r&b Archive

Concert Review & Photoblog: Fitz and the Tantrums, Asheville NC, 5 Nov. 2013

Modern r&b-flavored pop act Fitz and the Tantrums returned to Asheville recently for an enthusiastic, packed-house reception. Focusing on tunes from their second album (2013’s More than Just a Dream) and peppering the set with cuts from their breakout 2010 debut Pickin’ Up the Pieces, the group wowed the audience. A high-energy show from start

Clearing the Backlog: Ten Micro-reviews

As the end of 2013 closes in, I look at my inbox and see a massive stack of CDs. Best as I try, I don’t always follow a first-in/first-out policy with regard to covering releases I find worthy. And while my occasional capsule reviews do help reduce the pile of CD on my desk, today

Album Review: Various — Pete Townshend’s Jukebox

UK-based Chrome Dreams has released a number of these Jukebox titles over the last few years, including titles exploring the influences upon Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and even The Grateful Dead. And while some of these artists have endeavored to do something similar themselves (McCartney’s 1999 Run Devil Run comes to mind), the

Cody ChesnuTT: Everybody’s Brother

by Special Guest Blogger Annelise Kopp Though hailed in some quarters, Cody ChestnuTT‘s debut album, Headphone Masterpiece, received mixed reviews, some unforgiving. While critics seemed to agree that the R&B/neo-soul artist possesses an incredible singing voice, some harped on what they saw as the inconsistent quality of the album. Rob Mitchum, writing for Pitchfork, decried

Shuggie Otis at The Orange Peel, Asheville NC 9 October 2013 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Once the doors opened, we entered and secured our barstools, settling in to wait for the show. Minutes earlier, the Orange Peel’s Facebook event update status had informed us that the opening act had canceled last-minute, and as such Shuggie Otis would be taking the stage earlier than usual. At this

Shuggie Otis at The Orange Peel, Asheville NC 9 October 2013 (Part One)

One evening early in September 2013, I was on the phone with a good friend. “Shuggie Otis is playing next month at The Orange Peel,” I announced. “What?! No…” Clearly I was mistaken, he thought. “He’s dead.” No he’s not, I assured my friend. But that belief is a common, understandable mistake. Son of famed

July Capsule Reviews, #3 of 3

Today I present yet four more capsule reviews. Today’s crop includes reissues on the Real Gone Music label. RGM is committed to unearthing long- (and unjustly-) forgotten music, and these four titles — all from the too-often-maligned decade of the 1970s – certainly meet that standard. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150

Album Review: Various Artists — The South Side of Soul Street

Not meant to diminish in any way the staggering contribution Stax made to popular music, but that Memphis label was not the be-all and end-all for quality Southern soul music of the 60s and 70s. And while every time a compilation of previously-overlooked music comes out – Los Nuggetz, for example, or the deep-archival comps

Pygmies, Green Bullets, and Shitty Amps: Getting Loopy with Randall Bramblett

Randall Bramblett began his professional musical career in the 1970s. Working solo and then as a member of Sea Level, Bramblett crafted songs that synthesized a long list of American musical forms: soul, rhythm and blues, rock, and even gospel flavorings. The highly regarded musician recently released The Bright Spots, his eleventh solo album. He

Album Review: Pulp and Pop Culture Box Vol. 1

You know what’s cool? When the compiler of a collection of music makes no outsized claims of cultural import about the music. Sometimes it’s art, for sure, but sometime, it’s just…fun. That’s certainly the case with Rock Beat’s new Pulp & Pop Culture Box Vol. 1. One hundred-plus tracks filling four CDs, it’s jam packed