We all love discovering new music, but too many “music junkies” fail to take the time to appreciate music’s past. Soul/R&B music is defined by some of the most talented artists of our time: James Brown, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, and Al Green. It seems, however, that a new wave of listeners are finding the sounds of the 60s and 70s in new forms; Kings Go Forth is a soul revival band started in Milwaukee, Wisconsin through a chance meeting at a record store. The Outsiders Are Back is their debut album of singles released on 7″, dating back to 2007.
I’ve been wanting to see a live soul show since missing Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and was happy to find out that Kings Go Forth were making a stop at San Francisco’s Elbo Room. On a rainy night, the crowd had been warmed up with some classic soul tunes from the DJ, and it was instantly apparent that I was in for a dance party treat. While there was still enough room on the dance floor, couples were showing off some of their fanciest moves… I, on the other hand, was waiting for a crowd to hide mine.
With horns blazing, Kings Go Forth came out to a full house. I had heard that I should expect a solid performance from the band, but even I was shocked to see them all wearing kung-fu outfits. The band kept the crowd dancing all they way through, delivering their catchiest single, “One Day.”
I’m not sure if it was a full moon that night, but lead singer Black Wolf delivered the howls nonetheless. At the age of 55, he is soaking in the glory of a rejuvenated career, dancing through the crowd and even inviting several young ladies to join him on stage.
The show came to an end all too soon, but it’s only because their catalogue of one album left me still wanting more. As for my first live soul show? Well, let’s just say if you’ve never been to a soul dance party then clear your social calendar and make this priority number one.