February 5, 2010

V4YS Concert Review - Menahan Street Band, Charles Bradley & Lee Fields (New Morning, Paris, 04/02/10)

Yesterday I headed for my favorite concert spot in Paris, The New Morning, to attend a soul concert that looked particularly promising with Brooklyn-based "The Menahan Street Band" joined to start by singer Charles Bradley and then supporting for the second part veteran soul legend Lee Fields.

Having enjoyed very much Menahan's first album "Make The Road By Walking" released in late 2008 and of course Lee Fields fantastic 2009 LP "My World" (part of our 2009 favorite records), I was really looking forward to seeing these guys live.
Well, I was right to as we experienced Soul with a very big S yesterday night.

As you may know the Menahan's crew is composed of 7 musicians (drummer, keyboard, xylophone, trumpet, saxophone, bass, guitar) also part of brilliant bands like Antibalas, The Dap-Kings, The Budo's Band or El Michels Affair.

In the first part of the show they alternated between their distinctive instrumental soul tracks and classicer soul/funk songs when the amazing Charles Bradley came on stage.
I was not familiar with Mr Bradley nor the several 7-inches records Menahan released in 2007 with him. After this stunning live performance I will have to correct this omission. He really have this JB type of voice that can't leave you indifferent.
I also particularly appreciated the guitar play from Thomas Brenneck (Menahan's and Dap-King's frontman) , he sounded slightly more "groovy" than on the album and really gave the tempo to the whole band.

In the second part Menahan's supported Lee Fields for a mixture of tracks from his acclaimed 2009 album "My World", and older works. They offered us an amazing old-school soul set.
The highlight for me was the fantastic live version of "Ladies" that had Lee playing and improvising with the (female) audience.
His warm voice coupled with his strong stage presence really make him one of the best contemporary "classic" soul singer. The 60's/70's funky soul spirit is alive and well, thank you Mr Fields!

Menahan, Charles Bradley and Lee Fields will continue touring in Europe for the next few weeks (all dates on their myspace links at the top of this message), so if you missed them you know what you need to do!

Below a small streaming of Lee's Ladies (album version) and Menahan Street Band's "Tired Of Waiting" (album version as well)

Découvrez la playlist Menahan Lee Fields avec Menahan Street Band

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