The Sensational Barnes Brothers + Robin McKelle + Charlie Wood will perform at Porretta Soul Festival 2023.
The Sensational Barnes Brothers are a melting pot of the old and the new. As Pop Matters states, “The brothers run through a spectrum of moods and modes in their gospel soul, often bridging the gap between, say, the Soul Stirrers and Stax, all the while keeping a local flavor.” The brothers are able to dive deep into their roots, creating a sound that reflects the music of their history, all the while drawing in a modern-day audience.
From playing in their family living room to recording their first album from a legendary 1970s catalog, The Sensational Barnes Brothers have created a place for themselves in the music industry. “We performed a lot,” recalls Courtney. “In our performances, my mom and dad would do the first section. They would sing, and we would be the background. Then in the next set it flipped over to where the children would do our thing, and that would be the Barnes Family concert.” Before the release of their debut album, the brothers solidified their role as musicians by working with legends of soul and R&B as well as modern day award winning artists.
Robin McKelle is pleased to announce the February 14th, 2020 release of her latest release Alterations. Vocalist Robin McKelle delves into the catalogue of some of the most celebrated women of song, interpreting these masterworks through the lens of the jazz idiom. On Alterations, McKelle follows in a long tradition of female song interpreters, lending her sultry vocal stylings to classics by a diverse list of female innovators including Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Lana Del Ray.
McKelle is joined on this release by a group of consummate musicians including co-producer, pianist and arranger Shedrick Mitchell, acoustic and electric bassist Richie Goods, drummer Charles Haynes, guitarist Nir Felder. In addition, esteemed saxophonist Keith Loftis is featured on McKelle’s sole original composition on this release, “Head High”; and renowned trumpeter Marquis Hill is featured on Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”. The first single from Alterations, McKelle’s rendition of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love”, will be released January 31, 2020.
Charlie Wood is a singer/songwriter and keyboardist whose eclectic musical style incorporates elements of jazz, blues, traditional r&b and popular music. Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Wood’s early musical development was steeped in the blues and R&B music of his hometown. At seventeen, he headed down to New Orleans, spending several years soaking up the exotic piano traditions and lush lifestyle of the Big Easy.
Charlie’s early twenties found him on the road as keyboard player for legendary blues guitarist Albert King, with whom he toured the US and Europe. Returning to his hometown, Wood soon established a long-standing residency at King’s Palace on Memphis’ historic Beale Street, performing nightly with his Hammond organ trio for many years. The gig became known to touring musicians and locals alike, attracting impromptu sit-ins from B.B. King, Georgie Fame, Joey DeFrancesco, George Coleman, Mulgrew Miller, Alvin Batiste, and many others.
Honors received during these years included being awarded the Freedom of the City and a dedicated “Charlie Wood Day” by Memphis City Council, the N.A.R.A.S. “Premier Player Award” for Keyboards and the Beale St. Merchants’ Association Entertainer of the Year” award.