Raphael Saadiq – Bimbo’s 365 –
It occurred to me during the set, (and I am a fan of the man) that Saadiq has quietly amassed a strong catalog of songs that soul music lovers know intimately. As he breezed through tunes from Tony! Toni! Tone’!, Lucy Pearl, and from his solo career – Bay Area heads sang along as if belting out a standard.
The show’s highlight for my $22? The rocked out versions of Be Here and Excuse Me. Blazing with four guitar players (sometimes five when Saadiq has his bass in-hand), the band thumped and thrived behind musical director/guitarist Rob Bacon. I would love to tell you the rest of the band’s lineup but Saadiq never said their names. I recognized Bacon – a longtime Saadiq cohort, and I think one of the other cats was Kenya Gruv.
Songs I recall being played:
The show started with Marvin Gaye’s version of the National Anthem.
Love that Girl
100 Yard Dash
Tick-Tock (Saadiq forgot words to second verse)
If I Had no Loot
Ask of You
Just Me and You
Staying in Love
The encore was:
Callin’ (with guest singer)
Big Easy (New song about Katrina hurricane)
Overall, another very good performance by Saadiq who seems a bit more focused at this point in his career than he may have been in the past. The songs I heard from his latest album have a 60’s Motown feel but that is nothing new if you have been listening to Saadiq at any point in his songwriting career. The difference this time is that the product appears more polished and it has the backing of Columbia Records.