The Magic City continues to be caught in the grips of Idol fever as auditions for season 6 of American Idol begins. Area billboards by area radio stations and our state tourism agency are now singing the praises of our current American Idols, due to the tremendous focus has been placed on Alabama’s largest city because of the success of Hicks, Bice and Studdard. DJ John Ciba (one half of the Chicago-based DJ duo East of Edens Soul Express) is preparing to remind us how influential the Birmingham Sound has already been to R&B in particular and the music world in general. People seem to forget about the Temptations, Sun Ra, Nell Carter and countless others; it’s just a matter of reminding people. This should be a great way to start.
The Birmingham Sound: The Soul of Neal Hemphill, Vol. I, is being debuted in two venues: the Hideout in Chicago’s Bucktown (1354 W. Wabansia Avenue) and the Bottletree Café here in Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood (3719 3rd Avenue South). The Chicago premiere is tonight, with the Birmingham party taking place next week Saturday, August 19. Both shows will start at 9 p.m. Click here to view a post containing the press release courtesy of The Bottletree’s MySpace page. Chicago’s alternative weekly, The Chicago Reader, filed this story in their recent edition about Ciba’s efforts in putting this compilation together.
We’ve written about the emerging local scene, the potential future of the local venue in town, and the admiration this country has with its current Idol. This CD release party will allow some to learn of the other contributions that we’ve made musically. It may also encourage some more folks to come and take a look at what we’ve got to offer.