Avery R. Young Credit: RJ Eldridge

Avery R. Young & De Deacon Board are in the business of saving souls. Through what he calls “sousefunk”—an intersection of blues, funk, and gospel—Young taps into the raw emotions of a pastor whooping at the end of his sermon to, as he puts it, “Call up some spirits and bring in some sheep.” But his sets stray far from Sunday church service— “The pastor cusses, though,” Young says, referring to himself. “Cusses a lot.” Tonight’s performance is dedicated to Xavier Joy, the Whitney Young graduate and former Morehouse football player recently gunned down in Woodlawn. Joy is the older brother of one of Young’s mentees at Rebirth Poetry Ensemble. “I truly believe weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes with the arrival of the morning,” Young adds. “I like folk to leave our show feeling they have been part of praise.”   v