Music : Blues, soul, rock and roll
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Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Anatomy texts might not show it, but the greatest soul and blues music leaves no doubt that the hip bone is directly connected to the heart -- a fact that's driven home in every note laid down by Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. As they prove on their Lost Highway debut, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is, the Austin-based combo has the kind of gritty attitude and deliciously greasy groove-consciousness that'd pass muster in the toughest juke joint.
To paraphrase Ike and Tina Turner, Tell 'Em What Your Name Is gives Lewis the chance to play nice and easy as well as nice and rough. He and his bandmates take the latter route more often -- as on the fiery, brass-laced opener "Gunpowder" and the unabashedly horndog anthem "Big Booty Woman." But there's far more than one trick up their collective sleeve, as borne out by the dark New Orleans march "Master Sold My Baby."
Kashmere Stage Band
Kashmere High School is located in a predominantly black neighborhood known as Kashmere Gardens in Houston, Texas. Music teacher Conrad O. Johnson attended an Otis Redding concert in 1967 and was inspired to translate the style of the concert into a program he could sustain at the high school in order to create opportunities for his student musicians, and thus the Kashmere Stage Band was born. During its time, KSB won national championships in high school band competitions and gained a reputation as being unbeatable. Johnson served as band director, arranger, and principal composer for the band. KSB recorded eight albums during its life.
The teenagers in the Kashmere Stage Band produced a sound equal to that of the contemporary funk bands the JB's and the Bar-Kays. Although lost for decades, since 2003 the KSB recordings have been released, some for the first time, on both vinyl record and CD and have become prized by hip-hop artists and DJ's for their inimitable sound. A notable sampling occurs on the Handsome Boy Modeling School album So... How's Your Girl?; DJ Shadow's track "Holy Calamity (Bear Witness II)" samples "Kashmere" from the album Kashmere Stage Band Plays Originals. Notable KSB alumni include jazz drummer Bubbha Thomas. Stones Throw Records imprint label Now-Again Records released a compilation of KSB material in 2006.
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