Seems like a fairly normal week, local institutions announcing that they’re closing, crazy people making crazy threats, and maybe some good news with the opening of a new music venue. Plenty of great options this weekend and it’s going to be a cold one so what better way to get through it than with a few shows?
Seems like the year is in full throttle now, even with the handbrake turn that is a leap year, and here we are in March already. This weekend sees multiple bands with new records, anniversaries and one of my favourite artists of the last few years. If there isn’t something to love here then we just aren’t talking the same language.
Whenever I’m asked to name an artist or a record from the last few years that has really wowed me, I always name Curtis Harding. Born in Saginaw, MI, but settled in Atlanta, Georgia, after knocking out a 7″ with Night Sun (which also features Danny Lee of Night Beats along with Cole and Joe from Black Lips), Curtis recorded Soul Power, which was my favourite album of 2014. It takes something special for a contemporary artist to make a classic soul album without simply sounding derivative, and Soul Power was just that.
It has been a couple of years since he last played a proper show in New York (where he played Mercury Lounge and Glasslands), but that changes on the 3rd of March at Brooklyn Bowl, tickets are available now.
Curtis Harding was in New York this week for a couple of shows. His debut album, Soul Power, is so good I decided to go to both.
I was excited about the Mercury Lounge show because it’s a great sounding room and I thought would suit the material to a tee. The only downer was that there was no support act, doors opened at 9:30 and Curtis didn’t play until 11, it would have been nice to have had something to break up the time (or just come on earlier). However, it was well worth the wait. [Read more…]
Curtis Harding has got it. I don’t know what it is, no-one does, but we all know it when we hear it. For me, this ambiguous statement is even more true when it comes to one of my great loves, soul music, whose golden period of the 60s and 70s still sounds fresh but has obviously cast a shadow over everything that has come since. It’s hard to not to hear the ghosts of the past as a rotating cast of pretenders come and go in the blink of an eye while attempted reboots and rebranding rarely registered even a spark.
This is all the more reason you’ll be genuinely thrilled to hear that Curtis Harding’s debut album, Soul Power, shows a contemporary artist with the ability to tap into the energy of soul without sounding derivative. Lead single, Keep On Shining is a foot stomping, brass accompanied modern soul anthem, whilst the video shows another rare quality, which is to not take oneself too seriously. Listen below the jump.