I usually don't like to write about concerts after the fact because it tends to trigger regrets for those who missed it. However, if I follow that line of thought who am I to tell about the great time I had this past Sunday night at the Will Downing and Lalah Hathaway concert?
Local entertainer – and good friend – Karen Brown rocked the crowd as she belted out some of our favorite songs with her special spin on them.
I ask myself quite often, "Why doesn't the entire world know who Karen is?" She is immensely talented.
I'm not saying this because she's my friend and she is from my city. I'm saying it because it is true. She has the stage presence and the vocal chops to match. I would love to one day tune in to the Grammys and see Karen doing her thing on a national stage.
Now, on to Lalah Hathaway. If this girl ain't her daddy's baby, my name ain't Myron. She was made to sing.
It's quite obvious that Hathaway's father, the late great Donnie Hathaway, has influenced her style and delivery. During a part of the show that left me speechless, that point became abundantly clear. It was the very eerie performance of "A Song for You," which was a big hit for her father back in 1971.
As I closed my eyes and listened closely to her voice, I felt as if I was at a Donnie Hathaway concert and he was singing the song himself. I think even he would have been blown away by the way his daughter sang that song.
Then Will Downing took the stage.
While it was my second time catching Downing in concert, it took a while to get used to seeing a different version of him. As you might recall, he had been ill for a short while and was somewhat smaller than he was before. The health challenge, however, had no visible effect whatsoever on his performance.
In addition to his great baritone voice, the guy has quite a sense of humor as well and it fit the vibe of the show quite nicely. Between songs, he kept us engaged and well entertained. During his set, he mentioned that he has released around 16 albums throughout his career.
And he is showing no signs of slowing down.
With another great weekend in the can, it's time to get going on the next one. The party never ends. Here's what's happening...
This Friday (Feb. 22), journey back from the birth of the Blues to its globalization with living blues legends Bobby Rush as he reveals his remarkable life story through his music. It takes place at Chowtime Restaurant, 4207 Hacks Cross Road at 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit redwhiteandbluesjam.com.
The Black Expo
Make plans to attend the Black Expo this Saturday (Feb. 23) from 10 am to 6 p.m. at the Cook Convention Center. This year's event will feature special guest Lamman Rucker of Tyler Perry's "Meet the Browns." Visit blackexpomemphis.com or call 888-927-1176 for more info.
Join us this Saturday (Feb. 23) at Evergreen Grill, 1545 Overton Park, for the next Book Club meeting. We will be continuing the Reverend Curtis Black series by Kimberla Lawson Roby. We will be discussing the second book in the series called "Too Much of a Good Thing." There's gonna be great food and great door prizes as usual, so come on out and join us. It starts at 4 p.m.
'Many Thousands Gone'
Combining a stirring score of Negro spirituals with declamation and dance, the play "Many Thousands Gone" offers a depiction of the struggles to adapt and survive on Southern slave plantations. It returns this weekend at Abundant Grace Fellowship, 1574 E. Shelby Drive. For show times and to purchase tickets visit www.ManyThousandGone.org or call 901-789-GRACE (4722). Discount tickets are available for groups of 12 or more.
As soon as I get some rest and get back at it, I'll be sure to fill you in on all of the great things happening this next weekend. Until then, that's what's happening!