Get our free newsletter
For the past 15 years, Michelle Blackwell has sung with go-go bands like Northeast Groovers, EU, What? Band, Suttle Thoughts, and Chocolate City. Inspired in part by the “grown and sexy” take on funk and go-go pioneered in the ‘90s by Maiesha and the Hip Huggers, Blackwell adds smooth tones and a hip-hop rasp to her signature go-go vocals on both original compositions and polyrhythmic covers of radio hits and old-school soul classics. She’s sung sultry R&B love songs like “Selfless” with Suttle Thoughts; giddy, hip-hop-inflected numbers with What? Band; and touching, sensitive pieces with others. Now, eager to create a product that celebrates all aspects of her artistic being, Blackwell will record her show at the Howard for a live album and DVD with a core band including members of the What? Band and Chocolate City, plus special guests, like percussionist Go-Go Mickey Freeman and vocalist Gene Pratt of Suttle Thoughts and the Junk Yard Band. With an ensemble this stacked, the live release will sound just as good as your old go-go cassettes. Michelle Blackwell performs with Go-Go Mickey, Cal Da Animal, Lysette, Gene Pratt, RappaDude and the Misfitz at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $20–$45. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com.