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The Soul Show 12/11/21: Greg Tate, Melvin Parker, Robbie Shakespeare

On The Soul Show this weekend, we honor three legends:

  • Greg Tate, noted musician/bandleader, author/lecturer, and co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition
  • Melvin Parker, early and oft-returning drummer of James Brown’s band
  • Robbie Shakespeare, whose footprint on reggae and the greater musical universe is larger than life

Greg Tate

Here are scrapbook items for Tate and his band

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, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber. They performed at the Thunderbird in late 2015 and early 2016. At the latter show, they paid homage to the recently departed David Bowie.

Burnt Sugar, Thunderbird Café 2016: David Bowie tribute

and Click here for Tate lectures

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, articles, etc.


Origins of Burnt Sugar:

On the formation of Burnt Sugar, band collaborator and bassist Jared Michael Nickerson provided this written history in 2015…..

Mike Canton : “Greg Tate was a Village Voice staff writer, an Ivy League lecturer, an author, and an interviewer of musical royalty. You have a business degree from Notre Dame, you studied at the NE Conservatory of Music. How did you two meet and decide to collaborate?”

Jared Michael Nickerson: “We also have a Dayton Ohio connection as Greg was born there and I grew up there ( I was born in Cleveland Ohio.). We met during the formative days of the Black Rock Coalition. Our Burnt Sugar Arkestra collaboration was initially sparked by a good friend of ours Jimmy Lee recommending me to Greg when he described to Jimmy how he wanted Burnt Sugar to sound and asked Jimmy who would he suggest he call to create that sound … the very first inception of Burnt Sugar had Vijay, Trevor Holder (drums), Simmie (violin), Michael Morgan Craft and Ronny Drayton (guitars), Bruce Mack (synth). The inside photo of our first release “Blood on the Leaf” has a pic from one of the first CBGB Underground performances. Once “Blood” hit the streets the response and demand for appearances fueled the vision and then thanks to Arts International providing us a grant, that enabled us to establish a business entity to support the creative organism and we were on our way, up to today and as far as we know … beyond.”

Robbie Shakespeare

On The Soul Show, we’ll timeline Shakespeare’s works from his early contributions to reggae landmarks through the later Sly & Robbie machine: Bunny Wailer’s ‘Blackheart Man,’ Tosh’s ‘Equal Rights,’ Black Uhuru, Taxi Fare, and so on.

Melvin Parker

Among the percussion legends that graced the Godfather’s stage and recordings, James Brown called his early drummer a metronome. The Soul Show will feature Parker tracks from the 1964-1965 period, plus important contributions later on.

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