Category Archives: R&B

LIVE AT THE ICE HOUSE: EPISODE 4 ~ “ROCK AND ROLE MODELS”

Judah 1

American roots-rock duo William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up return with a brand new episode of Live at the Ice House, the duo’s socially conscious ongoing music web series. In the latest installment, titled “Rock & Role Models,” Ishmael Herring, aka William Pilgrim, and his musical cohort PM Romero, take the show on the road to East West Studios in Hollywood, CA, where they are currently finishing a new record for Orange County-based label, Moonlight Graham Records that is scheduled for release in early 2014.


Exene Cervenka and Kevin Alexander Gray

Exene Cervenka and Kevin Alexander Gray

In this episode, William Pilgrim and PM Romero are joined by the legendary Blind Boys Of Alabama, and other friends from previous Live at the Ice House segments including Modern Poet and Renaissance Man David “Judah 1” Oliver from Episode 3, singer Lesedi Lo-Fi from Episode 2, and Exene Cervenka of the celebrated band X, who narrated the series’ debut episode that focused on teen homelessness. Social and political blogger/author Kevin Alexander Gray also stops by for a heated but good natured and insightful discussion with Pilgrim and Romero.

Blind Boys Of Alabama at East West Studios In Hollywood

PM Romero with the Blind Boys Of Alabama & friends at East West Studios In Hollywood

The Blind Boys of Alabama are notably featured on a track on William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up’s forthcoming sophomore release, titled Epic Endings. The five-time Grammy Award winning gospel group was in the process of cutting tracks at East West Studios and, drawn to the message of Live at the Ice House, asked to join in the roundtable discussions. The Blind Boys’ soulful style and spirituality prove an ideal complement to William Pilgrim’s haunting, bluesy vocals. X singer Exene Cervenka is also featured in a duet with William Pilgrim on the upcoming release and in this Live at the Ice House episode she speaks on the inspirations and meanings behind that song.

Ishmael Herring, aka William Pilgrim and Kevin Alexander Gray

Ishmael Herring, aka William Pilgrim and Kevin Alexander Gray

“Last episode we tried to demonstrate the power we all have with the words we choose and how we use them,” says William Pilgrim. “In this episode we move to focus more on music.  Music was an integral part of the 60′s fight for civil rights and it spoke out against our destruction of the people of Vietnam and to the tightening grip of American business over our government and public policy.  We believe music, performers and songwriters have a responsibility today to pick up where our 60′s predecessors left off.”

“Music is a tremendously powerful force for change and can inform and raise awareness but also impact people on a deeply emotional level, and this is where the seed for real social change must take root,” says PM Romero. “With no resonating voice within government or the media to challenge our misguided understandings of civics, economics and history, music and the artists that craft songs can become major influences to break through our corrupted common sense and reason.  Music can be the voice that unifies and organizes people around a common good.”

Live at the Ice House, “Rock & Role Models,”  is also available now on http://liveicehouse.com.

Live at the ICE HOUSE

Live at the ICE HOUSE

Additional information on William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up Is available at: https://www.facebook.com/williampilgrimmusic.

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Filed under American Culture, American Politics, Black Culture | United States, Movement & Message Music, Music History, Poetry, Political Ideology, R&B, Rock, Soul, Work of Comrades

The Soul Will Find a Way | By Kevin Alexander Gray


The Life and Times of James Brown

 At the start of the 1960s, my father Paul moved my mom Geneva, three older brothers, younger sister and me from Boston to rural Spartanburg County in upstate South Carolina. He’d fled the South in the 1940s, enlisting in the Navy. Twenty years later, he returned to an inheritance of eleven shotgun houses and a juke joint at the foot of a hill in a tiny, segregated, one way in – one way out community called Freyline.

Gray’s Grocery was on the sign over the front door between the two round, red  Coca Cola logos, but everyone called the gathering spot “the store”. Gray’s Grocery was where all the maids, janitors, textile mill workers, field laborers, wannabe slicksters, young and old, sinners and saints met on weekends to dance, drink, gamble, talk, cuss, have an occasional scuffle, fist, gun or knife fight, and generally let it all hang out.  

[For more click Counterpunch logo]

Kevin Gray on James Brown – Part 1

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Filed under 1ST LOOK | KAG Book Promotion, 1ST LOOK | Waiting for Lightning to Strike, American Culture, American History, Black Culture | United States, Historic Black Politics & Figures, James Brown Recognition Project, Music History, R&B, Soul, South Carolina

Gil Scott-Heron @ BB King Blues Club

Gil Scott HeronGil Scott-Heron

November 4, 2009 – BB King Blues Club, NYC
237 West 42nd Street, between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue.
 
Poet, musician, activist, author, bluesologist. These are all terms that have been used to describe the great Gil Scott-Heron, who more humbly refers to himself simply as a “piano player from Tennessee”. Most famous for his era-defining 1970’s poem, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” Gil Scott-Heron’s politically charged material made him a stalwart figure in the 1970’s civil rights movement. His lyrical content covered topics like the superficiality of television and mass consumerism, the hypocrisy of some would-be Black revolutionaries and white middle-class ignorance of the difficulties faced by inner-city residents.  Not only a pioneer of blues, jazz and funk, his honesty, matter-of-fact delivery and fearlessness to address important social issues in the face of media criticism made him one of the foremost progenitors of contemporary hip-hop and spoken word.. Expect an incredible new CD in early 2010.
 
Doors at 6:00pm, Show at 8:00pm
NB:  General Admission – First come, first seated
$30 adv, $35 at door
VIP Booths available for four to six people; must buy whole booth|Tix/Booth for four:  $200  /  Tix/Booth for six:  $300
Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster, online at ticketmaster.com or 212-307-7171.
 
Tickets can be purchased in person at our box office from 10:30 am to midnight every night.
 
Unless otherwise noted, all shows are suitable for all ages and offer general admission seating. Seating for all shows is first come, first seated; we do not take advance table reservation, except where noted as a condition of a VIP ticket.  We cannot seat incomplete parties.  Standing room for all shows is available at our bar.
 
For further show information, directions to the venue and for the latest updates visit us at www.bbkingblues.com  or call 212-997-4144.
 

Produced by Jill Newman Productions

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Filed under ART | CULTURE | WRITING, Black Culture | United States, Hip Hop, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Movement & Message Music, Poetry, R&B, The Blues File

Norman Brown’s Summer Storm | Tribute To Wayman Tisdale

Wayman Tisdale

Wayman Tisdale

On May 15, 2009, former collegiate/NBA All-Star and bass guitarist extraordinaire WAYMAN TISDALE succumbed to his battle with cancer.  With the disease thought to be in submission, Wayman was booked to make an appearance in Atlanta with his longtime partner and fellow musician Norman Brown

This date was set for cancellation but Norman, and Michael Alexander of J.A.M.S. Promotions wanted to honor their friend in music.  And so, on Saturday, August 22, at 7 p.m., we hope you can show your love for Norman Brown’s Summer Storm – Tribute To Wayman Tisdale. Participating in the festivities are an array of today’s finest smooth jazz artists who previously toured with Wayman including saxophonists Euge Groove and Eric Darius; keyboardists Brian Simpson and Gail Johnson, and a surprise special guest.  The open-air event will take place at the lovely Mablehouse-Barnes Amphitheatre in Atlanta.  Tickets are available online at www.ticketmaster.com, at their many locations, or by calling 404-249-6400

Summer Storm Atlanta

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ARETHA | 1968 Stockholm Concert

THE QUEEN OF SOUL

Aretha Franklin | 1968

Aretha Franklin | 1968

The “Queen of Soul,” Sister Ree or simply “Aretha” was born Aretha Louise Franklin on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, TN to the Reverend C.L. Franklin, a Baptist minister and Barbara Siggers Franklin. 

In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Franklin #1 on its list of  The Greatest Singers of All Time.

The Queen

The Queen

Franklin is one of the most honored artists by the Grammy Awards, with 20 Grammys to date, which include the Living Legend Grammy and the Lifetime Achievement Grammy. She has scored a total of 20 #1 singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart, two of which also became #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Respect (1967)” and “I Knew You Were Waiting For Me” (1987), a duet with George Michael.  Since 1961, Franklin has scored a total of 45 “Top 40” hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

BIO –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin

For Classic Soul Tuesday Swedish TV broadcast of Aretha Franklin concert in Stockholm, 1968.

“You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”

“Come Back Baby”

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Filed under Classic Soul Music Tuesday, R&B, Soul

Curtis Mayfield | We Got To Have Peace

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Filed under Movement & Message Music, Peace, R&B, Soul