Leon Bridges, Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville, October 2016
I couldn’t let the week end without popping out some of the photos of the excellent Leon Bridges show. If you love soulful vocals with a splash of panache, he’s your man. I lean on my man Rusty Odom (of Blank Newspaper) to keep me up with artists I need to hear and he turned me on to Leon last June. Urban Woman and I fell in love with his latest album, “Coming Home.” It became the soundtrack of our early summer and I cannot recommend it enough.
The show opened with Lianne la Havas and she quickly won over the early crowd with her powerful vocals and exuberance. Possessing both an excellent voice and a smooth, rolling guitar style, I’ll expect to hear more from her. My favorite song of her set was “Say a Little Prayer,” the old Dionne Warwick song. I’ve always been a bit partial to that song. Her most recent release is “Blood,” released last June and next up for her is a tour with Coldplay. Check out her cool London charm.
I’ve never seen anyone dance exactly like Leon. From the moment he hit the stage, he jerked and strutted, spun and free-styled all over the stage. The best description I could give you is that he dances very much like Steve Urkel. And I don’t say that lightly. Steve has a style all his own. I think the commonality may be that the Urkel character and the real Leon Bridges are unconcerned with what I think or you think and they just go with the groove. And he did go with the groove.
Make no mistake from my description of his dancing: This is a very serious artist with a throwback, soulful sound that will leave you humming, dancing and wanting to return to hear it all over again. And I think he has a lot more room to grow and develop as an artist. With an easy command of the stage and seemingly effortless vocals, he’s the real thing. I never saw Sam Cooke, but I feel I’ve gotten a taste of what he must have been like through Leon Bridges.
I’m posting a trailer to the excellent 25 minute documentary. You’ll find the whole video prominently featured on his website. I’ll also post more of these photographs on the Inside of Knoxville Facebook page, so look for that.
Several programming notes:
Congratulations to Shayla McDaniel who shared my Big Ears post on Facebook – along with about another hundred or so of you. She is the winner of a pair of tickets to the Big Ears Festival next spring. Shayla is a local singer and you can check out her work on her website and read about her on the Knoxville Music Warehouse blog.
I’ll be presenting back-to-back seminars tomorrow at Central United Methodist starting at 10:00 AM, on the northern edge of downtown. The first will cover blogging basics and the second will be a more advanced discussion of blogging tailored to those present. You can read all about it here. Tickets are $50 for each session – or you can join the Knoxville Writer’s Guild and get into each for $30. You can get them online now or walk up with cash or a check and join in the fun.
Be sure to join me on KnoxCentric: Powered by Inside of Knoxville Sunday morning at 10:00 AM on WUTK, 90.3 The Rock. Damian Messer fills the airwaves this week with a celebration of all things Rocky Horror. Of course, JJ and I will be there to review the week and talk about the week to come.
The blog is on the radio is in the newspaper: A special thanks to my friend Randall Brown who wrote a piece about the show for his column in the News Sentinel today. I really appreciate it.
I’ll have the 10 Day Planner Sunday morning, as always, but then I’ll take two or three days off to enjoy a visit with Urban Father and just chill and enjoy the cool Autumn temps. Even bloggers need a day off now and again. If you need a fix of downtown news in the meantime, you might want to listen in to the podcasts from each of the first ten radio shows.