Dan is the founder and president of Putumayo World Music. Their newest release Rhythm and Blues is available in Whole Foods Market stores today.
As a kid growing up in the 1960's, rhythm and blues was the music that I loved the most. Groups like the Four Tops and the Supremes were the soundtrack of my high school years. I'll never forget a magical night at the Apollo Theater with one of my favorite groups, the Spinners. The melodic hooks, harmonies and upbeat vibe helped set the stage for my eventual career in world music, which shares many of the same characteristics.Rhythm and blues is part of America's musical DNA and nowhere more so than my adopted home, New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and rhythm and blues.
Putumayo's newest release Rhythm and Blues captures what I like best about the music and features New Orleans favorites like Snooks Eaglin (who passed away last year), Irma Thomas and the under-appreciated Rocky Charles.It also includes some rising stars like Sharon Jones (who had the unforgettable opening song, This Land is Your Land, on the George Clooney film Up in the Air) and UK star James Hunter who was discovered by Van Morrison. And, of course, there are some surprises like Panamanian soul singer, Kafir, who sings on this track with the Quantic Soul Orchestra, the brainchild of British musician, Will Holland.Note: you can simply listen online using the player below, or you can "right click" to download the mp3 file.I hope this sample inspires you to hear more classic rhythm and blues performed by first generation legends and rising stars of today's retro R&B revival.