Friday, August 05, 2005

I have to admit to crying about the dearth of good young black vocalist and the waning of soul music. Black pop music seems super slick today, pretty faces shaking their bodies singing mediocre songs and lacking a heart felt soulfulness. Where are tomorrows Gladys Knights, Millie Jacksons, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan and Aretha? I know each generation creates their own music. It reflects their experiences and how they want to express themselves to the world. I always feel the majority of music being produce is for the market that young artists aren't challenging themselves or their audiences.

Last night renewed my faith that soul music won't completely fade into bling bling plastic soulless songs. We drove to Concord, a suburban town in the East Bay to the Chronicle Concord Pavilion for the Sugar Water Festival featuring Queen Latifah, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Floetry. It was fantastic program, these women can sing, the stage wasn't filled with 100 dancers or ultra special effects but talented vocalist and musicians. Each artist had something unique to bring to the stage, a realness in the performances that allow the audience to feel a real connection a soulful experience. Intelligent thoughtful lyrics with jazz, reggae, rock, hip hop, and blues influences interwoven in the music.
Jill Scott

A few comments about the Concord Pavilion, we purchased general seating tickets on the lawn, the night was warm and the hill's grass was well manicured. We had blankets and snacks, everything went well getting a comfortable spot. Monitors perched around the stage provide us distant attendee's artists' close-up, I forgot my binocular so this was appreciated. The sound quality was good except the BASE was too high and reverberated like the boom from cars when their drivers get hyped. We might like the cars that go BOOM but not during a concert please. Erykah Badu performance had the Base under control - but everyone else had problems. Even with some questionable sound engineering it was an inspiring show, yes there is soul out there. Now if we can get some radio airplay...........
Erika Badu


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