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Gregory Porter and ThatKellieGirl

Hello Good Folks!

So for those of you who follow ThatKellieGirl, you know that last year I developed a HUGE musical crush on Gregory Porter.  So when I found out that he was performing at the Kennedy Center, I was ecstatic.  And  let me tell you his performance did not disappoint.

When I arrived at my seat, I was glad to know I wasn’t the only person anticipating his performance.  We all laughed about our “stalkerish” tendencies by anxiously awaiting to hear (and feel) the soulful sounds of Gregory Porter.  So when he hit the stage, we warmly welcomed him to DC.

Born in Los Angeles, raised in Bakersfield, like many soul-singers, Porter began developing his craft when singing “A & B” selections in his mother’s storefront church.   He spoke about how his mother sought out those in the community who needed the most help, and his fond memories of the many characters in his mother’s church.  Porter’s childhood also was heavily influenced by Nat King Cole.  Without a father growing up, Porter imagined that Nat King Cole was his father because of the joy and pain he heard when listening to his mother’s Nat King Cole records.  His experience was actually developed into a play, “Nat King Cole and Me” and performed at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and has since traveled to Houston.   All of these experiences is what makes Porter such a dynamic performer.  He can sing the sweet jazz ballads. Or he can be powerful and explosive in his gospel-infused singing.  For me, Gregory Porter is the epitome of a soul-singer.

On top of his show-stopping vocals, Porter also is an outstanding lyricist.  His gift for storytelling helped earn him a Grammy nomination for his album “Water”.

On the beautiful song “Illusion”, Gregory Porter evokes the emotions of loss and denial from a break-up.
 

He begins the song:
 
I’ve been searchin all the corners of my room

 sweeping dust and memories under the carpet that we purchased

 somewhere on some cool retreat, somewhere in Africa somewhere

And my favorite verse:

Like bare feet on hot concrete, we have come to some division

 based on pain from bare decisions

 just like clothespins snapped by wild winds

 sometimes you can’t hold on to love that never dies

And finishing the song with:

I’ve been trying to find reality
 
a grip on the illusion that I lost you
when you left me

 

There wasn’t a dry eye or lump in the throat after he sang this song.

 

 

Porter also sang several songs from his soon-to-be-released album “Be  Good.”  I loved the beautiful song he wrote for his mother, “Mother’s Song”, and the down-home “Work Song”.  However, my favorite is “Real Good Hands” which sets the scene of a man reassuring the parents of his love interest that she  is in “real good hands, because he’s a real good man.”  That line right there totally makes me smile.  The songs offers an intimate glimpse into a man’s thoughts about love, dating and wanting to start a family.  And it’s quite refreshing.

 

 

And he could not leave the stage without performing the song “1960 What?” which has gained immense popularity on the house and dance scene due to several remixes.

 

All I can say is that I don’t think my crush is waning anytime soon.  So on Valentine’s Day, purchase a copy of Gregory Porter’s “Be Good” album.  I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

 
 

————————–

As always, I have to make the hard decision of which events I should attend for the weekend.  As my Honey says, you can’t do everything.  Yet, the one thing the Honey and I had to attend was the opening of Aniekan Udofia‘s The Village B-Boy at Lamont Bishop Gallery.

So after the Gregory Porter concert, we rushed to see this amazing show.  The exhibition of over 20 images captures the impact of hip hop, the United States’ most significant musical export since jazz,  on Udofia’s hometown in Nigeria.  Udofia is a masterful artist using graphite, acrylic, spray paint and stencils to instantly transport the viewer into the hip-hop culture of his youth in Uyo, Nigeria.

The exhibition runs until March 3rd, so make sure to check it out.

4 comments

  1. Glad to know I’m not the only one with Gregory Porter “stalkerish” tendencies. In fact, that’s what led me to your site. LOL! I saw him perform this weekend in New York City. To say he was incredible would be an understatement. I have a picture with him too and I am grinning just as hard as you are in your picture. 🙂

    • Well we are two peas in a pod! LOL I truly enjoy his music, and overall he seems to be a really good person. That is something I don’t mind supporting. Thanks for stopping by and I hope we can share more music with each other. Best!

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