Tag Archives: Al Green

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Vulfpeck Fly Funky Flag Friday Night at Brooklyn Steel

September 11th, 2017

Vulfpeck – Brooklyn Steel – September 8, 2017


Funky times call for funky tunes. And while it seemed on Friday night like half of the country was on fire and that the other half was staring down a massive hurricane, Ann Arbor, Mich., band Vulfpeck landed in Brooklyn to plant their funk flag and fly it high—the first of thee booty-shakin’, sold-out Brooklyn Steel appearances in a row. “And just like a sporting event, there will be a palpable drop in energy after the introduction,” jokingly said Jack Stratton as a means of introduction.

The whole thing felt like a funky circus troupe, with at one point 11 people onstage, each switching instruments, more than half of them in gym gear straight out of a ’70s phys ed class, and Stratton leading dance moves and sing-alongs—the rhythm never falling out of time. “New York, can you sing this bassline?” asked the frontman as an intro to “Fugue State,” and the crowd happily obliged. For “El Chepe,” Stratton led the audience through a dance called the Choo Choo. R&B singer Antwaun Stanley joined the band for the set’s middle third, and everyone else in the room joined him on the chorus for “1612.”

The love Vulfpeck have for’60s and ’70s classics is evident in their sound. They paid homage with Stevie Wonder and Al Green covers, but there were audible traces of the era flowing into every tap of the drum. A raging brass section helped, too, with guest Elizabeth Lea, of Tedeschi Trucks Band, tearing it up on the trombone on several songs. And “Back Pocket” featured some elaborate audience participation, in three-part harmonies no less. But the show wasn’t over until “Outro” was played with the saxophone blaring, a song so perfect as a finale that it was the last one played at my own wedding. And with my 30th birthday on Friday night, it’s now also closed out my twenties. A true funkin’ coincidence if there ever was one. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.com

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A Double Shot of Soul with Durand Jones & the Indications Next Week

August 25th, 2017

Like someone out of a CCR song, soul singer Durand Jones was born on the bayou in New Orleans and raised in rural Louisiana. Influenced by the likes of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Al Green, he sang so much at home that his grandmother forced him to join their church’s choir. Eventually Durand decamped to Bloomington, Ind., for college and began collaborating with Aaron Frazer (drums) and Blake Rhein (guitar), writing and recording numbers about “the party, political and social consciousness, and love songs,” Durand told the Something Else. The first Durand Jones & the Indications album, a self-titled EP (stream it below), arrived in 2016. It hearkens “back to a time when soul was recorded, performed and (if possible) heard live. Their music is markedly different from most stuff of its ilk coming out today in that, if there is some electronic wizardry going on under the hood, it’s kept very far away from the musical performance—it’s the kind of thing which should be completely reproducible live, all performed and no sampling or remixing,” according to PopMatters. Winding down their summer tour, Durand Jones & the Indications (above doing “Smile” for Spectra Sonic Sound Sessions) stop in New York City next week to play Mercury Lounge on Monday and Rough Trade NYC on Tuesday.

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Honne Come to Warsaw with New Music Tomorrow Night

October 4th, 2016

With each of them writing, recording and producing their music, Andy Clutterbuck and James Hatcher have been doing business as the electronic-soul duo Honne (above, performing “Warm on a Cold Night” for Hype Hotel) since forming two years ago in London. And following some very well received EPs, influenced by the likes of Al Green and Bill Withers, the duo’s debut full-length, Warm on a Cold Night (stream it below)— filled with smoldering synths and smooth vocals—arrived this past summer. Clash Music says the album bursts with “irresistibly smooth, baby-making electro-soul,” while the Guardian proclaims, “The East London duo’s sleek debut combines the best sounds from the past with state-of-the-art, sophisticated pop.” And having just launched an American tour yesterday, Honne play Warsaw in Brooklyn tomorrow night. Eclectic Austin, Texas, one-man band Max Frost opens the show.

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A Celebration of the Rich Musical History of Memphis

February 12th, 2015

Take Me to the River – Brooklyn Bowl – February 11, 2015

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Last night Brooklyn Bowl hosted a celebration of the rich musical history of Memphis, Tenn., in conjunction with Take Me to the River, a new documentary that traces the roots of the incredible blues, soul and R&B that originated in the city and shows how new generations of artists are carrying on and reinventing this musical legacy. That legacy was on display last night, beginning with the Hi Rhythm Section—musicians who once backed Al Green among many others—performing as the house band for the night.

With expert style, the Hi Rythym Section treated the crowd to a wide range of Memphis music history, as a rotating cast of multigenerational performers took the stage. Otis Clay, who was celebrating his 73rd birthday, performed a soulful rendition of “Precious Precious,” while later Bobby Rush, in a crisp white suit, looking (and sounding) great at 81, performed the Stax Records hit “Push and Pull” alongside rapper Frayser Boy (of “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” fame). Later, William Bell worked his magic on a cover of “Knock on Wood” before enlisting rapper Al Kapone to help perform “I Forgot to Be Your Lover,” a smooth new song featured in the film. In addition to the foundational and contemporary Memphis performers who came together last night, the show featured some very up-and-coming young musicians from the Stax Records Academy, a music school that mentors and trains the next generation of Memphis musicians.

By night’s end, there was really only one natural choice for the finale: So all of the performers crowded onto the stage to collaborate on a rendition of the Al Green version of “Take Me to the River,” joined by Jerry Harrison, of Talking Heads (whose popular cover of the song is yet another example of the impact and power of Memphis music). It was a joyful, freewheeling, inclusive sing-along—a nice distillation of the spirit of Memphis, now and then. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

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The Cap Is Officially Back

August 6th, 2012

A broke-down palace no more, the lovingly restored Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., reopens for business on 9/4 (the headliner will soon be announced). Built in 1926, the venue once hosted the biggest musical acts of the day. Names like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, who once played the Cap 16 times in just 12 months. But the place eventually became a catering hall and special-events facility. No longer. Live music is returning! It will have “the best sound, the best lights and the best video-projection technology of any theater anywhere. Our plan is to turn the knob to 11 in every way possible,” says Peter Shapiro of Brooklyn Bowl. The beloved bowling alley/restaurant/music venue again teams up with Blue Ribbon for food and The Bowery Presents to book the bands. And once again, the calendar is filled with big names, including four shows with the Roots in September, three My Morning Jacket dates in December and the likes of Galactic, Fiona Apple, Warren Haynes, Al Green and a whole lot more in between. Some shows are already on sale and others will be soon, so check the calendar so you don’t get left out.

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Al Green – The Wellmont Theatre – March 14, 2010

March 15th, 2010

Al Green - The Wellmont Theatre - March 14, 2010

Photos courtesy of Andy Keilen | spartanmarchingband.smugmug.com/Music