Friday, March 07, 2008
Syl and Syleena Johnson- They Can't See Your Good Side
A couple of MCs at last weekend's big soul-blues concert in Kansas City made a running joke out of the scarcity of white people attending the event. It bugged me. Oh, I didn't mind getting playfully elbowed every time the subject came up between acts.
But the enormous musical divide between demographic groups troubles me. I really like Amy Winehouse too, but why is she a superstar in a community that treats the late Luther Vandross like a virtual nonentity? And how is it that 99% of the people who buy tickets to see Mel Waiters and Marvin Sease are of one race?
I don't doubt for a second that Winehouse would have gladly attended the show, just as she would appreciate this wonderful 1995 track from This Time Together by Syl Johnson and his daughter Syleena. Syleena Johnson has a fledgling career of her own. Here she is with fellow Chicagoan Kanye West on his "All Falls Down."
With that in mind, a likely Winehouse arena tour of North America in 2009 has the potential to bring people together. Just for grins, I'm proposing two possible lineups. "The Women of R&B Tour": Mary J. Blige, Winehouse, Etta James and Keyshia Cole. Or... "The New 'Old School' R&B Tour": Winehouse, Fantasia, Robin Thicke and Sir Charles Jones. Whattaya think?
The Riverfront Times did a nice cover story on Rockwell Knuckles. The St. Louisian's Rhymesayers-style sound deserves a national audience.
Kansas City Click: Pat Metheny, Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez perform tonight in Lee's Summit. The concert is sold out.
There Stands the Glass favorite Paul Kelly opens for Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Uptown on Saturday.
Blues harp veteran Sugar Blue hits Knuckleheads on Sunday.