Friday, March 07, 2008

Syl and Syleena Johnson- They Can't See Your Good Side

Turned away.

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.


bgo said...

Me and Roger Naber used to comment how white people ignore the classic soul blues guys/gals but will flock to see Jimmy Thackery and others of that ilk. I guess they just have not experience black working class culture. Thankfully I grew up around it and have embraced it since I was a mid-teen at Southeast High School.

bgo said...

I like Amy W but I do not think she is going to live much longer.

I am impressed with Duffy from Northern Wales.

She is huge in the UK right now and might be THE ACT of 2008.

Dusty is smiling from her grave I bet.

I would like to see a white / black mega show as you mentioned.

I can think of many great combinations.

I have heard 3 tracks from the new Gnarls Barkley and they are what you what expect. It's going to be among my favorites this year.

Well, thanks for letting yak a bit here.

Happy In Bag said...

Thanks, as always, BGO, for the insights.

Trackstar the DJ said...

Good day! I wanted to send you some mixtape links for your perusal...(the newest features a Rockwell Knuckles appearance)...but I couldn't find your email...please hit me at, take care.

Happy In Bag said...

Hit me at happyinbag(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks!