“The concert at zero degrees: From fDeluxe to Rae Sremmurd, Super Bowl LIVE hits a new low ”
Tearing through “High Fashion,” “The Screams of Passion,” and “Mutiny,” the family wound the clock right back to 1985, when the Minneapolis Sound was hot and fresh. It was a far cry from the (virtual) seaside setting of the “Screams of Passion” video, but that didn’t stop the band — with Melvoin resplendent in a fur coat and updo — from reminding their fans what they came for.
“Fans love Frampton's way, with guitar, at State Theatre ”
July 13th, 2016
A few thoughts about Peter Frampton’s concert Wednesday night at the packed State Theatre in Minneapolis:
Before the lights went dark, a recorded message from Frampton was played, telling fans to limit their photo and video taking to the first three songs – and thereafter no use of cellphones, not even for texting. Ushers actively enforced the policy during the rest of the evening.
Frampton played a generous 2 1/2 hour set, which included an overlong five-song acoustic segment plus covers of Buddy Holly, Soundgarden and numbers associated with two of Frampton’s late pals, David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” and George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” He said not a word about Bowie, his old school mate, but told a story about Harrison, including doing a vocal impression of the late Beatle.
The cheery Frampton was chatty between songs, trying to be witty with a hint of sarcasm. However, as a guitarist, it was not about entertaining. It was about the music, with Frampton often facing his sidemen not the audience as he delivered fresh, largely improvised solos. He was clearly trying to communicate with his players – and let the fans come along for the ride.
The guitarist’s tone, technique and versatility were impressive. In the course of the evening, he played everything from flamenco and blues to jazz-rock fusion and hard rock. Frampton may not be the most emotional or soulful guitarist but he’s a master at building a solo to elevate the song.
Frampton’s guitar playing was more remarkable than his singing or songwriting. In fact, his guitar work could redeem a lesser song like “I Wanna Go to the Sun.”
He knows how to connect with his fans, whether by using a talk box on his big hits like “Do You Feel Like We Do,” throwing in an eloquent instrumental version of “Black Hole Sun” or getting couples to slow dance to “Baby I Love Your Way.”
Frampton’s four-man backup band featured two Minnesotans – keyboardist Rob Arthur, who has toured with Frampton for 11 years, and bass man Paul Peterson, whom Frampton called “one of the finest bassists ever.” The way Frampton interacted with his bandmates was alluring in a jazz ensemble sort of way. You could tell the bandleader was getting off while exchanging licks with guitarist Adam Lester or keyboardist Arthur.
The 66-year-old British hero was clearly in great spirits. He delivered 23 songs, compared to 18 numbers the night before in Mankato.
Highlights included the guitar-hero moment of “Black Hole Sun,” the hard-driving “Nassau” and the encore of the deeply felt “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
In case you weren’t aware, Frampton no longer has the fluffy curls that were his signature in his 1976 heyday. He joked about that. Judging by the enthusiasm of the 40- and 50-something women in the audience, it didn’t matter. They still love his way – with a guitar.
ROLLING STONE 5/4/16
15 Great Prince Songs That Were Hits for Other Artists »
The group timed the release of their new video to coincide with the song's opening lyric. "It's with a musically heavy heart that tonight we honor our dear friend and musical collaborator Prince on what's to be seven hours and 13 days after his passing," singer Susannah Melvoin said in a statement, which also opens the video. "Our band, the Family – myself, Paul Peterson, Eric Leeds and Jellybean Johnson – offer you a moment of Prince's musical legacy and brilliance with a song that he wrote for us many purple moons ago."
Prince helped put together the group, which features Melvoin and Peterson on vocals, saxophonist and flautist Leeds, drummer Johnson, and percussionist Jerome Benton, in 1985. Melvoin is the twin sister of guitarist Wendy Melvoin, who played in Prince's band the Revolution.
Prince wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on the Family's self-titled debut, which came out in August 1985. The album contained the Top 10 R&B hit "The Screams of Passion," and it served as home to "Nothing Compares 2 U."
fDeluxe today. Clockwise, from left: St. Paul Peterson, Eric Leeds, Susannah Melvoin and Jellybean Johnson. Steven Parke
The song became a Number One hit five years later when Sinéad O'Connor covered it. A variety of artists, including Aretha Franklin, Soundgarden's Chris Cornell, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and jazz singer Jimmy Scott, have subsequently performed the song.
Prince began performing the tune that year and an impassioned live version, recorded as a duet with New Power Generation singer Rosie Gaines, appeared on the 1993 Prince compilation The Hits/The B Sides. He performed the song during his last full concert at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, a week before his death.
The Family disbanded after only one concert, at Minneapolis' First Avenue – where Purple Rain was filmed – and Melvoin, Benton and Leeds went on to play with the Revolution. Johnson joined Flyte Tyme, and Peterson, who uses the stage name St. Paul, became a solo artist. The musicians, sans Benton, regrouped in 2011 and recorded a new album, Gaslight, under the fDeluxe moniker. They've gone on to put out three more records.
Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/see-prince-proteges-the-family-pay-tribute-with-new-nothing-compares-2-u-20160504#ixzz47pIc2lZU
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“ Prince Collaborators fDeluxe (Formerly The Family) Re-Record 'Nothing Compares 2 U' in Tribute: Exclusive 5/4/2016 ”
— Joe Lynch