Entries tagged with: The Sweet Divines

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DOWNLOAD: Charles Bradley - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" (MP3)

Charles Bradley album art (reminds me of something...)
Charles Bradley

Lotsa great funk and dancefloor grooves are coming to Southpaw and elsewhere for you old soul fans/45 collectors out there.

Though Charles Bradley just released the 45 of the same name, he is prepping to release No Time For Dreaming, a new LP for Dunham/Daptone Records. Is Charles Bradley a stranger to hard time?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Start the New Year at the Bell House too. The Detroit Cobras headline the venue on January 1st, one night after they ring in the New Year at Maxwell's with the Fleshtones.

Dig Deeper hosts soul singer Lenis Guess at Southpaw on January 22nd with The Solid Set. Tickets are on sale.

Dig Deeper most recently hosted Syl Johnson at Southpaw. Syl also played a show with Yo La Tengo one night later.

Milwaukee's Kings Go Forth will play Southpaw on 2/19 as part of a stint of East Coast dates in late February. Tickets are on sale, and their full tour schedule with some videos and stuff is below.

Continue reading "soulful New Years Eve options, Kings Go Forth tour dates, Allen Toussaint, Detroit Cobras, new Charles Bradley & more"

by BBG

These 2 men will collaborate together - not on a hair care line
Steve & Dam-Funk

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.

The ex-Slave vocalist will play the Park Central Hotel on November 13th with the creator of the dancefloor classic "Somebody Else's Guy", Jocelyn Brown. Tickets are still available.

Syl JohnsonIn 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...

Continue reading "Steve Arrington & Dam-Funk collaborating, playing shows ++ Syl Johnson, Jocelyn Brown & other stuff too"

Eli "Paperboy" Reed at Governor's Island (more by Tracy Allison)
Eli Paperboy Reed

For the curious, J & R Musicfest & Tech Expo won't be just demos of the latest wi-fi enabled equipment. Over four days, the annual "fest" will dedicate two days to free shows across from its downtown location (at City Hall Park) featuring performances by J Cole, Alexis Jordan, Marsha Ambrosius, and Eli "Paperboy" Reed between August 27th and August 28th. Full lineup is below.

For those in need of urgent sweet soul crooning, you can get your fix TONIGHT (8/25), as Eli "Paperboy" Reed will also sit in as a special guest at Rockwood Music Hall with The Sweet Divines. Mr. Reed won't be the only guest sitting in with the band, as Dap Kings guitarist Binky Griptite, soul songstress Maxine Brown, and Inyang Bassey (backing vocalist for Moby) will all get the assist (in addition to an opening set from Bassey and Griptite).

Tonight isn't his only appearance with The Sweet Divines either, as both will ALSO appear at the 2010 edition of the Brooklyn Soul Festival held at the Bell House on 10/8 and 10/9 (though on different days). The two day festival will feature appearances from Barbara Lynn, Vernon Garrett, Don Gardner, and Reed on day one (10/8), as well as Betty Harris, Harvey Scales, Renaldo Domino, and The Sweet Divines on day two (10/9). Tickets are on sale for day 1, day 2, and a two day pass.

The Rockwood show flyer, J&R Fest lineup and times, and all Eli dates, below....

Continue reading "soul @ Rockwood tonight, J&R Musicfest this weekend, Brooklyn Soul Festival in October (all w/ Eli Reed)"

words & photos by Jacob Blickenstaff

Maxine Brown & The Sweet Divines
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.

"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...

Continue reading "The Brooklyn Soul Festival @ the Bell House - night 2 in pics (The Sweet Divines, Maxine Brown, Otis Clay & friends)"

The Mighty Hannibal @ McCarren Park Pool Party 2006 (heartonastick)
Mighty Hannibal

"When soul singer the Mighty Hannibal invites you to his birthday party, it's wise to take him up on it! The Atlanta-born Hannibal--who has been making records for 50 years for labels including King, Aware, Josie, Decca, Kent, Loma, Sue, Venture, and Shurfine (and has a terrific greatest-hits package, Hannibalism, available on Norton Records)--is on a bit of a tear lately, packing halls in New Orleans, in Atlanta, and right here in his adopted hometown of New York. He's also the subject of a documentary that's currently in production, in which hitherto-unheard details of his colorful life will be revealed--a life packed with more mind-blowing adventures than any ten normal lives. Too many of his close friends have checked out in recent years (James Brown, Ray Charles, and Johnny Guitar Watson among them), but the man behind such hits as "Hymn No. 5," "Jerkin' the Dog," and "The Truth Shall Make You Free" is here to state with authority that he's NOT DONE YET!

Playing behind Hannibal will be local soul outfit the Sweet Divines, who have quickly gained a reputation as New York's premier backing group for veteran soul artists. Dynamic sets with underappreciated legends of the genre such as Maxine Brown, Howard Tate, Baby Washington, Tami Lynn, Harvey Scales, Delia Gartrell, Garland Green, and Renaldo Domino have been hailed by artists and fans alike as their best shows in decades--due in no small part to the Divines' knack for combining a reverent attention to detail with a youthful energy in their approach to classic soul."

The Highline Ballroom will host "'I'M NOT DONE YET!' The Mighty Hannibal's 70th Birthday Party" on Friday, July 31st. Tickets are on sale.

The Sweet Divines also backed Hannibal at a more low key show in Brooklyn in January. They played with the Bo-Keys on July 17th at Southpaw (the pre-Ponderosa Stomp show). In August, they are one of the house bands at The Brooklyn Soul Festival happening at The Bell House.

In 2007, the Mighty Hannibal played in his hometown of Atlanta with the Black Lips as his backing band. That group just played a "Pool" Party last Sunday. The Mighty Hannibal played his own Pool Party gig, as you can see by the pic above, in 2006. For that show, the Dansettes were his banding band. The Dansettes have since called it quits. Their members formed Nouvellas and... The Sweet Divines.

A set of videos from the Mighty Hannibal with the Black Lips, and a flyer for the Highline show, below...

Continue reading "The Mighty Hannibal is celebrating his 70th birthday at Highline Ballroom (w/ The Sweet Divines)"

Eli "Paperboy" Reed @ Madison Square Park in June '08 (more by Chris La Putt)
Eli Paperboy Reed

The Brooklyn Soul Festival will take place at the Bell House on August 28th and 29th. Acts on the bill include Otis Clay, Barbara Lynn, Maxine Brown, Roscoe Robinson, and Hermon Hitson.

Two nights of full sets from legends of soul music from around the country, rarely seen individually, never before on the same bill together - backed by two of the most in-demand bands in soul music today. Before and after the live performances, top soul DJs from around the world (Germany, UK, Georgia, LA, and NYC confirmed so far) will spin the finest 45s for the dancefloor. Vintage clothing and record fair the afternoon of day 2! On the first night, Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves will be the backing band (as well as playing some new songs from their forthcoming Capitol Records album), and on the second night, the Sweet Divines will be the backing band (as well as doing their own set).
Tickets for Day 1, Day 2 and two-day passes are now on sale. Full lineup, flyer, and some videos below...

Continue reading "2009 Brooklyn Soul Festival - 2 nights in August (Eli 'Paperboy' Reed & the Sweet Divines are the house bands)"

photos by Jacob Blickenstaff

The Sweet Divines

Some of the millions who bought and liked Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," with its perfect Southern-soul arrangements from the New York band the Dap-Kings, might also have noticed that this music, recreated a few generations later, doesn't necessarily sound insincere. An aesthetic of directness, and a sober mania about craft, takes the edges off of posturing.

And so some of the musicians at the Southern-soul triple-bill on Wednesday night at Southpaw, in Brooklyn, went at their task like good-time scientists. The Sweet Divines, a girl group from Brooklyn, topped the bill. They're an outgrowth of the Dansettes, who sometimes sang backup for the Dap-Kings and folded in 2007. As the Sweet Divines they've added one more singer, making four: Ashley Vitha, Heather Wolfe, Pamela Quinn and Jennie Wasserman. In their version of pop classicism, what they seem to have in mind is the Sweet Inspirations, the vocal group that backed up Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, among others, and also worked as a stand-alone band...

...But the high point of the evening came from the middle act, and especially by musicians from the time and place being heavily referenced. The Bo-Keys, an eight-piece band, are Memphis's current answer to the Bar-Kays, the Stax record label's house band in the 1960s and '70s. (They were in town to take part in the Ponderosa Stomp festival, at Lincoln Center through the weekend.)" NY Times]

The Sweet Divines also opened for The Robert Cray Band at Prospect Park on Friday night (7/17). Pictures from the Bo-Keys' Lincoln Center show are HERE. More pictures from Southpaw below...

Continue reading "The Bo-Keys & The Sweet Divines @ Southpaw in NYC - pics "

The Sadies @ Big Apple BBQ 2008 (more by Chris La Putt)
The Sadies

The Seventh Annual Snapple Big Apple Barbecue Block Party returns to Madison Square Park June 13-14, 2009, from 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM...Admission to the event is free.
Remember how Lucero is touring and will be in the area with a show at Maxwell's on June 12th? Ends up there's also a NYC date. Lucero is headlining the Big Apple BBQ's first day on Saturday, June 13th (one day after the Maxwell's show). The show is free, but if you prefer Maxwell's, tickets for that one are still on sale.

The Sunday headliner for the Big Apple BBQ will be country guitarist and singer Junior Brown. Full lineup and all of Junior's summer tour dates are below.

The lineup for last year's Big Apple BBQ included Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion, Eli "Paper Boy" Reed, and the Sadies.

This year's fest will also have panel discussions scheduled throughout the day. Presentations include "What is it About Men and Meat and Midnight and a Pit?" and "Mutton: The Movie." OK, we really only like this festival for the music.

Full BBQ fest lineup details (Howard Tate included), and all Junior Brown tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Big Apple BBQ Block Party - 2009 music lineup includes Lucero (after Maxwell's) & Junior Brown (all tour dates) "