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Tag: Soul (71-80 of 83)

Amy Winehouse and ?uestlove: Supergroup in the making?

questlove-winehouseImage Credit: Chago Akii-bua; Mischa RichterDoes ?uestlove ever sleep? Fresh off last week’s release of the Roots’ best album in several years, the hip-hop band’s drummer/mastermind is already teasing his next dream project: a supergroup consisting of himself and troubled wailer Amy Winehouse. This would be on top of the Roots’ Late Night With Jimmy Fallon job and their upcoming collaborative album with John Legend. Like I said, dude stays grinding.

?uestlove spilled the beans in an interview with Spinner at the Toronto Jazz Festival, where the Roots performed on Tuesday. He said international red tape is the only thing preventing him and Winehouse from jamming together. “[The supergroup is] definitely going to happen — it’s just that we have to work overtime to get her visa situation together,” he promised. “The closest she can come to the States is Jamaica.” He hopes to discuss this face-to-face with Winehouse when the Roots hit France next week. ‘Til then, they plan to continue “Skype-ing the s— out of each other.”

Until that visa issue is resolved, this may be more aspiration than reality. It’s a pretty awesome idea, though. All the drama in Winehouse’s personal life hasn’t made me one bit less eager to hear her follow up 2006’s Back to Black. If anything, sad to say, that kind of hard-lived experience could make her music even more compelling. And ?uestlove would be a brilliant choice to draw that quality out on record. As a drummer and producer, he’s helped coax amazing albums out of complicated personalities like D’Angelo and Al Green.

What do you think of this potential pairing? Anyone else psyched for ?uestlove and Amy Winehouse to team up?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Five reasons you should see Hall & Oates on tour

I’m not sure when it became ironic to dig Hall & Oates, but it bothers me deeply. Sure, I get that we’re all supposed to be so friggin’ cool by now that it’s impossible to love something without wrapping air quotes around it. But the blue-eyed soul duo’s awesomeness is so indisputable, it should be immune to winking snark. After all, these are the guys who wrote “Sara Smile”, “Maneater”, and one of the most perfect break-up tunes of all time, “She’s Gone”. There’s nothing guilty about the pleasure these songs bring the first, second, or hundredth time you hear them. And if you’ve never seen them performed live, do yourself a favor and check out the band’s current “Do What You Want, Be Who You Are” tour.

Still not convinced? Here’s five reasons you should see Hall & Oates live…

1. Because they’ll be wearing clothes a whole lot cooler than these:

2. Because Oates is…gasp!…going mustache-less these days.

3. Because there’s nothing comparable to the sound of a few thousand people trying to reproduce the hand-clap that comes 44 seconds into this song…

4. Because they’ll also be playing this…

5. Because when we recently saw them play the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut, Hall never once uttered the line, “Here’s one you may not know from our new album”.

Hanson and Weird Al invoke spirit of 'The Blues Brothers' for new video. How does this not suck?

If you’d told me yesterday that I would like the video for Hanson’s new single, “Thinkin’ Bout Something,” then I would have said, “I’m fairly sure that’s not true, because I don’t particularly care for them.” And if you’d tried to persuade me otherwise by saying that the clip pays homage to the Ray Charles sequence from the Blues Brothers then I would have suggested that that actually makes it less likely I’m going to enjoy it. And if you’d added that the video also features Weird Al Yankovic playing tambourine in a sexually suggestive fashion then I would have testily remarked upon how this whole conversation was a complete, and rather inexplicable, waste of my valuable time.

But I would have been wrong! The video is a delight, partly because the song itself is a delicious, catchy slice of pop-soul, and partly because some considerable effort has clearly gone into recreating the Blues Brothers scene. For a second, I really thought that was the great Steve Cropper on guitar. Weird Al’s gyrations I could do without, but there you go.

Anyway, check out the video—which is from their June 8-released CD Shout it Out—and then take a look at the  relevant movie clip, which you’ll find after the break. Compare, contrast, and tell us what you think!

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Extended Play: Galactic's 'YA-KA-MAY'

Welcome to Extended Play, an occasional feature where we review CDs we couldn’t squeeze into the magazine—even though many of us really are quite excellent squeezers. This week: the newie from NOLA outfit Galactic.

Galactic
YA-KA-MAY
Funk (ANTI-)

Can we describe this collection from the New Orleans quintet without using the word “gumbo”? Probably not. The funkateers have infused YA-KA-MAY with an abundance of varied flavors as they skillfully back a wide range of NOLA musicians, from legendary artists such as singer Irma Thomas and producer-composer Allen Toussaint, to young rappers Katey Red and Sissy Nobby, who both feature on the energetic, clattering, “Katey vs. Nobby.” The result is an often very tasty musical, uh, stew. B+ —Clark Collis
DOWNLOAD THESE:
The Rebirth Brass Band-assisted “Boe Money” and the slinky Irma Thomas showcase “Heart of Steel”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo credit: Taylor Crothers

'How to Make It in America,' step one: Get a fantastic theme song from Aloe Blacc

When my friends and I watched the series premiere of HBO’s How to Make It in America this weekend, we rewound as soon as the opening credits were over so we could listen again to the new show’s awesome theme song, “I Need a Dollar.” It sounded like the type of thing you might discover deep in someone’s collection of old soul records on vinyl — maybe an obscure Bill Withers B-side we weren’t familiar with?

Nope! A quick Google check revealed that we were enjoying a brand new tune from 2010, not 1970. “I Need a Dollar” is the first single from singer Aloe Blacc‘s album Good Things, coming soon on left-field rap haven Stones Throw Records. His backing band on this track is retro-soul outfit El Michels Affair, whose work I’ve praised in this space.

Stones Throw is generously offering up “I Need a Dollar” as a free MP3 download, so go and grab it now, or watch a promo featuring How to Make It in America‘s title sequence below. (Frankly, those opening credits are the only part of the show that I’d say is worth your time — but hey, maybe it’ll improve in the next few episodes.) Then let us know if you’re digging How to Make It in America‘s theme song as much as I do.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Vh1's 'Soul Train' documentary: don't miss it

I am not usually one to shill for Vh1 programming on this blog, unless it’s for the music Tom Sizemore hears in his head on Celebrity Rehab, but the channel’s Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America, which airs Saturday night at 9:30pm ET/PT, should not be missed.

Terrence Howard narrates the documentary, Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson scores it, and countless icons spanning the show’s 40-year run, including Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Sly Stone, Smokey Robinson and Snoop Dogg, appear as talking heads.

But the real star of Hippest Trip is the show itself: Archival clips from its early beginnings as a local program in Chicago in 1970 and on through its move—both geographical and cultural—to Los Angeles, where its social impact reached far beyond hair styles and hot-minute singles.

Soul Train‘s producer and host, Don Cornelius, is still the man with the best baritone this side of James Earl Jones (and his snazzy outfits leave Darth Jones in the dust). The guests, from Ike & Tina to Public Enemy, are amazing—not to mention some of the first musicians to appear live on TV in a time when lip-synching was considered de rigueur. And the dancers, future stars Rosie Perez and Jody Watley among them, are insanely fun to watch. If you can toot your caboose half as well this crew on the infamous Soul Train Line, while looking one-tenth as fashion bananas, you are a champion.

Or, you could just make love to a red rose, rock the bejesus out of a pair of yellow poly pants and a brown silk arm sling, and be Al Green:

Seriously, tune in tomorrow night. If you have ever loved R&B, soul, hip hop, music, television, or joy, it is worth your time.

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Patti LaBelle remembers Teddy Pendergrass: "We were like sister and brother"

Teddy Pendergrass clearly made an emotional connection with a lot of performers during his life. Foremost among them was singer Patti LaBelle, who earlier today told EW about her relationship with the now sadly late soul legend.

“I knew him very,” she said. “We were like sister and brother. We were just always together. He lived not far from me and he would come to all of my shows and sit in the front row. I’d see him and I’d get chills. He was just a wonderful person that we lost, but his spirit will always be around.”

The singer also recalled the first time that she heard Pendergrass sing. “We were on the same label and I heard him sing and his voice floored me,” she said. “There’ll never be another Teddy.”

More on Teddy Pendergrass:
Teddy Pendergrass: Songwriter Leon Huff recalls his friend
Teddy Pendergrass: Remember the voice
Teddy Pendergrass dies at 59
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(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo credit: LaBelle: Sayre Berman/PR Photos, Pendergrass: Lennox Smillie/Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

Teddy Pendergrass: Songwriter and producer Leon Huff remembers his long friendship with the late Philly soul star

Leon Huff, together with his songwriting partner Kenny Gamble, played a crucial role in the career of Teddy Pendergrass, who died yesterday. The pair signed Pendergrass to their Philadelphia International record label when he was still the drummer with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. But it wasn’t long before they recognized his vocal talents and the pair began to write tracks for Pendergrass. Gamble and Huff would also oversee his hugely successful transition into a solo star. EW spoke with Leon Huff earlier today and you can read his recollections of the late soul legend after the break, where you will also find a clip of Pendergrass’s emotional performance at Live Aid.

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Teddy Pendergrass: Stars pay their respects to the late soul legend

Musicians have been paying their respects via Twitter to soul legend Teddy Pendergrass, who died yesterday.

“Celebrate our legends while they’re still with us,” wrote R&B singer Tyrese, “I spent many weeks with him. Teddy I HONOR you and Thank You for making R&B Raspy Sexy!!” Roots drummer ?uestlove, who, like Pendergrass, hails from Philadelphia, noted that, “soul will never be the same.” Jazzy Jeff, another Philadelphian, recalled how “Teddy gave me advice when I 1st started…very sad day.” Finally, Keri Hilson wrote simply, “RIP Teddy Pendergrass.”

More on Teddy Pendergrass:
Teddy Pendergrass: Remember the voice
Teddy Pendergrass dies at 59

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo credit: Lennox Smillie/Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

Legendary producer Willie Mitchell dies at age 81

Producer, musician, songwriter, trumpeter, and record label chief Willie Mitchell passed away this morning in Memphis at the age of 81. Mitchell was best known for being one of the principal architects of the so-called “Memphis sound,” and for his collaborations with soul legend Al Green.

Mitchell was born in Ashland, Miss., and in the ’50s and ’60s had a successful career as a soul band leader. In 1970 he took charge of the Memphis-based Hi Records label and signed Al Green.

For the next six years Mitchell produced a string of hits for the singer including “Let’s Stay Together,” “Tired of Being Alone,” and “I’m Still In Love With You.” He also oversaw albums for Ann Peebles and Syl Johnson and, more recently, collaborated with John Mayer.

Mitchell was a tireless booster of Memphis musicians. “The players here can do anything,” he declared in 2007. “I don’t give a damn if it’s opera or R&B, pop or country. They do it all.” Hear Green work his Mitchell-helmed magic on a true classic, below:

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Photo credit: GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty Images

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