REVIEW+PHOTOS: BJ The Chicago Kid | “Generations of Soul” | Mack Sennett Studios | 4/2/15

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

E&J Brandy is America’s most awarded brandy. Celebrating their 40th anniversary, they’ve embarked on a “Generations of Soul” campaign featuring the musical talents of Raphael Saadiq, BJ the Chicago Kid and Lee Fields. We were able to attend their private concert at Mack Sennett Studios on 4/2/15 and BJ The Chicago Kid gave a performance that surely won over many a new fans.

REVIEW+PHOTOS: Lee Fields | “Generations of Soul” | Mack Sennett Studios | 4/2/15

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

E&J Brandy is America’s most awarded brandy. Celebrating their 40the anniversary, they’ve embarked on a “Generations of Soul” campaign featuring the musical talents of Raphael Saadiq, BJ the Chicago Kid and Lee Fields. We were able to attend their private concert at Mack Sennett Studios on 4/2/15 and Lee Fields gave a stellar and intimate performance.

Charles Bradley | Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier 9/11/14 [Photos]

Concerts

CLICK HERE to check out other acts performing a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier!

Charles Bradley loves everybody. Charles Bradley loves you. Charles Bradley loves me. And you know what? I love Charles Bradley. I love his spirit. I love his passion. I love his music. I won’t wax poetic about how much I his music moves my soul (I’ve already done that here and here), but I will say that if anybody is the “Soul of America” incarnate, it’s that man. Mr. Charles Bradley.

 

After he closed the Twilight Concert Series with a rousing performance of “Why Is It So Hard”, I went backstage with the hopes of getting him to sign a copy of a limited edition LP I had in my collection. As luck would have it, he was greeting some fans after his so I made my way towards him and asked him if he would do me the honor of signing my album.

 

His eyes widened with a sparkle of surprise and he exclaimed, “Even I haven’t seen this record!” I went on to tell him how I first saw him at FYF and also shot him at The Fonda, and he asked me for my name, proclaiming that he would try not to forget it. With nothing left to say, I simply said, “I love you, Mr Bradley,” reaching my hand out for a hand shake. He pulled me in for a hug, wrapping me in his arms and said, “I love you too, Derrick. Thank you.”

 

Getting a hug from the The Soul of America? No better way to end a concert series. Thank you Mr. Bradley. I can’t wait to hear what music you’ve got coming for us fans next.

 

CLICK HERE to put a little soul, and love, in your heart with some video clips of Charles Bradley at the Santa Monica Pier.

 

King James & The Special Men | Twilight Concert Series | Santa Monica Pier 9/11/14 [Photos]

Concerts

CLICK HERE to check out other acts performing a Twilight Concert at the Santa Monica Pier!

I love New Orleans. I love its people. I love its food. I love its music. God damn, how I love its music. Blues, jazz, funk, dixieland … New Orleans has it all. On September 11, 2014, a bit of New Orleans came to the Santa Monica Pier.

 

King James & The Special Men is a rhythm and blues band that embodies the New Orleans spirit. Their raw, gritty, soulful music reminded me of the crazy, fun, nights I’ve had trolling Bourbon Street, drunk off my butt, wandering into the random, local venue that had live music spilling into the street.

 

Playing both covers and originals, King James and his Special Men played music that evoked memories of that one time my friends and me spent an evening at Mother-In-Laws when it was hosted by the charming Miss Antoinette (R.I.P.). As it turns it out, he was a regular player there,  playing for nothing “but free drinks and big ol’ sack of Miss Antoinette K-Doe’s red beans and rice”.

 

It was a grand performance by New Orleans stalwart, and I was very pleased that the Twilight Concert  Series got him to open for Charles Bradley.  CLICK HERE to check out some Instagram video clips from the concert to get a bit of that New Orleans flavor in your soul.

Nick Waterhouse | Ink-N-Iron | 6/7/14 [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

When retro-soul is done right, I love it. Last year, I was unable to catch Nick Waterhouse’s concert on the Santa Monica Pier. When I heard that he was scheduled to perform at Ink-N-Iron, I was thrilled. Some may argue that a “kid” in his mid-twenties, couldn’t possibly know about retro-soul. I’d have to disagree with them.

Dressed in a dapper suit, and his trademark Buddy Holly glasses, Nick Waterhouse and his full band took to the stage and the anxious crowd roared. They had waited eagerly to hear some music that harkened back vintage 50 and 60s soul, and they got it

Accompanied by backing vocalists, horns, drum, keys and bass, Nick managed and conducted his band through a set of music that really breathed a new kind of funk into the retro-soul genre. The only thing “modern” about the set were the iPads that the horns used for their setlist and (I’m assuming) score.

The band was terrific. Obviously a tightly knit group of players, each instrumentalist played off each other with the kind of synchronicity you would expect from a seasoned Motown band. Hidden in the not so apparent details, Nick Waterhouse’s musicality was on full display. His orchestration, and his musical arrangements, was proof positive to me that his retro-soul sound is no fluke. He may be young, but he’s got it, and he’s got it in spades.

I loved the set. I was grooving in my spot the entire time, and looking around to see how others were reacting, everyone… and I mean everyone … was doing the same. Towards the end of the set, uninvited concert goers even snuck their way onstage to dance and groove to the music. I seriously look forward to hearing- and seeing- more music from him.

I couldn’t find a setlist of his set online, so if you attended the event and know what his setlist was, please post it in the comments, and I’ll add it to the post.

I’m particularly proud of some of the photos I took during Nick’s set. I hope you enjoy them too.

Yancy Deron, Yung Miss & Quiz | The Virgil | 1/22/14

Concerts

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Opening for Terrace Martin at the Virgil, were three acts: Quiz, Yung Miss and Yancy Deron. Each held their own, performing their sets admirably and with good energy, positively setting the table and mood for the evening’s headliner.  Below are video clips of their performances and a slideshow with some pictures from the evening. I was particularly impressed with Yung Miss’ set. Her vocal ability had a rawness that evoked memories of a younger Lauren Hill.

Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not currently available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos.