Atlanta based production company, AMC Performance Company and it's Atlanta cast, provided fans in Destin, FL a sneak preview of their latest production, entitled We Were Funky Live! WWF Live! is a musical stage adaptation of the We Were Funky documentary, currently in production. Executive Producers of the documentary sought out AMC to produce a live musical stage version of the documentary to enhance the We Were Funky brand. We Were Funky Live! is a 70's/80's Funk/R&B and Disco stage musical celebration. The setting takes place in Atlanta, GA in the fictitious Omni Theatre, named after the now defunct Omni coliseum, a venue that hosted many 70's and 80's star-studded events.
The show was for the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation in Destin, FL, and took place at their Cultural Arts Village. The Maxx performs annually for their Summer Concerts In the Village Series. "Since we're the band for the We Were Funky Live! production, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take some of the AMC cast members to Destin to give concert goers a sneak preview of the show", says bandleader Rod Whittaker.
Complete with costume changes, 8ft. LED video screen, curtain calls and encores; the show was met with rave reviews. "Now we have to worry about topping this performance next year when we return without the cast", says Whittaker jokingly.
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Heather Hayes Reveals Her Musical Secrets
Heather Hayes wants you to know something: She is not her father. Can you dig it? Growing up as Isaac Hayes' daughter afforded her a comfortable life, but trying to escape his shadow hasn't been easy since she started her own music career. "Most people don't see me -- they see him first, and the expectation is much greater," she said, the practiced tone of her response making it clear this wasn't the first time she'd discussed the problem. "If I'm not almost perfect, then it was awful. "There's not a lot of leeway to be mediocre just because of all that he's accomplished and the extraordinary expectation of what I should be. (People) don't separate that we're two totally different human beings."
Although she's constantly fighting an uphill battle to make a distinction between herself and her father, a childhood surrounded by music inevitably set her on a path similar to his, she said. "(Growing up, it) was all about being creative," she said. "Music was definitely all around. My dad would get boxes of records, and I would go through the boxes, play the records and make up an entire performance." Not every child of celebrity goes on to achieve a parent's fame, and name recognition isn't necessarily advantageous in the attempt, she said.
When the time came to leave her performing-arts school, Hayes said she was careful not to let people know who she was to avoid achieving success solely because of her father. On her own merits, she got a spot on a show with James Brown. She stayed there for five years, working as a dancer and later as a singer. Swearing all those aware of who her father was to silence, she managed three months of secrecy before a friend of the family recognized her and let the cat out of the bag. "From that point on, he knew, and I remember him coming in my dressing room and asking me, 'Why didn't you tell me? You probably would have had a job a long time ago,' " she said. "But I wanted to be hired because I was good, not because my father was good. I didn't want to get a free pass."
In 2004, she formed her band, the Heather Hayes Band, and has been touring with them ever since. Her shows cover a lot of ground, musically. Their song list includes artists from 50 Cent and Frank Sinatra to Van Morrison and The Black Eyed Peas. Given the variety of songs, her voice is powerful and versatile by necessity, drawing from a number of influences -- most directly divas such as Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.
Her repertoire might surprise those expecting a heavy emphasis on funk or soul like her father, but circumstance makes the artist, and she didn't have the same experiences he did growing up. "I wasn't a kid who grew up in the ghetto. I was a suburban kid who liked Pat Benatar," she said, laughing. "(My father's) music told a story of where he came from, but I really didn't come from that."
Fans of Issac's music will get a chance to judge her for themselves when she takes the stage at Rhythm & Brews tonight.
Chinua Goes To Europe For Christmas
For the 5th time Chinua Hawk will be traveling to Switzerland to perform at Phil Dankner's Seat Music Sessions. This years shows will be at Millers Studio in Zürich December 18th - 30th and at Das Zelt in Bern December 30th - January 3rd. Here's a video of Chinua and Swiss stars Seven and Patrik Zihlmann from a Music Sessions performance of Chinua's song "Hey Girl" a few years ago: https://youtu.be/QgDIdHzXSb0
The Soul Of John Black - Harp Magazine Review
On his second album, ex-Fishbone and one-time Miles Davis guitarist John Bigham achieves a real-right surreality, blending blaxploitation, black water and Blue Velvet. Working mainly in haunted blues but dipping freely into other harmonic honeypots, Bigham sings the love, lust and lamentations of a complicated cat: himself. When he says “I’m gonna put in some work on you,” it means somebody’s getting a righteous schtupping and a pretty good omelet in the a.m. He says he needs a “good girl, not just anybody gon’ rock my world”: he’s talking quality and disposition and talent. He might be kooky, saying a fishy-smellin’ skeezer was the best thing he ever had and bemoaning a good girl cum coke whore with a sunny country-gospel tune (singing “She landed in the gutter/What a waste of good butter” like he just don’t care), but that’s what makes The Good Girl Blues such an enthralling, entertaining listen. It’s a funky good-time and a glimpse of Bigham’s soul, warts and all.
Partying To The Maxx
The Young Affiliates of the Mint did it again.
Last night's Black & White Gala was a great party and great fun. The new location at the Forum added a bit of hipness to the annual fundraiser, which raises money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
There was a VIP area upstairs on the mezzanine. And the food, not as much as last year, was on the rooftop, which was heated and tented. The private auction was in the Pravda lounge. The party mostly drew young professionals.
The Maxx, based in Georgia, provided the music again, and they didn't disappoint. They are one of the best cover bands I've seen. They had the dance floor packed when we arrived about 9:45 p.m. They played everything from "I'm Coming Out" to "Let's Get it Started" to "September," which included a trumpet and saxophone player.
Women hiked up their little black dresses, guys unbuttoned their collars and everyone cut loose on the floor.
The Soul Of John Black - New York Post Review
“The Soul Of John Black” (3 ½ stars) When you consider that the Soul Of John Black is essentially a duo it’s remarkable just how big a sound they’ve created. The pair excel at old-school funk and acoustic hip-hop, which lands them in the slipper terrain between Sly Stone and Macy Gray. “Scandalous (No. 9) is a walking-tempo, two chord funk groove that’s a good intro to the rest of the disc. Other notable tracks include the melodic “Time (Losing My Mind)” that hints at Otis Redding’s power-soul style. This is the kind of disc that won’t be on radio or MTV – but should be.