Music » Livewire

Nathaniel Mayer

With the Swingin' Neckbreakers and the IT Men. Saturday, January 17, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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The retro-rock excavation of the last few years has resulted in more than just a couple of nice Nuggets boxed sets. Whole careers have been revived. Long-forgotten, way-out '60s soul shouters Andre Williams, Gino Washington, Solomon Burke, and Ike Turner are all back in action. That's super, because these cats prepared the canvas that everyone from the Cramps to OutKast has painted over since. For once, there's a little justice. And no one deserves some waning-days smiles and a few final backstage blowjobs more than Nathaniel Mayer.

Throughout the early '60s, Mayer laid sides for the great Detroit R&B label Fortune. Were he to have recorded only "Village of Love," that alone would justify knocking out that goofy ZOO TV thing at the Rock Hall and erecting a Mayer statue. Mayer is more a gritty crooner than a wild shouter like Williams. He recently signed a deal with outlaw blues label Fat Possum and is said to have a bunch of new material that he will record soon.

By accounts of Mayer's last show here in town, his voice is still there, and he's got a crack backup crew stuffed with young Detroit rock reliables. Unlike the last show, this time let's pack the Beachland (on owner Mark Leddy's birthday, no less) and show Mayer a little love.

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