The O’My’s sound like a band reincarnated from generations ago, as if they were dreamed up by a kid who knows too much about their grandparents’ past. How do they do it? Wisdom, skill, poise, restraint, and hazy fun pepper their music and demeanor. Their members may have been born after the “boomer” generation, but […]
Singer Mzz Reese has become a Chicagoland favorite for her burnished alto voice, expansive blues and soul-blues repertoire, and playfully flirtatious, warm-hearted stage presence. But what really sets her apart is the professionalism of her show. Reese and her band—waggishly christened Reese’s Pieces—charge through a tightly constructed set consisting of well-known standards and too-often-neglected soul […]
Since Leela James put out her debut album, 2005’s A Change Is Gonna Come, the soul siren has released a steady stream of music, exploring new stylistic elements while staying remarkably focused. In a press bio from 2010, she said, “My sound today may be different than where I was five years ago, but my […]
New Jersey native Harry James Brenner found his footing in Chicago’s music scene partly by playing in art-rock group Chandeliers; he joined in the mid-aughts as a percussionist, and he’s since played keys for them too. The sharply defined clatter of Brenner’s drums has kept Chandeliers’ mercurial instincts from running away with them, giving even […]
On the eve of the first day of fall, prolific Chicago soul man Nate Barksdale self-released Summer Was Over Before It Started. The pandemic eliminated so much of what Chicagoans cherish about the city’s warmest months, but Barksdale’s supple blend of neosoul melody and hip-hop percussion, wrapped up in R&B smoothness, captures the wistfulness that […]
Chicagoan Frank Zango possesses something like magic: under the name Zango the Third, he’s able to create oddly soothing, stylistically scrambled outsider-soul songs fast enough to fill several full-lengths a year. In early April, he self-released his second album of 2020, Aunt Ida’s Asteroid Mixtape, where he continues to stretch to the outer edges of […]
Also, outgoing Republican senator Mark Kirk laments the lost of the moderate establishment in the age of Trump.
A Q&A with David Bowie’s ex-girlfriend Ava Cherry
Ralph “Soul” Jackson celebrates the new Rabbit Factory release The Alabama Love Man at Martyrs’ on Saturday
Daniel Alexander Jones as Jomama Jones in Radiate
Jazz pianists Robert Glasper and Justin Dillard talk “fire alarm music” and warm, fluffy Steinways
Nine of my favorite soul tracks that push for a better world
This week’s “Variations on a Theme”: Soul music
Don Cornelius, creator of Soul Train, is dead at 75
Looks like the “Joy” lawsuit won’t be a breeze.