I am as excited for Bobby Womack‘s June 12 release of The Bravest Man in the Universe as any album of the summer. The release is Womack’s first album of original material in 18 years. The album was co-produced by Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz) and Richard Russell. It will be released on XL Recordings.
Earlier this spring, legendary funk bassist and longtime friend Bootsy Collins broke the news that the soul singer is in the initial stages of a fight with colon cancer, saying via Facebook: “JUST SPOKE TO OUR FRIEND BOBBY WOMACK. He Wanted You All to Know That He Loves You & Thxs for the Prayers. Docs Says He Is In 1st Stage of Colon Cancer, He is Very Up Beat About His Future, we laughed & joked before we hung up. Thxs Funkateers, we will get him Back on the One!”
It’s hard to believe that the man responsible for classics like “Across 110th Street”, “Woman’s Gotta Have It” and “Lookin’ For a Love” considered himself forgotten and inconsequential just a few short years ago. His return to relevance began in 2009, when Womack was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Around the same time, Albarn and Womack connected to collaborate on a track called “Stylo” for Gorillaz’s third album Plastic Beach. The song also features a guest appearance from Mos Def.
In a trailer for the album featured below, Womack explains “When Damon called me, I had lost that desire. I had lost my confidence. And when people sayin’, ‘Oh man, it’d be just amazing to cut with you.’ I said, how do you know that? You listenin’ to that record. That record is old man. You ain’t even seen me.”
Call it swagger. Call it confidence. Call it drive. Call it what you will, but after the release of the title track and first single “Please Forgive My Heart” we can be sure of one thing – Womack has his groove back. Don’t sleep on The Bravest Man in the Universe. Pre-order your copy via XL Recordings. Celebrate the resurgence of one of soul’s strongest voices.
1. The Bravest Man In The Universe
2. Please Forgive My Heart
3. Deep River
4. Dayglo Reflection
5. Sweet Baby Mine
7. If There Wasn’t Something There
8. Love Is Gonna Lift You Up
9. Nothin’ Can Save Ya
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Written by Rob Peoni
Tonight marks the tenth annual Tonic Ball in Indianapolis’ historic Fountain Square neighborhood. This year’s festival promises to be the largest in its history, showcasing more than 40 artists at three separate venues. All money from ticket sales supports Second Helpings – a charity organization that provider over 3,000 meals to Indy’s hungriest citizens each day.
The event will kick off with a silent auction at New Day Meadery from 5 – 8 PM. From there, guests will wander toward the tunes. Each of the three venues will feature local artists attempting to create a unique version of songs not their own. Fountain Square Theatre will play host to the Michael Jackson stage, White Rabbit Cabaret will serve as the David Bowie stage and Radio Radio will feature songs by recently disbanded R.E.M.
Indy’s latest and greatest event site Do317.com is powering a nifty schedule that allows attendees to easily map out their scheduled listening for the evening. The music will continue into the wee hours with Hitchhike playing closer at 1 AM at Radio Radio. Tonic Ball promises to be one of the parties of the fall in Indianapolis, and its support of Second Helpings adds another worthwhile reason to attend.
Online sale of tickets are now closed, but a limited number of tickets will be made available at the event itself. Claw, scratch, and elbow folks. Do what you must to get into this event. Just don’t miss it!
Written by Rob Peoni
On December 6th, legendary hip-hop crew The Roots will release their 13th studio album undun. If “Make My”, the album’s first single featuring Mississippi emcee Big K.R.I.T., is any indication, we can safely expect the same genre bending beats and thought-provoking rhymes that have served as the foundation of this group’s storied career.
“Make My” is an immediate repeat listen, opening with a shaky, ear-tingling synth hook that dissolves into a simple, sleepy snare-driven back beat. The album is the group’s second release since becoming permanent residents of NYC. The Roots perform nightly as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. However, the show’s afternoon tapings allow ?uestlove and friends to immerse themselves in the city’s music scene in the evening.
undun follows Wake Up!, their 2010 collaboration with R&B singer John Legend. Though I enjoyed this effort thoroughly, I’m excited for a return to the original formula. The Roots released a video this week that featured the first glimpse of the undun cover art and a black and white Manhattan photoshoot. Check out the new video and stream the first single “Make My” below:
Written by Rob Peoni