Grits & Soul

Spreading the Gospel of Southern Sound

Music Monday: Michael Kiwanuka

Happy Monday, friends!

Our theory is that as artists and musicians, it's really important to listen to all kinds of music. If you limit what you listen to, it limits what you create.  That's our two cents' worth.

So, as often as we can, we're going to share with you the music that inspires us, makes us laugh, makes us misty-eyed, or just gets us to thinkin'.  If it changes your perspective, even just a little, it's doing exactly what it's supposed to.  Though we do play a lot of bluegrass these days, our sound isn't strictly confined to that genre and we listen to everything we can lay our ears on! 

For those of you who don't already know, I'm (Anna) a huge soul music fan.  I grew up in the Memphis area and studied music business at The University of Memphis.  They actually offered a "Memphis Music" class taught by Dr. David Evans, a well known blues historian and producer.  I even took a songwriting class, where I'm not so sure I learned anything more than how subjective songwriting is; but, producer Danny Jones rocked my world by having us dissect almost the entire  Thriller album as well as the entire Memphis Soul Classics album.  It was also the first time I'd heard about Muscle Shoals and Malaco (where I later worked), too. It forever changed me (a very white girl who sang Celtic music).  What a love affair. 

I love to hear modern interpretations of classic soul.  Our friend, Jay, texted John & said, "You've got to listen to this guy!"

We did.


His name is Michael Kiwanuka & I swear, it was like being a witness to the second coming. His music is a blend of Van Morrison & Otis Redding, Bob Marley & tons of other things you can't exactly put your finger on. But one thing is fo sho: it's the real deal.

Get this:  he's only 25.  And he's British.  Apparently he opened for Adele a year or two ago.

I know.

I know.

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