By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Jesse Scheckner
By Michael E. Miller
Blood, sweat, and tears are pretty much absent from overproduced, next generation soul stars like Usher and R. Kelly, but they're the primary currency for Manhattan soul-funk trio Soulive.With equal parts Motown grit, Blue Note groove, and hip-hop bump, brothers Alan and Neil Evans (drums and organ, respectively) and guitarist Eric Krasno make true soul music for the 21st Century. Between opening for the Rolling Stones and sailing out of Port Everglades on the Dave Matthews Cruise, Alan Evans talked to Outtakes, all the way live:
Alan Evans:I kinda see things changing right now. Some friends of mine are in the studio with Justin Timberlake right now, and supposedly he's trying to play some, you know, real music. He's got some ill musicians in there, and supposedly it's pretty killin'. That's the thing Justin Timberlake, he's actually pretty killin'. The problem is that the whole image and music thing is just wack. It's more of a business thing than a music thing. Back in the day, there was competition. Motown artists would come out, then Stax cats would come out and do their thing, and this whole Philly sound came out. It was friendly competition, and it helped people create really good music. I don't find that these days; it's more about who can sell the most records. It's not competition fueled by the artists; it's more on the business tip.
Gimme your favorite live soul moments.
When Stevie Wonder came and sat in with us back in the fall, that's easily number one. That was the shit. I've never even seen Stevie live in person, so just to have him come out... he just doesn't do that. It was pretty insane.
Below that, last summer I was over in Europe, and I got to see Al Green for the first time, and it was insane; it was crazy. He was singing like he was 23, running all up and down the stage, and the band was ridiculous. A bunch of cats I've never even heard of from Memphis or whatever. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
And at the same show in Europe, Chaka [Khan] played around the same time as us. And that was really cool because she was rocking with a full-on philharmonic orchestra. She was doing all her hits from Rufus, her solo stuff, with this full orchestra. And she had her band with her too. It was crazy! Jonathan Zwickel
Soulive, accompanied by a three-piece horn section, plus Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, plays at 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $15. Call 954-564-1074.
Death Pool for Cutie
The laws of probability and rock tradition dictate that 2006, like every year since the creation of music, will not end without a notable death or two. Eventually, all our rock heroes end up in the Afterlife All-Star Band.
Those who went to the afterparty in 2005 including Luther Vandross, Link Wray, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and R.L. Burnside were mostly aged, disease-stricken, or both, so rock eulogists only had to pull their obituaries from a file and fill in the dates. This year, Outtakes wonders if some younger souls will join the old set as the Grim Reaper gathers his 2006 harvest. Here's our list of likely candidates:
Toby Keith, war-anthem-spewing country jingoist and pickup-truck spokesman. Chances of survival: Moderate. Known risks: On a USO tour of Iraq to whip up fighting fervor, there's always a chance for a friendly fire incident.
Michael Jackson, Bahrain's wackiest resident and not an animal abuser. Chances: Bad (you know it). Known risks: Bankrupt and reportedly gulping tranquilizers by the handful, the gloved one will find that wearing a burqa doesn't protect him from everything.
Courtney Love, violence-prone Nirvana widow and boozy butt of many an Andy Dick joke. Chances: As unpredictable as her court calendar. Known risks: Released from her umpteenth drug rehab program last month, she's ready for the long-awaited Kurt and Courtney reunion tour.
David Crosby, jolly fat guy who provided Melissa Etheridge with baby batter. Chances: Unlike Crosby himself, slim. Known risks: Crosby's 2004 weapons-and-pot arrest makes you wonder how long that 11-year transplanted liver will hold out.
Conor Oberst, pretentious Bright Eyes howler and Omaha's sole gift to the world. Chances: Sadly, statistically strong. Known risks: So many rock critics perpetually slobbering on Oberst raises a distinct drowning possibility.
Eminem, Detroit rapper recently reconciled with ex-wife Kim Mathers. Chances: Shady. Known risks: Remarrying the woman who inspired his most heartfelt murder fantasies might not be the healthiest thing for a guy coming out of rehab.
James Brown, funk and soul pioneer whose prostate is a mutha. Chances: He don't feel good. Known risks: After 72 years of hard living and even harder working, how much longer before he gives it up and turns it loose?