coming months (the "Funky" version anyway) (tickets available for Feb 15th, 16th, and 17th shows billed as "The Funky Meters").
A soulful New Years Eve can also be had outside of Manhattan at the Bell House thanks to Dig Deeper who are bringing Marva Whitney, Billy Prince (of the Precisions) and the Sweet Divines to the Brooklyn venue that night.Tickets are still on sale.
Dig Deeper most recently hosted Syl Johnson at Southpaw. Syl also played a show with Yo La Tengo one night later.
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Peter Wolf & Ira
As someone promised, Syl Johnson was the opener for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on Saturday night (12/4). Syl was also in town to play Southpaw on Friday which was the night Jeff Tweedy opened for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's. Saturday night's comedian was 'Rabbi Attitude' aka Jon Glaser. The special guests were Peter Wolf and Ira's mom who made an appearance in 2008 as well. The mixtape was by Numero Group. Full setlist and more pictures from the fourth night of Hanukkah, below...
Syl Johnson @ MHOW in 2009 (more by Ryan Muir)
Anonymous 1:57 AM left a potentially true tip that "SJ" are opening for Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on Saturday. 2:30 quickly followed with a guess that SJ could in fact be Syl Johnson... who happens to be playing Southpaw Friday night (12/3).
Last time Syl Johnson was in town, he was backed by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound who won't be backing him again this time because they're playing DC Friday night, BUT they will be in NYC one night later to play Public Assembly (with The Above / Fred Thomas / Gospel Queens / Poor But Sexy).
Video of JC Brooks covering Wilco, below...
These 2 men will collaborate together - not on a hair care line
You might know Steve Arrington's voice from his major R&B hit "Just A Touch if Love" from his R&B/Funk band Slave. The song was a major smash in the late 70s and is still a dance club staple for fans of funk/rare groove/hip hop/R&B. Now comes word that Steve Arrington has returned to music and will enlist the great DâM-FunK (pronounced dame-funk, FYI) to provide the backing to his new joints. One of those jams, due from a forthcoming collaborative album, is streaming below along with the story of how the collaboration came about via Peanut Butter Wolf. Steve Arrington listens to Aphex Twin? Wow.
In a more obscure vein, Syl Johnson is probably famous among the latter generation for his rare and coveted LP Is It Because I'm Black (the title track sampled recently by Wu-Tang for "Hollow Bones") and similarly rare 45 "Different Strokes" (famously sampled by Kool G Rap for "Talk Like Sex" and Wu-Tang Clan for "Shame On a Nigga"), both on the now defunct Twinight Records. The R&B singer has since come back (he played Music Hall of Williamsburg last year) and will play Southpaw on December 3rd with The Sweet Divines and The Sweet Divine Rhythm Band. Tickets are on sale.
DâM-FunK recently played Fun Fun Fun Fest as part of a US tour. Those current dates with the Peanut Butter Wolf story about Steve Arrington, the first song of the DâM-FunK/Arrington collaboration, as well as some live video and tons of others are below...
photos by Ryan Muir
I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material. Happy Holidays!
Some record collectors have moved from accumulating vinyl to salvaging careers. The Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans, Dig Deeper in Brooklyn and the Light in the Attic label in Seattle have all tracked down fondly remembered names to perform again. On Friday night the Numero Group -- a Chicago label that delves into obscure archives for meticulously researched reissues -- brought its dapper, potent Eccentric Soul Revue to the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.More pictures from that November 13th Eccentric Soul Review show in Brooklyn, below...
J C Brooks and the Uptown Sound provided nonstop accompaniment to soul acts who recorded for the long-gone Twinight label: Syl Johnson, the Notations and Renaldo Domino, all with suits and ties and strong voices. (Numero has released a compilation, "Eccentric Soul: Twinight's Lunar Rotation.")
"In addition to being the sharpest-dressed band in Chicago, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound have been taking the city by storm with their unique brand of raw power soul." - Gaper's Block
Motown had one, so did Stax. Three deep soul acts and one smoking hot band to back them up. The triple-header of R&B: the soul revue. Once a mainstay of theaters, gymnasiums and VFW halls everywhere, the soul revue ultimately vanished in the late seventies as recorded sound pushed live performance out of the limelight and onto car stereos and refrigerator-sized boom boxes. The performers returned to their day jobs and the world was the poorer for it.The revue visits NYC's Grand Ballroom and the Music Hall of Williamsburg on November 12th and 13th, respectively, with special guest Missy Dee. Tickets are on sale.
That is, until April 4th, 2009, when the Numero Group, the world's premier reissue label, mounted the first Eccentric Soul Review, packing Chicago's Park West Theater with soul-hungry acolytes, satisfying them and then some with the real thing: a seventeen-piece band backing, The Notations, Renaldo Domino, The Final Solution, Nate Evans and Syl Johnson, putting on a show that combined seventies slick with revival meeting fervor.
It was a magical evening, as the past lived and breathed and got on down, right here in the present. Those in attendance went home that night knowing they'd seen something that just wasn't done anymore. And they went home wanting more. Well, the wait and the want is over. The Numero Group is taking this show on the road: Syl Johnson, Renaldo Domino and the Notations, backed by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound are hitting Columbus, Washington DC, and two boroughs of New York City.
The premise is somewhat similar to what's going on at the Brooklyn Soul Festival, which occupies the Bell House on August 28th and 29th. The house bands for those nights will be Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves for the first, and the Sweet Divines for the second.
The trailer for the Eccentric Soul Revue, a flyer and all tour dates are below...