Entries tagged with: soul

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 28):


It makes perfect sense that every single individual in Lee Fields's backing band would be able to kill it as their own entity. The duo of Nicole Wray and Terri Walker, collectively known as Lady, are cut from the same cloth as Fields, reenvisioning old soul on their new self-titled debut LP. Check out "Money" and "Get Ready," the latter of which is in video form, below. For the curious, yes, Nicole Wray is the same artist that has blessed tracks by Dipset (Cam, Jim Jones, JR Writer and more), Ghostface, Missy Elliott and more in the early 2000s.

Lady will be the backing behind Lee Fields on his tour, but you can also catch Wray & Walker out on their own. Look for Lady to take center stage at Joe's Pub on Thursday (4/4) as part of a record release party for their LP, tickets are on sale.

Lady tour dates, that video and those streams are below.

Continue reading "Lady released their debut LP, playing NYC this week, on tour with and IN the Lee Fields & The Expressions (dates, streams)"

Deke Richards (center) with Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren
Deke Richards

Deke Richards, a producer and songwriter who was part of the team responsible for Motown hits like "I Want You Back" and "Maybe Tomorrow," died Sunday at age 68, according to a press release from Universal Music. He had been battling esophageal cancer.
Richards was leader of "The Corporation," Motown's songwriting and producing team that was also made up of Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell and Freddie Perren. The group wrote several hits for the Jackson 5, including "ABC" and "The Love You Save."
Richards co-wrote "Love Child" for Diana Ross & The Supremes, which went on to be a No. 1 hit. -[CNN]
Richards is responsible for writing/producing tracks for Bobby Darin, Diana Ross, Martha and the Vandellas, The Blackberries, Stacie Johnson and many others over the years, helping solidify Motown as the powerhouse that it once was.

Deke Richards may have passed, but his legacy and influence will live forever. Rest in peace, sir.

Maceo Parker

Saxophonist, member of The J.B.'s and Parliament, and all around funk legend Maceo Parker has only lined up a few 2013 shows so far, including a few dates in Japan in February, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho ( Feb. 20 - 23) and some dates in Louisiana. Parker will also be in NYC for a four-night run at Blue Note on April 22 - 25. Each night will feature the bandleader/instrumentalist playing two sets, and tickets are on sale for all eight shows: 4/22 early and late, 4/23 early and late, 4/24 early and late, and 4/25 early and late.

Head below for Maceo's full tour schedule, as well as some streams of classic material by The J.B.'s.

Continue reading "Maceo Parker playing Blue Note residency in NYC +++ other dates"

Lee Fields at Austin City Limits, Oct 2012 (more by Glen Brown)
Lee Fields

Lee Fields & The Expressions just returned from a stint in the EU and is gearing up to head southbound for a tour on that side of the Mason-Dixon line at the tail end of this week (kicking off 11/30). After a New Year's Eve show in Boston, and a scattered few other shows along the way, look for an NYC date at Bowery Ballroom on February 15. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.

All tour dates are listed below, along with recent live video.

Continue reading "Lee Fields & The Expressions touring, playing Boston on New Year's Eve, NYC in February (dates)"

Major Harris

Major Harris, a former member of the "Philadelphia sound" group the Delfonics who had his own 1975 hit "Love Won't Let Me Wait," died Friday from congestive heart and lung failure. He was 65.

...Harris made the rounds with several music groups in the 1960s, including the Charmers, Frankie Lymon's Teenagers and Nat Turner's Rebellion.

He joined the Delfonics in the early 1970s, replacing Randy Cain in the group known for such hits as "La-La (Means I Love You)" and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)."

Harris left the group in 1974 to pursue a solo career. He recorded a string of R&B singles, with "Love Won't Let Me Wait," peaking at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Written by Vinnie Barrett and Bobby Eli, it was certified as a gold record. -[Billboard]
Major Harris/Delfonics also scored major hits with a younger generation as well, being sampled by the likes of Ghostface Killah, Missy Elliott, Fugees, The Notorious B.I.G., and so many more. Major Harris, you will be missed. Check out some of Harris's contributions below.

Continue reading "Major Harris (Delfonics), R.I.P."

photos by David Andrako

The Impressions

The history of The Impressions is a timeline that spans almost the entire course of rock & soul music. As most of you already know the group counted both Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield within their ranks over the last half century. They are blessed to have founder members Fred Cash and Sam Gooden still onstage and sounding great.... Pulling from a repertoire that includes doo-wop, gospel, civil rights anthems and "blaxploitation" soundtracks the trio gave a guided tour of how their songs have become entwined in American culture. "It's Alright", "Gypsy Woman", "Keep On Pushing", "Superfly", "People Get Ready", "Choice of Colors", "Move On Up", "We're A Winner" - you get the picture. I think the phrase "achingly beautiful" could have been coined to describe "I'm So Proud". -[SkeletonPete]
The Impressions, backed by a band that featured Brooklyn's Binky Griptite and the Dee-Kays (members of the Dap-Kings), played one of the last shows at Southpaw (on February 2nd). The venue inches closer to its final night ever.

The show was a rare teaming of performers and opened with Binky accompanying singer Inyang Bassey, and included the DJ stylings of Pari, Honky, Mr. Robinson, and Eli "Paperboy" Reed. Here are some pictures and a video. It all continues below...

Continue reading "The Impressions played one of Southpaw's final shows w/ Binky Griptite & the Dee-Kays (pics & video)"


"In what may be Soul music's most exciting collaboration of the year, Rock'n Roll Hall of Famers THE IMPRESSIONS will team up with Brooklyn's BINKY GRIPTITE and the Dee-Kays, a group of musicians featuring members of the Dap-Kings, for a unique Soul revue showcasing two of the best acts of the genre's history, bringing together two generations. This is a rare chance to hear some of the greatest Impressions hits, such as "Keep on pushing," "Choice of Colors", "We're a winner" and of course "People get ready," all performed by the group's original members Fred Cash, Sam Gooden and Reggie Torian (who replaced former lead vocalist Curtis Mayfield in the early 1970s), backed by the mighty DeeKays. If you have always wondered what it was like to see the Impressions during their prime in the 1960s, this show is a must for you! "
This goes down at Southpaw TONIGHT (18 days before the end).

PREVIOUSLY: The Rub moving to the Bell House, eulogize Southpaw (where they'll play one more time)

photos by Bryan Kremkau

Lee Fields & the Expressions
Lee Fields

Fitz & the Tantrums
Fitz & The Tantrums

"This weekend was truly a triumph for the state of New York's Gay Community and made my musically enlightened weekend that much sweeter! Friday night's passage of the legalization of same-sex marriage seemed to spark a fire of love and celebration in the city. It couldn't have made for a better day to head to Central Park for one of their summer series concerts.

I knew that the concert had a lot in store for me as the soulful Fitz & the Tantrums, easily one of my favorite new bands, would be performing! Also on the program was soul and funk legend, Lee Fields, who proved that even after a few decades, he's certainly got the moves!

Haling from Los Angeles, California, Fitz & the Tantrum's indie soul sound had the crowd dancing from start to finish... [and] I was happy to find that they sounded even better live, as most of the greatest bands do.

Playing hits from the album such as "Pickin' Up the Pieces" and "Rich Girls" , the group enchanted the audience... finishing their set with one of their biggest hits " MoneyGrabber", they left me wanting more and I feared it would be the last time I'd ever get to see them for free!

Feeding my hungry retro-soul, Lee Fields put on a magnificent performance that salutes the saying "you're as young as you feel.""
[The Vogue Vibes]

Fitz & the Tantrums and Lee Fields & The Expressions played a free show in Central Park at Summerstage on Saturday (6/25). The show, as described above, was one of Fitz & the Tantrums' many shows this summer, which also include Lollapalooza, Music to Know Fest, and ACL.

More pictures from the Central Park show below...

Continue reading "Fitz & the Tantrums played Central Park Summerstage w/ Lee Fields & the Expressions (pics)"

Roy Loney of the Flamin' Groovies w/ the A-Bones (more by Jacob Blickenstaff)
A-Bones with Roy Loney

Similar to 2009, Roy Loney & Cyril Jordan of The Flamin' Groovies will reunite on stage with "musical accompaniment" by The A-Bones for two shows in two different countries this week. The first happens TONIGHT (4/21) at the Bell House in Brooklyn where The A-Bones will also play a separate set of their own and share a Norton Records family bill with Los Vigilantes and Daddy Longlegs. Tickets are still available.

Then it's on to a plane and to the UK for the proto-punkers who will play an Easter Sunday show as part of the LeBeat Bespoke Festival in London, England. Also playing that British festival (but today) is Eli 'Paperboy' Reed who also has a Brooklyn show in his future. The soulful guy will share a bill with Lily and The Parlor Tricks at Southpaw on June 6th. Tickets are on sale. All tour dates are listed below.

In other soul news, The Budos Band now have a NYC show scheduled. You can catch the instrumental Daptone ensemble when they play a free Summerstage show in Staten Island's Tappen Park on August 3rd. That's about a month and a half after they play the Dave Matthews Band Caravan Festival in Atlantic City, and a couple of weeks before they head down to North Carolina for the Hopscotch Fest.

Daptone family member Lee Fields plays Summerstage this summer too, but the one in Central Park along with Fitz & the Tantrums. Meanwhile catch him with the Sweet Divines at Southpaw in May.

The A-Bones recently played a benefit at Union Pool in support of relief for Japan. How was that? Sometimes A-Bones member and full time Yo La Tengo member Ira Kaplan recently sat in with Obits at Generation Records on Record Store Day. Last night Obits played a different benefit at Union Pool, and pictures and a review from that one (in honor of Brendan Majewski) are on the way.

Tour dates and some videos below...

Continue reading "The Flamin' Groovies are back (Bell House tonight), Eli 'Paperboy' Reed schedules shows, The Budos band too"

Syl Johnson supporting Yo La Tengo @ Maxwell's (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Syl Johnson

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...

Continue reading "new Syl Johnson & Lee Fields shows, Budos Band & Maceo Parker dates ++ free dance parties in Brooklyn Bridge Park"

Steve Arrington & Dam Funk
Steve Arrington & Dam Funk

After a record release show at Southpaw, Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band have spent the better part of the last two weeks on the road in celebration of his new LP No Time For Dreaming. Later this month Charles heads to Europe for a string of dates with Lee Fields & The Expressions who he will also play with again on April 1 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for the Brooklyn show go on AMEX presale Wed 2/16 at noon and go on regular sale 48 hours later. The two sold out the same venue in November.

Outside of the Brooklyn date, Lee Fields & The Expressions have only one other US show scheduled that we know about: August 5-7 at Pendarvis Farm near Portland, Oregon as part of Pickathon 2011. There, the funk-soul crooner will be joined by Mavis Staples, Bill Callahan, Califone, and many others. Full lineup is below. Tickets are on sale.

This week presents some great funky live shows: Kings Go Forth play two shows in the next week, Fitz & The Tantrums play MHoW on Wed (2/16, tickets), and Slave vocalist Steve Arrington at Southpaw on Friday (2/18, tickets). Arrington, who recently collaborated with Dam Funk on some new material, will be backed by Chin Chin and joined by Little Shalimar (mems TV on the Radio, Antibalas), DJ Spinna and Chances With Wolves. Arrington can also be found spinning records at The Commodore the day before (2/17). Flyer for that is below.

Last but not least, Southpaw will host another upcoming funk show on Feb 26th featuring Willie West> with The Sweet Divines + The Sweet Divine Rhythm Band. Tickets are on sale.

For four decades, deep soul man Willie West has been one of New Orleans' best kept secrets.. Originally from the New Orleans area, Willie first broke into the business in 1958 with his band The Sharks. Members of that band later joined up with Joe Tex and Fats Domino. In the early 60's he and the band signed to Rusttone Records. They had a regional hit titled 'Did You Have Fun?' Which lead to gigs with Jimmy Reed and Solomon Burke. In 1966 Willie signed to Allen Toussaint's Deesu Records and together they record several incredible singles. Willie sang the title track 'The Greatest Love' to the movie Black Sampson and had two single released by Warner Brothers. The early 70's saw Willie join one of the most beloved New Orleans acts, The Electric Soul Train. Later in the 70's Willie joined the legendary band, The Meters for whom he sang lead vocals until they dis-banded in 1980.
The show will be Willie West's first-ever NYC show, and no, he is not currently part of The Funky Meters (who are on tour and play Brooklyn Bowl this spring).

All tour dates and some videos below.

Continue reading "Lee Fields & Charles Bradley playing more shows ++ Steve Arrington, Willie West & the Pickathon lineup too"

Sharon Jones & friend @ Best Buy Theater on New Year's Eve (Dara Weinberg)
Sharon Jones

"The disarming warmth of the Dap Kings' homegrown sound translated well in the 2,100-capacity venue. Against the usual Dap Kings backdrop of bright horns and funky percussion, Jones sustained her boundless energy level for much of the two-hour performance. At one point, she even kicked off her high heels and summoned African ancestors for a shamanistic dance medley.

The band was fully synchronized from the opening number, the slinky ballad "If You Call" to a propulsive rhythmic buildup for an encore rendition of "100, Days, 100 Nights." Some of the night's finer moments, of course, alluded to economic hardships. The horn stabs of "Money" and "No Chimmeys in the Projects" carried a raw sense of urgency, while Jones cracked, "Ain't nothin' evil about money because we neeeeed that money." After a suitably cool take on "Auld Lang Syne," Jones pushed herself vocally to wring a double meaning from "Better Things."

"I've got better things to do than remember you," Jones sang. Puffs of fog machine smoke framed her band as balloons and confetti filled the room.

Warming up for Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings was New Orleans songwriter Allen Toussaint.

"There's no place I'd rather be tonight. I really mean it," Mr. Toussaint said." [Soul Train]

Hopefully you've fully recovered from New Year's Eve because the Lee Fields & The Expressions soulful throwdown hits Bowery Ballroom TONIGHT (1/7) with Michael Leonhart & The Avramina 7. Tickets are still available, or you can roll the dice and try and win one of the pairs of tickets that we have to give away. Details are at the bottom of this post.

As previously discussed, fellow Daptone-r Charles Bradley (who shared a bill with Lee Fields in Brooklyn recently) will celebrate the release of his new album No Time For Dreaming at Southpaw on January 25th. Tickets are still available. The date comes right in the middle of a tour Charles is going on with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (who played 12/30 & 12/31 at Best Buy Theater). A review from the 12/31 show is quoted above.

Bradley's new video for new-album song "The World (is Going Up In Flames)", contest details and all dates below...

Continue reading "Sharon Jones played New Year's Eve, Lee Fields plays tonight (WIN TIX) ++ a new Charles Bradley video"

Eli "Paperboy" Reed at Governor's Island (more by David Andrako)
Eli Paperboy Reed

Eli "Paperboy" Reed is back after "what seems like a long hiatus" (according to him)(actually around three months since Bell House and he also played Le Poisson Rouge during CMJ), and will play Brooklyn Bowl on January 12th as part of a five-date Northeastern tour. Tickets are on sale for the NYC show. Full tour sked for the crooner is below.

Manhattan will get some blue-eyed soul of their own in January also, courtesy of Fitz & The Tantrums:

"The Tantrums have built a following in La-La land with an energetic live show and a handful of excellent tunes. As front man, Fitz is charismatic, bringing to mind Brian Ferry with a dash of Sam Cooke.... [but] here's the deal: Fitz and the Tantrums are not a revival band. While their songs all evoke the production values and straightforward songwriting stylisms of the motown/stax era, the music is original. It's what New York Times reviewer Rob Hoerburger calls "the equivalent of a farm-to-turntable groove...pinpoint harmony, sophisticated songcraft, serious vocal or playing chops".

Little did I suspect that I was going to see would be representative of the groundswell of what some critics are dubbing a new wave in the genre. We're talking about eighties' kids of fifties' parents who are making this music their own: Mayer Hawthorne, Eli (Paperboy) Reed, Kings Go Forth, Aloe Blacc, Jamie Lidell, Soul Track Mind, and Fitz and the Tantrums." -[OB Rag]

Fitz & The Tantrums' last appearance at Mercury Lounge sold out, and now the band will headline Bowery Ballroom on January 19th, one week after Reed plays B Bowl, and exactly one month before Kings Go Forth play Southpaw. Tickets for Bowery are on sale.

The Bowery show is part of a larger tour for Fitz and his band in promotion of their new LP Pickin' Up The Pieces which is out now. All Eli and Fitz dates and some videos below...

Continue reading "Fitz & the Tantrums and Eli "Paperboy" Reed schedule shows"

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"

Syl Johnson @ MHOW in 2009 (more by Ryan Muir)
Syl Johnson

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...

Continue reading "Syl Johnson & JC Brooks are in town this week too (dates)"

Lee Fields at the waterfront (more by Tear n Tan)
Lee Fields

The above picture comes from Lee Fields' recent Pool Party shindig with !!!. Lee Fields & The Expressions also opened for the Black Keys at Terminal 5 in the past month. And now comes word that Lee Fields & The Expressions will headline a NYC show, this time at Music Hall of Williamsburg on 11/20 with Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band. Members of Antibalas, El Michels Affair, the Dap-Kings and the Budos Band make up the members of both soulful bands. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (9/1) at noon.

The Dap Kings, whose most recent NYC show was a headlining one in Prospect Park, meanwhile will head out on tour with Sharon Jones in September. US and European dates below.

The Budos Band have a few shows coming up too, one of which is the release party for their new album ("The Budos Band III") at Southpaw in Brooklyn on September 18th. Tickets for that show are on sale. All dates below.

And last but not least, Daptone's Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens can still be found at Fat Cat every Friday night, and have some upcoming tour dates including Pop Montreal in October. All dates for everyone, below...

Continue reading "Lee Fields & Charles Bradley schedule a show, Sharon Jones leaving on tour, Budos Band & Naomi Shelton dates 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)"

Aloe Blacc
Aloe Blacc

Between Governors Island, Siren, the Pool Party, the African Festival and so many other good show options in NYC this weekend, I almost forgot to highlight the dose of R&B & soul that is coming to town by the name of LA's Aloe Blacc...

"If you didn't already know about Stones Throw's many-talented soul singer/instrumentalist Aloe Blacc, that probably changed back in April when he was revealed as the artist behind the astonishing theme song for HBO's How To Make It in America." [LA Weekly]
Aloe Blacc will headline a show at Southpaw in Brooklyn tonight (7/16). He goes on late if you're still figuring out something to do. Peter Hadar and Kimberly Nichole are also on the bill and tickets are available at the door.

If you miss it, Aloe is also on the bill of Saturday's free show at Central Park Summerstage...

SummerStage Music
A Celebration of Giant Step's 20th Anniversary: Raphael Saadiq, Aloe Blacc, with Special Guests TK Wonder and Vikter Duplaix

When: Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 3:00PM
Where: Central Park/Mainstage
A Celebration of Giant Step's 20th Anniversary: Raphael Saadiq, Aloe Blacc, with Special Guests TK Wonder and Vikter Duplaix
Award-winning songwriting/producer/performer Raphael Saadiq brings new meaning to old soul.

Giant Step is back with its annual SummerStage event at New York City's Central Park with headliner Raphael Saadiq, Aloe Blacc, TK Wonder and DJ Vikter Duplaix. Giants Step has presented many memorable shows including Femi Kuti, Jamie Lidell, Janelle MonaƩ, Seu Jorge and Gilles Peterson at SummerStage. Last year was one of the best with live performances by Q-Tip, Little Dragon, Chester French, and DJ Benji B. This year Giant Step will also be celebrating its 20th anniversary year.

Get there early. It's sure to fill up fast. "I Need a Dollar" and other videos below...

Continue reading "Aloe Blacc is here - soul @ Southpaw tonight, Summerstage Saturday (w/ Raphael Saadiq) "

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!

Numbero Group's Eccentric Soul Review

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.

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.")
[NY Times]

More pictures from that November 13th Eccentric Soul Review show in Brooklyn, below...

Continue reading "Numero Group's Eccentric Soul Revue @ Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn - pics"

Eli Paperboy Reed @ The Bell House (more by Jacob Blickenstaff)
Eli Reed

Tickets are on sale for the recently-added Neon Indian show at Brooklyn Bowl.

Soul man Eli "Paperboy" Reed is playing a show at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night (11/21). Tickets are on sale for that too. Eli, who also plays in Salem, Massachusetts tonight (11/20), was supposed to hit DC on the 22nd, but that's been cancelled "due to some logistical problems".

Jacob Blickenstaff took the picture of Eli you see above. If you happen to be in Memphis, check out his pictures on display at the Stax Museum of Ameican Soul Music.

Speaking of BV photographers with cool other projects, Justina Villanueva just released the first issue of her own magazine. Check out her recent photos from Jesus Lizard at Irving Plaza too.

Sunday is the Talib Kweli show at Brooklyn Bowl. Tickets are still on sale. It's one of three shows Talib will play in the city before the end of the year.

Other shows coming up at Brooklyn Bowl with tickets on sale include Julian Plenti, Dr. Dog, and Dangerous (All Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson). Dangerous also opened for Deer Tick there on Halloween.

It's been a year since Eli performed on Jools Holland. The video from that performance is below...

Continue reading "Eli Paperboy Reed playing Brooklyn (Bowl), but not DC, Neon Indian tix on sale, Talib Kweli & other upcoming shows"

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)"

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...

Continue reading "Brooklyn Soul Festival - night 1 in pics (Eli Reed & The True Loves, Hermon Hitson, Roscoe Robinson, Barbara Lynn)"

"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

Numero Group
Numero Group

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.

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 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.

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...

Continue reading "Numero Group's Eccentric Soul Revue on tour, 2 NYC shows"

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)"

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 "