Niche Productions & Nathan Farrell Entertainment
presents Syl Johnson Backed by The Bamboos
Saturday 3rd September – The Basement – Sydney
& www.thebasement.com.au – on sale now
Mississippi-born, Syl Johnson is bringing the funk to Australia when he hits shores this September. Backed by Australia’s greatest modern funk and soul band The Bamboos, Syl will be showing what R&B really is when he tackles all of his greatest hits on his East Coast tour.
“A criminally unheralded stylist of urban funk and Southern soul.” – The LA Times Blog
“Syl Johnson deserved the world. His bright, gritty tenor sounded like Sam Cooke and James Brown exulting at once.” – Rolling Stone US, December 2010
In the early 1950’s Syl Johnson was associated with artists that were the pioneers of blues as we know it today. Magic Sam, Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells and Howlin’ Wolf all enlisted Syl to play on their records or jam with them live. After a decade of frequenting these circles, Chicago R&B and Soul specialists Twinight Records recruited him to record with label.
It was the in the mid 1960s, with Martin Luther King’s speech still ringing in America’s ears and the Civil Rights Act freshly inked that Syl Johnson’s single Come On Sock It to Me became a hit. Sorry ‘Bout Dat and Different Strokes soon followed, making Syl Johnson the highest selling hitmaker and producer at Twinight Records. His track ‘Is It Because I’m Black’, which bluntly explored themes of the African-American identity and social issues, became his highest charting track on whilst on the label, peaking at #11 in the R&B charts in 1969.
Soon, everyone wanted to be a part of Syl Johnson’s rise and he was quickly lured to join Hi Records, one of Memphis’ premier soul labels of the seventies.
This is where Syl wrote his biggest success to date, Take Me to the River which reached #7 on the R&B charts in 1975.
The love for Syl Johnson’s music continues strong today, and has been reinvigorated by a new generation of youthful fans. In 1992 Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, The Fresh Prince and MC Hammer all sampled his song Different Strokes which prompted Syl Johnson to return to the scene, releasing an album Back in the Game in 1994.
In more recent years he has been asked to tour with the likes of Sharon Jones & The Dapkings and has completed his own successful tours internationally. The rapturous reappraisal of Syl’s earliest work also led to the release of a box set of his Chicago recordings Complete Mythology last year.
In Australia Syl Johnson chooses to be backed by the band who he describes as some “bad motherf**kers” The Bamboos. Emerging from the ‘Deep Funk’ scene of the early 2000s, The Bamboos have since forged a unique sound of their own, combining elements of Old-school Funk, Hip Hop, Mod Rock, Psychedelic and Northern Soul. The 8-piece line up led by guitarist Lance Ferguson are renowned for their blistering, high energy live sets which have kept people dancing all the way from Byron Bay to Bratislava.
“They are about as good as it gets”. – Mark Lamarr BBC Radio 2 (U.K)
“They are the tightest Funk act in the world.” – Tim Ritchie ABC Radio National (Aust)
Be a part of the movement when Syl Johnson backed by The Bamboos blast out the best funk and R&B soul of the 60s and 70s at The Basement in Sydney.
Syl Johnson backed by The Bamboos + DJs Peter Glass & JC
Saturday 3rd September – The Basement, Sydney
- Numero Group and Syl Johnson Take on Kanye West and Jay-Z Over Sample on “The Joy” (pitchfork.com)
- Is It Because I Blew It? Shame on You Kanye. (fleamarketfunk.com)
- Jay-Z and Kanye West May Be Facing Lawsuit From Soul Singer Syl Johnson (hiphopwired.com)
- Jay-Z, Kanye West Accused Of Copyright Infringement (mtv.com)
- Jay-Z and Kanye West facing lawsuit over Watch the Throne sample (guardian.co.uk)