Northern soul, deep funk, and fine living in Pittsburgh. You are what you dance to.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Never Souled Out - Weekends pile up

It's never too late to rehash old good times - and this one was just two weeks back.

First off, Aug. 13 was Never Souled Out (see mass of photos below) at the Shadow Lounge. A great time, and a watershed moment, we may later agree, in Pittsburgh's northern soul thang. Eight deejays in two rooms playing six hours of soul music only SEEMS like a good idea until you mix in 150-200 people and a pair of beer barrels through the night, filling the Lounge with dance moves (good and lousy - both count!) and fine, fine sounds.

After a bottle of champagne and a long-ass night, it seemed that DJ's idea of keeping setlists of what we each played wasn't as logistically impossible as it had at 7:30pm - in other words, I've got no information on the lovely sounds Grover brought in from Western Ohio, or the newies that DJ or Johnno played. Hell, I'm not sure what new things I spun meself, though I believe a funk set from Daptone Records, "Cashin' In" by Voices of East Harlem, and "Wake Up to the Sunshine" by Joey DeLorenzo all went down a storm.

Secondly, Aug. 14, Solomon Burke out at Hartwood Acres. I mostly agree with Ed Masley HERE that Burke's voice is in fantastic form, and that his band is absolutely top-notch - from organist Rudy Copeland's chaotic Hammond-and-Leslie stabs to the bari sax player's hot-in-the-face-of-tech-difficulties jump onto harmonica. But Burke played to the crowd TOO much, skipping a lot of his own hits and recent-album beauties in favor of a long medley-ish performance of blah blah blah soul hits like "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" and "Georgia on my Mind". But Solomon Burke's nothing if not a salesman, and the audience was in a buying mood, with hundreds of ex-hippie lasses doing the white-liberal-guilt in the caged-off stagefront box. I don't blame him.

When he did shine brightest, like on "If You Need Me", it was magical, his voice shooting from tender weep to valley-filling full-throated melodic shout, 0-60 in one glissando. Hope we get him back someday soon.


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