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Funk/Rock at Southside Works

Byron Nash, guitarist/vocalist in several Pittsburgh bands and projects, has been very excited about his new collab with Jules Powell and Justin Brown. I needed to check them out, but it turned out there was a new pop-up venue to discover as well. Hear Corp of Carrick is producing a Music on the Mon series at Southside Works, replete with food/bev trucks, mulch for grass, and instant seating. As always, a Nash-fronted band put on a high-energy performance.

Julz, of recent fame with the psych-funk outfit Starship Mantis, played percussion. Hill Jordan the trombonist tells me that bassist Justin Brown and keyboardist Howie Alexander joined forces in an early band.

There is always a reason to stick around for an act you never heard of. In this case, next on the bill was Joe Keyes and the Late Bloomer Band. The first clues were the number of personnel on stage, the continental garb and the woman on sax. Joe himself is a former crack user who brings all of his new joy to the stage. The MD band was tight and much fun. One highlight was their funkified version of “People Make The World Go Round.” Where did all of this POC lineup come from? Many thanks to Hearcorp and Southside Works. The secret is out.

Joe Keyes
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The Soul Show, 7/24/21: George Clinton at Eighty

Electric Basement Studios, where the WYEP and syndicated AAPR editions of The Soul Show are produced

The Soul Show on WYEP Pittsburgh

  • TSS celebrates George Clinton’s birthday this Saturday.  As part of the festivities, Mike Canton revives snippets of his 2016 interview with Funkadelic’s Hall of Fame member, Billy “Bass” Nelson.  It all starts with the barber shop in New Jersey.
  • Join Mike Canton for The Soul Show’s celebration of George Clinton’s 80th birthday.  He starts with The Parliaments vocal group, then delves into the Parliament Funkadelic empire.  
  • On The Soul Show this weekend, Mike Canton provides the latest updates on the concert and festival scene, including his expanding list of must-sees/must-hears.

TSS on the African American Public Radio Consortium

The AAPR edition of The Soul Soul is three more hours of eclecticism, and the broadcast cities are represented this week by Kinetic, Marsvyn David and Masta Ace.

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The Soul Show(s) this week: Clinton pre-bday, MonoNeon, Questlove’s SoS, Bare Your Soul

The Soul Show on WYEP

Most weeks, a day or two before broadcast, I send the WYEP staff a few teasers about the upcoming show. Here they are for 7/17:

  • On TSS this weekend, Mike features more from Kinetic’s new release, “Dances of Lake Volta.”  He’s been following this local band since their beginnings.  “Dances” is his City Paper album pick for this month.
  • The Soul Show begins the George Clinton 80th birthday celebrations with an extended live track from Metropolis in the UK.
  • During 2021, Mike Canton has been looking back at 50th anniversary albums, but this weekend The Soul Show does a decade sweep of 1961 through 2021 (from Gladys Knight through Jill Scott).
  • Now that Mike Canton has seen Questlove’s “Summer of Soul” film, he’ll offer some more thoughts on Woodstock’s alternate universe.  His research has led him to a photographer who captured Hendrix on film in Harlem that 1969 summer.
  • For TSS this weekend, there’s new music from Prince’s last bassist (MonoNeon) and Thundercat’s brother (Ron Bruner, Jr.).
  • Before The Soul Show this weekend, do a little homework.  Check out his “Bare Your Soul” challenge on Twitter (soulshowmike).

Syndicated TSS on the African American Public Radio Consortium

  • There’s music from the cities of The Soul Show’s national broadcasts: Zeng from RI, Blew/Brees/P Busspipe from USVI, and DK Anderson from Pittsburgh
  • Rick James is represented as a solo artist and as part of the short-lived Mynah Birds…this is important music history
  • A great new instrumental from Tiny Room Sessions, featuring MonoNeon and Ron Bruner, Jr.
  • More Geo. Clinton pre-celebration, with songs representing the Cult of Funk
  • Black Violin battling the Stereotypes

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The Soul Show Preview, 7/10/21: Kinetic, Jimi & “Summer of Soul”

On The Soul Show on WYEP today, here’s what’s on tap:

  • The Soul Show presents a weekly spotlight on Pittsburgh musicians – it’s called ’Three Rivers at Three.’  Join Mike Canton as he introduces the third album from Kinetic.
  • On TSS, Mike Canton celebrates the birthday of funk pioneer and James Brown bandleader Fred Wesley with an excerpt from their 2016 interview. 
  • This weekend, Mike Canton digs deeper into the 2021 Mother Nature album by Angelique Kidjo.  
  • On The Soul Show’s ‘Three Rivers at Three,’ Mike Canton celebrates the birthdays of Pittsburgh’s Phyllis Hyman and her greatest duet partner.
  • There are reflections on Jimi Hendrix’s intersection with “Summer of Soul.”

Hendrix, Summer of Soul

Bootsy Collins paid tribute to Hendrix on “Mirrors Tell Lies,” and the track reflects upon how JH was misunderstood. Jimi’s own voice is dubbed in, and he talks about how there should be free concerts, outside, in Harlem. I speculate on today’s TSS (pre-recorded on 7/9) that this is all connected with Summer of Love, but I knew I needed to do some more research. Soooo….this morning I found this article:

Next, I pulled the thread on the credited photographer, Grant Harper Reid. I feel an important interview coming.

Notably, I’ve heard that Jimi isn’t in the film. I’m thinking Questlove would have included him if there was footage. If I can get his attention at the upcoming Roots show in Pittsburgh, maybe he’ll give a sound bite. This is a good story to chase.

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What does Black Music mean to you?

For the final weekend of Black Music Month, I want to broadcast/stream the truly broad and representative stroke of genres. You listeners of The Soul Show are invited to suggest artists for the 6/26/21 playlist. It will be painful to whittle it down to 35 songs, but you’ll be making sure I don’t forget anyone. Thanks!

Submissions by 6/23, please, so I can start the process.

One more thing: We need and want women properly balanced in this presentation.

One more one more thing: If anyone would like this last piece TSS merch inventory, send me your address. I’m at – Women’s Small Vee, 100% Cotton (“Natty Dread no jestah, me nah wear polyestah“)

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TSS: Juneteenth, Black Music Month, new Masta Ace, SSM’s Album Picks


On TSS this weekend, I celebrate Black Music Month with a broad, representative stroke, from the classics to the now. I’m playing artists and themes featured during this weekend’s Juneteenth celebrations in Pittsburgh. Get ready for new conscious music from Masta Ace.  His latest releases have shaken to the core. I’ll announce the latest Jazz Is Dead installment from Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Pittsburgh City Paper’s June installment of Soulshowmike’s Album Picks lists favorite songs of summer.  It’s that time of year, and I’ll feature those tracks. On Three Rivers at Three, the weekly spotlight on Pittsburgh music, The Soul Show continues the dive into Miss Freddye’s new album, “Lady of the Blues.”

African American Public Radio Consortium

The syndicated edition of TSS features something from #KingButch, the Butcher Brown album I picked for this month’s City Paper column. New funk/jazz from Joe Marcinek, with guest artists from The Nth Power and other bands. More from the new George Benson album.


If The Soul Show at 91.3 WYEP moves you, please take a moment to make a nomination for Best Radio Show or Best Radio DJ (or both!). Your voice matters. Vote early and daily. Thank you! Here’s the link:


#Juneteenth celebrations, Day 1: A busy day allowed me to catch only the last 20 minutes of Ohio Players. I found a lucky parking spot on Stanwix and scampered down to the Point. Wonderful crowd. Two days of festivities left this weekend. [soulshowmike images, including the patented pole-eye view, June ’21]

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TSS: CWIII, Benson, Prince & more Minneapolis Connection

WYEP’s edition of The Soul Show remembered Clarence Williams III, aka the counterculture cop Linc Hayes on The Mod Squad (’68-’73). Later he was Prince’s tormented dad in Purple Rain. The title track weaves the memories of the two together, with a Prince birthday this week.

Three Rivers at Three, the Pittsburgh music showcase, was jumbo-sized. There were eight tracks over 40 minutes, including a new gem from Slam Band & Sam. Also, more from Miss Freddye’s new release.

Rasheed Ali’s final(?) installment of the ‘1968’ series just dropped. It’s called ‘Hindsight is 20/20.’ Another hard-funk single from Dumpstaphunk’s latest album was also featured. For the ongoing fiftieth-anniversary lookbacks of this year, Eddie Palmieri’s ‘Harlem River Drive’ masterpiece was spotlighted. The newest music from Rhiannon Giddens, George Benson and Cameron Graves was on tap.

The syndicated, weeklong edition of The Soul Show jumps off with Brian Edwards, the one-time percussionist of Jesse Johnson. JJ, of course, was The Time’s guitarist in their Minneapolis heyday. I play the other new D-Phunk single, and everything from Alberta Hunter to Heatwave to Black Pumas. Chicago Soul Jazz Collective closes out the evening.

The archives of both shows will be available on demand soon. Enjoy.

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The Soul Show: New Miss Freddye and Rasheed Ali, Dylan @80, Davis @95, Memorial Day

The Soul Show will present Miss Freddye’s music for the first time. Her album is called ‘Lady Of The Blues.’ Also, I’ll crack open Rasheed Ali’s 2021 ‘Hindsight Is 20/20.’ His music is always socially conscious and historically driven.

Bob Dylan turned 80 on Monday, so I will spin R&B covers of his vast songbook. You’ll hear Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone, Babyface, The Isleys and a host of others perform Bob’s music.

To celebrate Miles Davis’ 95th birthday, I’ll play something from his fusion masterpiece ‘Bitches Brew.” Also, listen to a track from his wife Betty, who pointed him in the direction of blending jazz with rock. She’ll be on Three Rivers at Three.

For Memorial Day weekend, there will be The Whispers, John Legend & The Roots, plus something out of genre that might be the most touching and vivid war song that I know.

The syndicated edition of TSS takes you deeper into Miss Freddye’s 2021 release. Also, get to know 24-Carat Black, the 1970s soul collective, and enjoy some extended instrumental Donny Hathaway.

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The Soul Show celebrates Marvin Gaye

The Soul Show celebrates Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” 50 years after its release. WYEP featured the album yesterday, and presented listener reflections all week. I’ll play some music from WGO, and you’ll hear several of those pre-recorded reflections. If you saw the CNN special, you’ll appreciate that we selected listeners who recalled their time as teenagers and young adults.

Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge continue their ‘Jazz Is Dead’ series. This time, it’s in collaboration with João Donation. I’ll introduce JID #7 on TSS this afternoon.

‘Three Rivers at Three’ will feature another track from Soulful Femme’s new full release. We’ll swing back around to George Heid’s world album. Also, something from Anita Levels on Dwayne Dolphin’s ‘Indigenous’ CD.

Have you checked out Vibin’ yet? It’s a new 90s-centric R&B program hosted by George T. He and I have produced the first few shows at his place. I inserted a short clip of the upcoming episode into TSS. Enjoy the sneak peek. It’s good to hear his George’s voice on the air again.

The syndicated Soul Show, distributed through the African American Public Radio Consortium, complements the WYEP program every week. Its content is more “evergreen,” meaning any episode can be played anytime, anywhere. If you listen this week, you’ll hear hints of the upcoming 80th Bob Dylan birthday (via Hendrix, and not explicitly stated) and of the Marvin Gaye anniversary. From the Sa-Roc album that I reviewed in City Paper, I debut a powerful piece called ‘Rocwell’s America.’ Daughter/father Syleena and Syl Johnson have back-to-back tracks. I return to Adrian Younge’s ‘The American Negro’ that was introduced in time for BHM 2021. We’ll close with an expansive track by Kamasi Washington from his second release, ‘Harmony of Difference.’ (Wow….does that exist?)

When ‘A Tuba to Cuba’ was released, I had the opportunity to interview Ben Jaffe of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. You’ll hear a track from that PHJB album, the culmination of a long project

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The Soul Show: Wonder’s ’71 @71; Soulful Femme; GSH, Turner, Preston inductions

For this Stevie Wonder 71st birthday week, The Soul Show spotlights the 50th anniversary of Stevie’s first breakaway album, “Where I’m Coming From”. It was 1971 when the Motown prodigy had his chance to present the future, mature vision of his music.

1971 was also the year of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On,” and The Soul Show presents an early peek at the WYEP testimonials to that album.  Stevee Wellons, the vocalist of duo Soulful Femme, provides reflections on WGO when it shook her teenage life.

I’ll debut the brand new Soulful Femme CD on Three Rivers at Three. Stevee Wellons gets two nods today.

The RRHOF induction of Gil Scott-Heron is a big deal for The Soul Show.  I celebrate with some favorite tracks.  I’ll also present early Billy Preston music from the Sam Cooke SAR label. Also, a big induction congratulation to Tina Turner, with something from her transformative ‘Private Dancer’ and another from her Herbie Hancock collaboration.

TSS features new singles from Hiatus Kaiyote and Navy.

Sa-Roc’s ‘The Sharecropper’s Daughter’ is my album pick this month in Pittsburgh City Paper. Both editions of The Soul Show dig into this release so you can hear for yourself.

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