Club Nitty Gritty is THIS Friday at the World Famous Kenton Club in North Portland. This party focuses on the grittier side of soul, R&B, and blues. In this preview set recorded live at the most recent Sugar Town (complete with my spoken intro) you'll hear from Chuck Berry, Katherine Holt, The Doodlers, Bobby Powell with Jackie Johnson, Gloria Scott & the Tonettes (produced by Sly Stone), Buddy Guy (who is playing at the Waterfront Blues Festival this year!) and The Fame Gang.
Here's some more about the thought behind Club Nitty Gritty:
When I first fell in love with Portland (while I was still living in Olympia doing a soul and blues radio shows) it was a gritty, funky little punk and blues town with attitude and a can-do spirit. This place was a grungy, industrial, no-frills Pacific Northwest garage rock n soul city. And while there's people who will tell you that Portland has always been a city of transplants and that cities are always changing and evolving. To that I say, NOT AT THIS PACE. When a city changes this rapidly, it loses its soul. A city is nothing but a dot on a map without its soul.
This is a complex issue and nothing I'm expert enough to address on an academic level, but I guess I wanted to put together an event that celebrates the good things about Portland that seem to be slipping away. Lord knows that when one talks of Portland, there are plenty of problematic things about its history that we DO NOT want to continue. There's a certain amount of change that needs to happen here in terms of racial equality and economic gaps. That is a change that would be welcome and is much needed.
But, it would be nice to preserve what was and is positive about Portland as well. At least in some way. Perhaps in a transformed way. I'm not sure what can be accomplished with a party, especially this late in the game, but you know I'll push it as far as I can and make sure IT WILL ALSO BE A FUN TIME. I hope you'll join me there <3
In this set you'll here from:
The Staple Singers, Arthur Alexander, Willie Hightower, The Johnny Otis Show, Betty Adams, The Exciters, Robert Knight, The Supremes, Joe Bataan, The 4 Tops, Marion Williams, The Chi-Lites, Ella Washington
Here's a great way to keep those Pride love vibes reverberating through your soul long after Pride is over! This year I went for a "summer of love" theme for my warm up set. In this modern age of cynicism the concept of LOVE solving all of our problems seems naive an incredibly simplistic, and yet a little added compassion and patience could go a long long way in helping to bring us closer to equality in this country. We're all stuck on this crazy Spaceship Earth together and our destinies are intertwined. It behooves us all to work towards a better existence for everyone.
So this Pride Season as I celebrate a better acceptance for the LGBTQ community, I would like to put a greater focus on intersectionality and recognizing the diversity in our LGBTQ community while building more unity between us all and then using our powers to reach beyond our queer community and backing non-queer specific struggles within Portland. Please join me. It all starts with love.