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The Soul Show, 10/23/21: Steve Cropper at Eighty, DK Anderson on 3R@3.

Steve Cropper

This weekend, The Soul Show celebrates the eightieth birthday of ‘The Colonel,’ Steve Cropper. He kicks off every episode of TSS as a member of Booker T. & The MGs. His legacy began with the Mar-Keys, with a hit on the Satellite label. Satellite became Stax Records, and for a decade Cropper was an anchor of the label. His playing, songwriting and production permeates soul music – Aretha, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, …. Join me. Also, stay for Big Town Blues immediately after TSS. Wrett Weatherspoon will continue the party.


Three Rivers Through and Through

If you missed the All-Pittsburgh special on TSS last weekend, here are the archive and the accompanying photo book:

Three Rivers Through and Through – Archive

Photo Scrapbook for Three Rivers Through and Through


George Clinton at Eighty

In case you need the special decoder ring for George Clinton/Parliament/The Parliaments/Funkadelic/P-Funk, it’s all explained in the 80th Birthday Celebration:

George Clinton at Eighty – Show Archive


DK Anderson Images

On Three Rivers at Three, the weekly Pittsburgh showcase, I play a popular DK Anderson (aka Quantum Truth) rendition of a Hendrix classic. When I was getting to know the band, I stopped by one of their home studio practices, then documented them at James Street.

at James Street


Nigel Hall

The Soul Pod is the newest element of the TSS universe. Nigel Hall was part of TSP’s soft launch. Enjoy.

Interview and album review

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November Plans – PI at Fifty

Three Rivers Through and Through was the big TSS special program for October. It’s now time to return to the 50th anniversary themes. Last year, WYEP did a Thanksgiving Motown special, and for 2021 The Soul Show will honor Philadelphia International Records. Kenny Gamble and León Huff founded the label in 1971, and brought us The O’Jays, Harold Melvin, MFSB and so many others. Dexter Wansel was part of Instant Funk, but also delivered some serious space-themed solo efforts that rivaled Bowie and Elton. I just found out about a recent release of his, so I’m hoping to connect with him for an interview. Stay close.

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Pittsburgh Artist Scrapbook for ‘Three Rivers Through and Through’

Here’s something I thought The Soul Show’s supporters would enjoy while listening to the 10/16/21 All-Pittsburgh special. It was supposed to take 90 minutes when I started at 6am. Ha! I was scrambling to finish before 2pm Eastern. Enjoy.



Brian Edwards, Beni Rossman, Spencer Geer at Village Tavern
Chris Potter (keys) with Beni Rossman and Subha Das, Village Tavern

Kiki Brown, The Buckle Downs | Vine Rewind, July 2018
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Three Rivers Through and Through, and The Soul Pod

Three Rivers Through and Through, 10/16/21, 2-5p Eastern

91.3 WYEP’s Membership Drive is happening now, and I want to do something special. Once Booker T’s theme winds down, the rest of TSS will be ALL PITTSBURGH ARTISTS. It’s Three Rivers at Three, expanded. Come and enjoy with me. I finished the playlist at 2p on Thursday and, yes, there was too much solid music to fit into 3 hours. That’s a superb problem to have. Also, where are surprises in the mix. See you soon.

The Soul Pod

Pittsburgh City Paper and I will be officially launching a podcast soon. This week, Soulshowmike’s Album Picks presented a soft launch of The Soul Pod. It was an interview with Nigel Hall about his 2021 release “Spiritual,” and it happened during the Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival. Hear about his recent life and his future projects.

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Photo Notebook: Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival 2021

Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Robert Randolph & the Family Band‘s leader | Highmark Blues and Heritage Festival | 21.10.02 | Eddie Kramer, Jimi’s engineer, calls RR the Hendrix of Pedal Steel Guitar.

Eddie Kramer, Jimi’s engineer, calls RR the Hendrix of Pedal Steel Guitar
Lanesha (sister) | Robert Randolph & the Family Band | Highmark Blues and Heritage Festival | 21.10.02

Dumpstaphunk

Double basses blasting, with guitarist Ian Neville (Art’s son) shedding the baby face and big fro.

JD Chaisson (above image, 1st horn fr L) and Rick Matt (2nd) of Steeltown Horns | w/ Dumpstaphunk | 21.10.02 | Highmark Blues and Heritage Festival D-Phunk has added a permanent horn section to their lineup. I told Rick that maybe the band liked what Steeltown brought in support at Flood City Music Festival and Feastival over the years, and decided to lock in that sound. Matt was happy for the invitation.


Third World

Stephen Cat Coore setting up for a moving ‘Redemption Song’ on viola.
Cat Coore and Richie Daley are the remaining founding players in this fabled outfit.
Ivan Neville (Aaron’s son) of Dumpstaphunk (right), backstage with Nigel Hall.

Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen | Highmark Blues and Heritage Festival | 21.10.02 Jon was the day’s sleeper show. Nigel Hall‘s guest appearance on organ didn’t hurt. A couple of Dumpstaphunk members stepped in for the set’s closer to add even more Big Easy flavor.

Nigel Hall was announced as Jon Cleary’s guest a few days before the festival.

Morris Day & The Time

MD and the usual antics – crowdpleaser. What’s Jerome’s job again?

M. Day w/Jerome the Butler

Robert Cray

MD & The Time were a late add, positioned right before RC. I was concerned that true blues would be too much of a step change after Day’s antics, but it didn’t take long to see why Cray has been a major player since Strong Persuader catapulted him in 1986. That was the way to end HBHF. Wow. One more thing that I observed: Robert Cray is exquisite in a song’s closure. He can feather it down super-gently, or he can surprise with one more burst of vocal energy, or he can have a bandmate throttle the guitar amp to take it out. He’s a pro of pros.

Festival headliner Robert Cray
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Big announcements on The Soul Show today (10/9/21)

Tune in to The Soul Show on WYEP today (10/9/21) for the announcement of a special episode next week. I’ve been focused on this mission for a year. Pittsburgh artists, you and your followers will love this.

Also, I’ll be announcing a new format for soulshowmike’s album picks in Pittsburgh City Paper. The first anniversary of SSMAP just went by, so it’s time for the next phase.

Three Rivers at Three debuts The Collective today, and we celebrate a major award for the Stax label’s queen, Carla Thomas.

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The Soul Show this week, and more

The Soul Show on WYEP, 10/2/21

  • On TSS, catch an interview with the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio before their return to Pittsburgh next week. (Check out the teaser below.)
  • Mike Canton will play the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio’s brand new single to get you ready for their Pittsburgh show next week.
  • Nichelle Colvin has released her second single from the upcoming EP.  You’ll hear it on The Soul Show.
  • We remember Hammond B3 master Dr. Lonnie Smith on The Soul Show with Mike Canton.
  • Looking back over the long Stevie Wonder discography, ’Songs In The Key Of Life’ may be considered the peak.  Mike Canton will reflect on, and play music from, that 1976 masterpiece.
  • The Highmark Blues and Heritage Festival announced some important late editions to the weekend lineup.  Listen to The Soul Show for music from those artists.
  • The host of The Soul Show, Mike Canton, always talks about his favorite vocalist of all time.  He’ll play Donny Hathaway music as a birthday tribute.
  • Don Cornelius transformed how America saw Black music with Soul Train.  Mike Canton remembers him on Don’s 85th birthday.  The Soul SHOW begins at 2pm on Saturday.
  • Sarah Dash, with Nona Hendryx and Patti Labelle, transformed their R&B vocal group into a glam-soul trio.  We remember Sarah on The Soul Show this weekend.
  • Mike Canton remembers film visionary Melvin Van Peebles. We’re hoping for some reflections from Black Rock Coalition member Jared Michael Nickerson.

Video teaser for the DLO3 interview on TSS

Here’s a snippet from the larger interview that will air on 10/2. More on The Soul Pod coming soon……

Supporting a station that supports

WTJX-FM of the US Virgin Islands was the first station to help me develop an NPR-oriented music program, then became the first to feature the syndicated show from the African American Public Radio Consortium. When I was invited to host their second pledge drive, it was my turn to give. It was a fruitful three days, with the added bonus of working with the station team face to face. Much learned, much gained.

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On The Soul Show today, 9/11/21

snapshot of Summer ’21: Lisa Fischer, Hartwood Acres

On 9/11/21, Mike Canton breaks out some tracks from ascending female rappers Little Simz and Haviah Mighty. Simz is cited by Kendrick Lamar as one to watch.

Mike Canton celebrates major-milestone birthdays on The Soul Show: Otis Redding at 80, Terry Ellis of En Vogue at 55, Billy Preston and Buddy Miles at 75.

Mike fills you in on one of the great pop-up venue successes of this summer, and the fantastic Cuban music featured there last weekend.Some festivals are coming late this year, but expect the usual fun in the sun.

Mike Canton will provide a musical overview of the September outdoor (and indoor) offerings. On The Soul Show, the weekly Pittsburgh music feature is called “Three Rivers at Three.” Make sure you’re tuned in at 3pm Eastern on WYEP. We have Jeff “Tain” Watts, who plays Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival next weekend; Christiane Dolores, who’s raising her own bar with a recently-earned grant from The Heinz Endowments; and Brian Edwards, whose resume includes a large presence in the Minneapolis music scene

….and, in remembrance of this day 20 years ago, perhaps the most appropriate song.

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Isaiah Ross’ Real Rock n Roll Band

| Jack Swing | 21.09.10 | Lights On!, Trust Oasis Stage |

I’ve been paying attention to them since a Cattivo gig a few years ago, and have kept them on The Soul Show rotation. Big crowdpleasers, and Isaiah Ross is a natural lead man. He has a Minneapolis gig coming up. That’s a big music city. It’s a big deal.

This band is a straight-up rock n roll band, with a necessary bit of funk to fulfill everyone’s needs. There may have been a guest or two to thicken out the presentation, or this quintet is the current lineup. There were new songs written by the band, which is always important in mapping one’s destiny. When I heard ‘Daydreams,’ I was ready to play it on The Soul Show right away. Isaiah said I’ll have it shortly.

When I listen to this band, some immediate comparisons are made to a certain national act that shall be called BJL&tHB. BJL gets a lot of airplay on a station I know. JS differentiates itself by being authentic, not being a caricature (which is almost saying the same thing, but with more shades of meaning), and not relying on rasped voice to drive the energy home. Ross can sing.

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