Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Martin Luther, Cody ChesnuTT Play Yoshi's

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:11 AM

  • EKAphotography copyright 2007. all rights reserved
  • Soul on a Roll: Martin Luther

Is there life after neo-soul? The R&B subgenre, which enjoyed immense popularity in the late '90s-early '00s, long ago outlived its usefulness. The name--conceived, reportedly, in a marketing meeting by then-Motown CEO Kedar Massenburg--never quite fit the diverse range of musicians under its banner, and tended to box them into a stylistic niche which the artists themselves reportedly hated.

Case in point: SF singer-guitarist Martin Luther. His music had elements of neo-soul, to be sure, but it wasn't quite retro: instead of relying on old-school B-3 sounds and analog synths, he blended soul and funk with rock guitar and socially-conscious lyrics. Tagging his sound "Rebel Soul Music" (also the title of one of his albums), Marty, as his friends refer to him, enjoyed a bit of solo success and also worked alongside the Roots, Michael Franti, and, more recently, Too $hort's Town Bizness (a potential local supergroup who have unfortunately dropped off the radar).

ML plays Oakland's Yoshi's tonight and tomorrow, celebrating the imminent release of his new album Love Is the Hero, along with fellow neo-soul refugee Cody ChesnuTT (best known for his hit "The Seed"), Oakland wordsmith Ise Lyfe, and Bay Area "hitwoman for hire" Silk-E (another erstwhile member of Town Biz). Forget the neo-, this is soul music, babies!

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Eric Arnold


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"