Music » Livewire

Norman Brown

With Peabo Bryson, Brenda Russell, and Everette Harp. Thursday, August 25, at the State Theatre.


A decade ago, Norman Brown's After the Storm followed in the considerable footsteps of George Benson to set a new gold standard for romantic soul-jazz. Now the guitarist is at the eye of a storm again -- namely, his Summer Storm concert tour, which pairs him with a trio of like-minded artists and promises to be one long, slow, scented bubble bath of a show. On his sixth and latest album, 2004's West Coast Coolin', the Kansas City-born Brown debuts a mellow vocal style to match his flawless fingerboard chops, causing the already frequent Benson comparisons to multiply.

Among those joining Brown at the State Theatre will be veteran soul man Peabo Bryson, who was the '80s king of the slow-jam duet, notching hits with Roberta Flack, Melissa Manchester, and Natalie Cole. Brenda Russell, meanwhile, may be best known for her Grammy-winning 1988 single "Piano in the Dark," but that success masked a long career writing for and performing with the likes of Barbra Streisand and the late Luther Vandross. And Everette Harp, a saxman with roots in both R&B and gospel, also had a long list of sideman credits (Anita Baker, Kenny Loggins) before going solo in the '90s with his own brand of sweet, sensitive jazz.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.