Tuesday, January 1, 2008

50 Memoirs From a Hip Ole' Black Man

When I was trying to think of a title for this post, nothing fit better than the name of this behemoth of a collection from Vinx, one of my favorite vocalist/percussionists.

Coming out in early 2008, Vinx is releasing a collection of 50 songs that he's written, produced and performed over the last 20 years, celebrating his 50th birthday. He was in town last night at Genghis Cohen for a hot New Year's Eve concert. I went to see him and he gave me an advance set of the 3 disc box. I've been listening to it all day while trying to stretch out the last day before returning to work.

Vinx is a multi-talented guy, who was a track star in his native state of Kansas, was on the Olympic team that Jimmy Carter wouldn't let participate in the competition due to some foreign conflict, has been a personal trainer and is now living deep in Georgia on the estate of one the former heads of the Klan! Dubbed 'Stankfish Studios', I doubt that the old boy would recognize the place.

I met him 17 years ago at a club in Santa Monica, then called At My Place, now called the Temple Bar. He was by himself onstage with a drum, and a crystal clear baritone voice that was fully formed. His set list was short, comprised of a few catchy originals and an elevated version of 'My Funny Valentine' that had the drama and poignancy of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine". I introduced myself after his set and we became fast friends ever since.

Vinx recorded 3 albums for Sting's boutique label at IRS records, but they had no idea how to market a guy playing a drum, with a deep voice, a fast wit and catchy pop/jazz/rock songs. However, live audiences got it and continue to get it to this day.

If you check out his website: vinx.com, you can get a broader introduction to what he's about. Snoop around You Tube and you'll find a variety of performance clips to check out. There's more to today's music than just Fergie and Chris Brown.

No comments: