It’s official. We’re seeing the pigskin flying officially for three weeks now. The Yankees are making the transition into high-stakes, serious contests with championship implications on the line (joined by their Queens counterparts, the Mets, and even the New York Liberty of the WNBA making their run for the taste of the winners nectar of champagne). The summer is done.
Worked right through it so no real time to enjoy it, but there were highlights fo sho. Off top, it was a day in early July. I scooped up mom duke and hit the road. It was a quick jaunt up to Woodbury Commons but long enough to pop and experience some new material.
With the person I’m riding shotgun with, it had to be something soulful enough for the two of us. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has used music as the base and foundation of many a memory and connection. So the soundtrack had to have that “driving down to South Carolina, chicken and bread wrapped in aluminum foil feel,” the “Otis Redding in the tape deck” type feel. I had the perfect joint. I copped it on its June 23 re-release date but hadn’t had the opportunity to give it that thorough listen. So why not now?
First track in, mission accomplished. The velvet smooth track made me reach for the Ray-Bans, kick it in cruise control and start the driver-seat version of the two step. The passenger was amused by the actions but also caught up in the artist. She mentioned the voice was reminiscent of that of the young man behind one of her new favorite songs, “Up Here, Down There.” When he bantered to the object of his affection, “You are my baby, the BET Award they never gave me,” the artist was confirmed and—boom!—new memories were birthed.
Such is Lyfe. That track called “I Love You,” while not indicative of the album “Tree of Lyfe,” falls in line for his core audience, Lyfe Jenning’s expectancy. Six albums in and nothing is broke. The voice has passion and grit, the lyrics blunt and tinged with wit while discussing reoccurring everyday situations. Other standout tracks are “She Don’t Wanna,” “#Hashtag” and the Algebra Blessett assisted “We’re Not the Same.” With yet another solid piece to the catalog, the question begged is how the new material will get worked into the set list.
Last week, the packed-out B.B. King’s audience got a firsthand account as Lyfe and Donnell “Ashy Larry” Rawlings touched down for the My Funny Lyfe tour. There we got an a capella verse of the Marvin Gaye-inspired “People,” calling the audience to “Have more than what you show, speak less than what you know and if ain’t got nothing good to say, then keep your damn mouth closed.”
Additionally, we saw Lyfe’s raspy tones offset perfectly by actress Demetria McKinny’s warmth as she held up her end of the bargain in the flesh for their duet “Talkin’ Bout Love.” Although those songs were solid additions to the performance, Jennings with his litany of hits (“Statistics,” “Never, Never Land,” “S.E.X.”) and classics (“Must Be Nice,” “The River,” “Cry”) has locked down his spot as a performer guaranteed to give above and beyond the price of admission.
Over and out. Holla next week. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.