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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Masters of Funk Tour 2011 Rolls on

Pictured, The Bar-Kays.  The Masters of Funk 2011 World Tour rolls on.  Here’s the transcript of my interview with James JJ Underwood of JEA Right Now Records talking about the tour.

You can also listen to my Masters of Funk Tour 2011 interview that features the Bar-Kays latest release “Return of the Mack."

King: This is King from powerhouseradio.com and I am on the line with James JJ Underwood and JJ is the Office Manager for JEA Right Now Records. How you doing JJ?

James JJ Underwood:  I am doing fine, how about you there?

King: I am hangin’, I am hangin’ in, feeling pretty good today.  We want to talk to you a little bit about the Masters of Funk World Tour, which is featuring some of the great classic soul bands like the Bar-Kays, Con Funk Shun, Sugarfoot’s, Ohio Players.  I see you have a lot of different groups that are actually part of this tour but my understanding is not every group appears at every show. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

James JJ Underwood: Yes, we mix it up a little for every different venue that we go to.  The tours’ actually been going on for two to three years now. but we mix it up and give each city a little different taste of each group; because there are like 20 Bands involved in the tour, out of those 20 Bands like 4, or 5 bands perform at each venue. So we kind of spice it up a little and give the people a little bit of everything as far as the funk and the soul goes.

King: Now I see you guys are going to be in Detroit on April 2nd, 2011, so are you in the middle of the tour for the season. How many more dates do you have coming up in 2011?

James JJ Underwood:  We go to Detroit April 2nd, Chicago April 23rd, we do Memphis in May then we go to St. Louis in June. There is pretty much two dates a month, until the year is out for the Masters of Funk.  People really want to see this, they missed all the soul and funk groups. then, the live music people, are still really interested in the live music so the tour is going really well.

King: Is there any particular group among those that we have mentioned the Bar-Kays, Dazz Band, Sugarfoot’s, Ohio Players, Brick, Klymaxx, Mary Jane Girls, any one of these group at every show, do you have like a foundation group, or is it subject to change every show?

James JJ Underwood: It is subject to change every show it is usually, what the fans usually request.  For Phoenix we had Cherelle, the Dazz Band, Con Funk Shun and it was sell out and that’s what people wanted to see in Phoenix.

King: Where could people go to get the complete schedule of the Masters of Funk Tour?

James JJ Underwood: You can go to www.bar-kays.net.  There is a complete list of all the tour dates.  www.bar-kays.net, a complete list of everything.

King: I am King from powerhouseradio.com, we’re talking with JJ Underwood, he’s with JEA Right Now Records.  JJ you have mentioned that the tour is going through the end of the year, is that right into November and December?

James JJ Underwood:  Yeah, right until November and December.

King: So tell me about this new Bar-Kays song, Return of the Mack, I was just listening to it its pretty good. How did they get involved in putting this one out there?

James JJ Underwood: Mr. Larry Dodson, he likes to stay current with his music, and he is always coming up with something and he came up with this. I think it’s really a hit, it’s real current it still has the funk to it and it really displays the creativeness the Bar-Kays, still have.

King: And tell everybody who Larry Dodson is?

James JJ Underwood: Larry Dodson is the lead singer of the Bar-Kays.

King:  Alright, say JJ I want to thank you very much for talking to us about the Masters of Funk Tour 2011, and you said the tour has been going for a couple of years.  I hope in 2012 that you’re back at it one more time.

James JJ Underwood: Thanks for having me I appreciate it.

The Masters of Funk World Tour - 2011

  • Saturday, April 2, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan featuring: The Dazz Band, The Bar-Kays, Zapp, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players
  • Saturday, May 7 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin featuring: The Bar-Kays, Con Funk Shun, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Zapp, The Dazz Band
  • Friday, June 3 in St. Louis, Missouri featuring: The Bar-Kays, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, The Dazz Band
  • Saturday, June 11 in Louisville, Kentucky, featuring: The Bar-Kays, Slave, The Dazz Band
  • Saturday, July 16 in Nashville, Tennessee featuring:  Slave, The Bar-Kays, The Dazz Band
  • Saturday, August 20 in Kansas City, Missouri Featuring: The Bar-Kays, Slave, The Dazz Band

Posted by King on 03/29 at 08:00 AM
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A New Edition for Bell Biv DeVoe

1986.  Bobby Brown leaves New Edition.  1988.  Three other group members Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, and Ronnie DeVoe (seen here) team up with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

By 1990, the Bell Biv DeVoe album with the title track “Poison” is released, a 3 million seller.

What are the guys doing today?

Slipping in a few live performance dates to be sure.

This Marquee promotes a Thursday, July 15, 2010 show at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Posted by King on 07/13 at 09:00 PM
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

George Clinton to Hangout in Hampton VA

George Clinton will help Hampton, Virginia celebrate it’s 400th anniversary with a funk party on Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 8 pm.

200,000 plus attendees are expected to gather at one of the East coast’s largest family-friendly festivals for the weekend.

On the evening of the show, George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic will take to the City Hall stage.

It’s the 28th annual Hampton Bay Days weekend, an event founded in 1982 to remind the public about the importance of the Chesapeake Bay in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Maryland region.

In other recent George news...

George Clinton and El DeBarge perform a great tongue-n-cheek version of Barry White’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” on George’s 2008 CD, George Clinton and his Gangsters of Love.

Here’s a quick 6 second video of George receiving the 2009 BMI Icon Award (seen with Bootsy Collins).

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Posted by King on 06/22 at 08:30 PM
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Oil Spill Worries Won't Stop The Essence Music Festival in New Orleans

The last time I was in New Orleans, I was treated to a trip on one of those paddle wheel riverboat casinos (right out of the Mark Twain era).

Bayous, the mighty Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico keep the aquatic soul of New Orleans hummin’.

Despite the problems from the recent Gulf oil spill, the reliable Essence Music Festival makes it’s annual appearance July 2nd through July 4th, 2010 in the Big Easy.

Pig-out on regional shrimp gumbo at your own risk, although we don’t want to be accused of questioning the safety of the area’s seafood.

You’ll experience some of the best food, and some of the best music found in any USA city right in New Orleans.

The Essence Music Festival main stage headliners keep the tradition alive during the July 4th holiday weekend.

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Posted by King on 06/15 at 08:30 PM
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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

4 More Concerts for Soulful Summer Sounds

Here are 4 more (international) concert picks for classic soul fans to enjoy.

Smokey Robinson
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Avalon Ballroom Theatre
Fallsview Casino Resort
Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
9:00 pm

Lionel Richie
Friday, June 25
Salle Wilfrid- Pelletier / Place Des Arts
Montreal, QC, Canada
7:00 pm

Angelique Kidjo
Thursday, July 1
Toronto Star Stage at Nathan Phillips Square
Toronto, ON, Canada
8:00 pm

Erykah Badu
Tuesday, July 13
Heineken Music Hall
Amsterdam, Netherlands
8:00 pm

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Posted by King on 06/01 at 01:00 AM
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

4 Concerts for Soulful Summer Sounds

Summertime will be here in just a few short weeks.  Here are 4 USA concert picks for classic soul fans in each region around the country.  Next time, 4 international picks.

Jill Scott / Maxwell
Friday, June 4, 2010
Oracle Arena
Oakland, CA
7:00 pm

Patti LaBelle
Saturday, June 12
Miller Stage
Milwaukee, WI
10:00 pm

Erykah Badu
Monday, June 14
Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie
Grand Prairie, TX
7:30 pm

Earth, Wind & Fire
Thursday, June 24
Uptown Ampitheatre at The Music Factory
Charlotte, NC
7:30 pm

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Posted by King on 05/27 at 01:00 AM
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hip Hop Gods are Disciples of Classic Rap Web Site

Here’s the “honorary” official time keeper of the new website, HipHopGods.com.

Public Enemy’s Flava Flav wants you to check in for news, information, videos, content and commentary about classic old school hip hop.

The plan for this site is to immortalize the legends of the genre.

Check out the HipHopGods.com news page, poke through their blogs, (written by Darryl Mack, Chuck D., and others), and watch some of the classic videos from back in the day.

HipHopGods.com has a nice clean look.  Visually, it’s well designed.

One suggestion: where’s the search engine?  Maybe I missed it, but you’ve gotta have one of those.

To get the VIP content, you should register with the site.

A big shout out to Public Enemy for their excellent Washington, DC show yesterday (November 18), to benefit homeless youth.  Thank you Chuck D. for turning everyone on to the HipHopGods.com website.

See 18 of my 134 photos from the benefit concert on the new Powerhouse Radio Facebook fan page.

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Posted by King on 11/19 at 10:15 PM
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Public Enemy to Help Homeless Youth

Public Enemy, featuring the reunited Flava Flav and Chuck D, will perform Wednesday evening, November 18, 2009, at the G.W. Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC.

The US Congress has designated November as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, sponsored by Virgin Mobile USA’s RE*Generation initiative to help homeless youth.

Proceeds from the Public Enemy show will benefit the Sasha Bruce House.

The world premiere of Kyocera’s ALL Access documentary will be presented prior to Public Enemy’s performance.

Kyocera created an ALL Access rock documentary from Virgin Mobile’s FreeFest music festival, featuring interviews with Public Enemy, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Taking Back Sunday, Blink-182 and others.

Bring a new or gently used coat to help DC’s “One Warm Coat” initiative and you will receive a V.I.P. upgrade while they are available.

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Posted by King on 11/17 at 08:30 PM
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Patti Austin Sings for Godfather Quincy Jones

The 14th Annual Bermuda Music Festival takes place on Thursday, October 29 through Saturday, October 31, 2009.

Erykah Badu, James Ingram, Wyclef Jean, John Legend, Michael McDonald, Kenny Rogers, Naturally Seven, and Patti Austin are scheduled to perform.

Austin’s godfather, Quincy Jones, will be there too to join the fun and introduce the artists.  Patti performs on Friday, October 30.

The Saturday night Halloween program will feature a special presentation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

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Posted by King on 09/29 at 08:30 PM
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jennifer Hudson Celebrates Oz with a free NYC Concert

Jennifer Hudson, along with ?uestlove of the Roots, are scheduled to perform songs from The Wizard of Oz, in honor of the 70th anniversary of the historic 1939 movie.

The free outdoor concert in New York City’s Central Park, Tuesday, September 29, 2009, at 7:30 pm is being sponsored by the online movie rental company Netflix.

Following the concert, there will be an outdoor screening of The Wizard of Oz. (8:30 pm - Rumsey Playfield).

Have lots of bandwidth?  Netflix says you can watch the movie online (no charge) on Saturday, October 3, from www.netflix.com/wizardofoz.

We don’t know what songs Jennifer Hudson and company will be singing in Central Park, but here are the top 5 songs from the original Wizard of Oz soundtrack:

  • “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”
  • “We’re Off to See The Wizard”
  • “If I Only Had a Brain”
  • “If I Only Had a Heart”
  • “Over the Rainbow”

Judy Garland lit up the silver screen with her version. Now listen to 30 seconds of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles singing “Over the Rainbow,” followed by 30 seconds of Michael Jackson’s “Ease on Down The Road” from the Wiz (1978).

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Posted by King on 09/15 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Blue Magic - Major Harris - Margie Joseph Live

Here’s Blue Magic, Major Harris, and Margie Joseph on stage at the Latin Casino dinner theatre in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Bill Thompson, an entertainment writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer in a 1975 article described their appearance: “there was an Atlantic Records Company musical extravaganza and recording session Monday night that would make Caesars Palace in Las Vegas seem like a coffee shop."

Thompson added “the show began with the orchestra playing the sound track of the movie Jaws, along with a film introduction of the recording stars, and it ended almost two hours later with a standing ovation."

The Latin Casino is long gone.  Subaru of America headquarters now occupies the Cherry Hill, New Jersey space.  However, the double album recording of this event, released in 1976, lives on with many outstanding tracks.

Major Harris, of “Love Won’t Let Me Wait” and the Delfonics fame, sings solo, and in tandem with either Blue Magic or Margie Joseph.

The performers sing their own songs, along with covers from Barry White, and versions of Gamble and Huff Philadelphia International hits including “I Love Music” and “Bad Luck."

Blue Magic, Major Harris, and Margie Joseph Live is an enjoyable mix of classic soul memories.

In 2007, Major Harris released his version of “My Cherie Amour,” the Stevie Wonder hit.

Listen to 50 seconds of Major singing “My Cherie Amour."

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Posted by King on 09/01 at 08:00 AM
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Soul Power Movie International Debut

A blockbuster formula: match Muhammad Ali vs. George Forman, then connect the boxers with the star power of James Brown, the Spinners, B.B. King, Bill Withers, the Crusaders, Bill Black, Miriam Makeba, and Celia Cruz.

What do you have?  A classic soul knock-out punch of epic concert proportions.

Our performers provide the key ingredients for a spectacular 1974 promotion created to dazzle the African continent.

Partly inspired by South Africa’s music legend Hugh Masekela, a 3-night, 12-hour concert served as a backdrop for the Ali - Forman boxing match hyped as “The Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasa, Zaire.

The 1997 movie When We Were Kings documents the fight, with secondary emphasis on the music festival, known as Zaire 74.

Now comes Soul Power, a 2008/2009 production emphasizing the music using huge portions of the original concert footage not included in When We Were Kings.

Here are some release dates for the new movie Soul Power:

  • Belgium, July 1, 2009
  • UK, July 10, 2009
  • USA July 10, 2009 (limited venues)
  • Netherlands, September 17, 2009

Watch the Soul Power movie trailer

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Posted by King on 06/25 at 08:00 AM
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Gap Band Keep the Party Train on Track

The legendary Gap Band of brothers honed the art of funk to a science with a truly unique approach to their groove grinding R&B.

These photos are from Gap Band VI.

Let’s reveal much more about this trio who hail from the USA heartland by spotlighting some highlights from The Gap Band’s official biography...

"One of the most influential groups in the history of classic soul, Charlie and his brothers, Ronnie and Robert Wilson, made themselves famous with their non-stop humorous funk grooves.

The sons of a Pentecostal minister, the Wilson brothers started performing in 1967 when they formed a group along with Tuck Andress of Tuck and Patti Fame.

The GAP Band, named after the black business hub of their native Tulsa, Oklahoma (Greenwood, Archer, Pine Streets), became the band of choice for visiting musicians.

We used to be called the Greenwood Archer Pine Street Band, Charlie explains, but that was a bit too much to put on posters, so we abbreviated it to G.A.P. Band.

Then once, through a typographical error, the periods disappeared and out popped the GAP Band.

During the bands early career they opened for major hit bands like The Rolling Stones, and supported J.J. Cale, Willie Nelson, D.J. Rogers, and Leon Russell.

In the 80s, Charlie toured with Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics. The GAP Band has always been a touring powerhouse, known for their high energy, groove thumpin, party-like set.

Throughout their career they have performed with an eclectic set of artists including Frankie Beverly and Maze, The Isley Brothers, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, L.L. Cool J, Destinys Child, Ashanti, Ja Rule, and Dru Hill.

From the late 70s to early 80s the band dominated the R&B charts with their hard driving funk grooves.  Four of the bands nine albums went platinum..."

  • The Gap Band II
  • The Gap Band III
  • The Gap Band IV
  • Gap Band V - Jammin)

  • Gap Band hits include:

  • You Dropped a Bomb on Me
  • Party Train
  • Burn Rubber
  • Outstanding
  • Oops Upside Your Head
  • Early in the Morning
  • Yearning for Your Love
  • Outstanding

Charlie Wilson continues to support his own solo career, and will be performing on the following dates:

  • Friday, June 19, 2009, Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
  • Saturday, June 20, City Stages Music Festival, Birmingham, AL
  • Friday, June 26, Grant Park - Taste of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Saturday, June 27, Chene Park, Detroit, MI
  • Sunday, June 28, Nokia Theater, Dallas, TX
  • Saturday, July 4, Essence Music Festival Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
  • Friday, July 24, Kanawha Plaza, Richmond, VA
  • Friday, July 31, Macys Music Festival Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
  • Friday, August 14, Steve Harvey Hoodie Awards, Las Vegas, NV
  • Friday, September 4, Palace Theater, Cleveland, OH
  • Sunday, September 6, Fort Hood Stadium, Killeen, TX
  • Friday, October 2, LA County Fair, Los Angeles, CA

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Posted by King on 06/16 at 01:00 AM
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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Countdown to the 2009 Essence Music Festival

More music, more voices, and more culture will be jammed into the 15th anniversary of the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, July 3 - 5, 2009, than ever before.

The celebration promises to delivery a bayou full of music, motivation, and merry-making.

Beyonce’, Teena Marie, Al Green, Anita Baker, Salt-N-Pepa, and John Legend lead the evening performance schedule.  Dozens of other acts are also on the bill.

Daytime events include a big tribute to Bishop T.D. Jakes.

270,000 people attended in 2008.  Over 200,000 attended in 2007.

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Posted by King on 06/09 at 08:15 AM
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Diana Ross Rolls into Foxwoods Country

A now somewhat rare Diana Ross concert appearance is always a treat.

Mashantucket, Connecticut, Motown legions will be thrilled to check out Ms. Ross, live, Saturday, May 16, 2009, for an 8 pm show at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods.

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Posted by King on 05/12 at 07:45 PM
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