Neo-soul's first couple, Philly's Kindred the Family Soul, have never been reserved about sharing their love journey. The husband-and-wife duo of Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon paired up musically at the well received, but now defunct, Black Lily event that featured other dignitaries of the genre, notably Jill Scott and Musiq Soulchild. Kindred peppered its debut disc,
Surrender to Love,
with songs describing the joys and struggles of good love done right. The duo's latest release,
displays their artful, jazz-influenced harmonies and pairs them with universal relationship themes, while making the journey sound syrupy sweet. Join in the romance, complete with a live band, as Kindred shares a musical love experience.
- Tanisha L. Alston
Back in 1999, a compilation CD called
Songs From Psychedelphia
came out. Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture was on the cover, and '60s psychedelia-influenced bands such as Asteroid #4 and Jay Laughlin's Lenola tripped the pop fantastic inside. Nine years later, Asteroid #4 has a delectably dark disc out called
These Flowers Are Ours: A Treasury of Witchcraft and Devilry.
And Laughlin's new band, Like a Fox, which he formed in 2002 with Lenola engineer Dave Grubb, is also still excelling at the Psychedelphic sound on its captivating second album.
Where's My Golden Arm
contains fetching electronic-acoustic pop songs that are put across with crunchy choruses and keening vocals recalling both Matthew Sweet and Jason Lytle of Grandaddy. On Saturday night, Like a Fox is first up on a winning triple bill at the Trocadero, with dream-pop stalwarts Mercury Rev and Velvet Undergoundish romantics Dean & Britta.
- Dan DeLuca
If there are any doubts that, at 83, Riley B. King is still the King of the Blues, they are resoundingly dispelled by his latest album.
One Kind Favor
finds the Mississippi-born singer and guitarist at the top of his game, still finding new vitality in the music. Producer T Bone Burnett, with the help of ace accompanists such as drummer Jim Keltner and piano man Dr. John, creates an earthy but elegant framework for King's impassioned delivery of an excellent collection of blues chestnuts. The centerpiece is a somber version of Lonnie Johnson's "Backwater Blues," which takes on new resonance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
As an added treat, this year also saw the first U.S. release of a smoking 1983 concert recording,
B.B. King and His Orchestra Live
- Nick Cristiano