Chaka Khan: Hello Happiness review – a consistent sizzler

(Diary)

The grotesque inflation of concert ticket prices has helped to mitigate losses sustained by the recorded music industry. That 15-year boom has seen so many heritage acts return to the stage, and after doggedly touring the hits, more and more of them are back in the studio too. At the very least it offers the opportunity to freshen up cabaret-ready live setlists. Chaka Khan might not need a new album to sell tickets, and there’s no song here that would make an encore, but Hello Happiness is a vital calling card to remind everyone to come hear this unearthly voice, still sizzling with spice. Continue reading

Pop, Prince and Black Panthers: the glorious life of Chaka Khan

The self-described ‘alpha chick’ has weathered addiction, dodgy managers and the death of Prince to remain as funky as ever. She describes how she went from gun-toting activist to teetotal vegan

Chaka Khan has a question. “What’s that TV show, where it’s just families sitting down and looking at the TV? Chat Box?” Gogglebox? She claps her hands delightedly. “Gogglebox – oh, I love that! And that quiz programme where the enforcer comes on and it’s like a big black guy, or a big woman.” Continue reading

Motown Spotlight – January/February 2019

[Site owner David Nathan note: ‘This Motown Spotlight should have been published at the end of January – so apologies to Sharon and all for the delay.”]

Happy 60th birthday Motown!  And a Happy New Year to you – even though it’s now the first week of February! Both belated I know, but, I can assure you, the sentiments are exactly the same. So let’s TCB…Over the past few weeks information has filtered through about plans to celebrate this extremely significant event so I’ll run them past you now and, needless to say, if you know of  others, do please let me know. Continue reading

Al Green announces first tour in seven years

Soul legend will play five dates across the American south from late April

American R&B singer and soul icon Al Green has announced his first tour in seven years.

Green, 72, will be performing in Austin, Houston and Irving in Texas, as well as in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival. Supported by funk band Tank and the Bangas and folk duo The War and Treaty, the five-date tour will begin in Austin on 24 April.

Related: Al Green – 10 of the best Continue reading

Al Green announces first tour in seven years

Soul legend will play five dates across the American south from late April

American R&B singer and soul icon Al Green has announced his first tour in seven years.

Green, 72, will be performing in Austin, Houston and Irving in Texas, as well as in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival. Supported by funk band Tank and the Bangas and folk duo The War and Treaty, the five-date tour will begin in Austin on 24 April.

Related: Al Green – 10 of the best Continue reading

Call to investigate James Brown’s death after murder claims

Doctor who signed soul legend’s death certificate airs doubts, while suspicions also raised over death of Brown’s third wife, Adrienne

More than a dozen people have called for a new inquiry into the death of soul and funk legend James Brown, in a major CNN investigation that hears allegations that he and wife Adrienne Brown were murdered.

Brown died following a short illness on Christmas Day, 2006. The doctor who signed his death certificate tells CNN he has suspicions about the swiftness of Brown’s deterioration, especially after his condition had improved the previous day. “He changed too fast,” Marvin Crawford says. “He was a patient I would never have predicted would have coded … But he died that night, and I did raise that question: What went wrong in that room?” Crawford says a nurse told him drug residue was found in a tube helping Brown to breathe, and says “somebody perhaps could have given him an illicit substance that led to his death”. Continue reading