Where: The Blue Note
When: Saturday, March 11. Doors 7:30 | Show 8:30
The nine-piece soul, rhythm and blues band known as Al Holliday & the East Side Rhythm Band will be bringing funk and soul from their home of the blues by the Mississippi River to The Blue Note’s stage. They’ll be joined by some of the hottest young singers from Mid-Missouri, St. Louis and Kansas City in a revue-style performance.
What is a revue? You may ask. Simply put, it’s a performance consisting of several musical acts that lead up to a headliner, like Al Holliday & the East Side Rhythm Band.
Al Holliday came to Pat Kay, our regional talent buyer at The Blue Note and Rose Music Hall, with this revue concert in mind. In case it wasn’t obvious, we focus on amazing live music, and this concept concert definitely fell into that category. Holliday has never performed in a revue-style concert with his band but he is “So looking forward to working with my fellow artists, my good friends and the band to bring some really special arrangements of their original music.”
“We want it to be unique. From downbeat to encore, we want it to be something special, something that only happens once a year,” Kay says.
Holliday is quite the singer and quite the character. His enthusiasm for his craft makes “soul” a very fitting name for the type of music he creates, which he describes as “Mississippi River soul music.”
Holliday says that in St. Louis, “We all really dig New Orleans R&B and think of them as some kind of sister city.” The New Orleans feel worked its way into their music with a loose, funky feel.
Holliday lives, eats and breathes this Motown, funky, soulful generation of music. He says one of his main inspirations is Tina Turner, but he’s “Not talking about that “What’s Love Got To Do with It” Tina.” Other inspirations include The Band, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Gil Scot-Heron, D’angelo and Allen Toussaint.
Shows like this help connect the last resurgence of this kind of music to the modern version that is played today. This playlist illustrates this concept of connecting then and now.
Holliday is an eccentric personality with a lot of faith in music and even more faith in the people that listen to it. He says his fans are the type of people that keep it real and “go hard ‘af.’”
Although Al Holliday and his “nine-piece soul R&B warrior tribe,” as he refers to them, play all the time, you won’t see them any other time in this format. The same goes for the rest of the talented singers that will be joining him on the stage.
In preparation for the show, Holliday had the East Side Rhythm Band learn the charts for all of the different singers that will be performing. Doing this requires a lot of work on their part, but it allows the show to have a backing band and switch between band leaders on a dime.
In addition to bringing inspiration and passion to their music, Al Holliday & the East Side Rhythm Band send a message. Holliday describes this message as, “Love, baby. Soul f*cking power. Strength. Community. The feeling that life will sometimes kick you in the head but it can’t overpower these things.” I know we all could use a little more love and soul power in our lives these days.
“If you like real music in your community, if you like funky music, if you are alive in the world today, this is a show you do not want to miss,” Holliday says. We couldn’t agree more.
So get your funky, soul-loving, groovin’ booty down to The Note for one of the most creative events this year.
This post was written by Erin Curry, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.