Lovers Lane
Copernicus Center

Preview: Kings Go Forth

| January 19, 2011

Regionalism used to drive popular music commercially and artistically — certainly more than it does now. Think West Coast jazz, the Bakersfield Sound, Stax . . . all were reactions to something else going on somewhere else in the country.

Even The Beatles and Rolling Stones, representing lyrical Merseyside and gritty London, respectively, had geographical undertones. Alternative rock in the ’90s was a more global extrapolation, with Seattle grunge spawning Britpop a half a world away. Blame it on the Internet, MTV, multi-market radio-station ownership — local rivalries haven’t died (check our city vs. suburban metal scenes), though they don’t really matter.

It would be fitting if a retro revival re-sparked one, and such a thing seems to be happening on the surface between Chicago and Milwaukee. We’re well represented by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, among others, though for the past couple years Kings Go Forth have been holding it down up north. Having restricted themselves to playing shows only in the Upper Midwest, the band became a surprising signing for David Byrne’s Luaka Bop imprint. The Outsiders Are Back confirmed what only a couple hundred people knew about this smoldering soul ensemble. Different than the bandleader/funk outfit dynamic, the KGF more resemble The Chi-Lites, Temptations, or Dramatics, keenly focused on frontman Black Wolf but nothing without the vocal and instrumental accomplishments of the rest of the band. (Friday@Double Door with the Soul Summit DJs)

— Steve Forstneger


Category: Featured, Stage Buzz, Weekly

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