City Paper is not for tourists
Unlike Leon Bridges and Sharon Jones, who seek to sing soul just like it was, J. Red, Jeff Floyd, and The Hardway Connection meld old-school testifying with new-school synthesized rhythms, and some raunchier lyrics that usually involve philandering. Atlanta-based J. Red is fond of high-pitched syllable stretching on songs like “I Will,” in which he pledges to give women the love they can’t get from their own men. Jacksonville, Fla.’s Jeff Floyd is best known for his rough-edged yet romantic yearning on “I Found Love (on a Lonely Highway),” and “Somebody’s Gonna Lose a Good Woman.” Floyd also uses his raspy, gospel-rooted timbre nicely on the upbeat “Shake Somethin’ Loose.” Maryland’s Hardway Connection is behind the warm “Southern Soul Rumpin’,” the theme song for a Saturday afternoon WPFW program. Hardway includes male and female vocalists, plus some additional percussion that adds welcome funk to their rhythm and blues. Although the lyrics from these three acts can get slightly soapy and formulaic, count on the church-derived intonation, clever melodies, and mix of retro and 21st century grooves to make it all work. The Hardway Connection performs with J. Red and Jeff Floyd at 9 p.m. at Lamont’s Entertainment Complex, 4400 Livingston Road, Pomonkey, Md. $35. (301) 283-0225.