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By Andy Argyrakis
Lenny Kravitz This Week's Picks: Kravtiz and Saadiq unleash some serious soul, plus new tunes from Cohen and Ringo...
Monday, January 30, 2012

The Shows

Two soul superstars: Take some soul, funk, reggae, ferocious rock n' roll and even a few tender-hearted ballads and it's still not enough to accurately describe the repertoire in Lenny Kravitz's arsenal. He's touring behind the socially conscious new record Black and White America (Roadrunner), which is sure to spread a message of peace and promise throughout the party. Adding unbelievable value to this bill is former Tony! Toni! Tone! singer turned retro soul revivalist Raphael Saadiq, a true tour de force in his own right. Tuesday at Chicago Theatre:

A red hot new troubadour: Even without celebrity shout outs, Andy Grammer is a solid R&B-infused singer/songwriter signed to S-Curve Records (Fountains of Wayne, Duran Duran, Tinted Windows). But once Natasha Bedingfield sung his praises, the 28-year-old troubadour literally blew up overnight and is sure to outgrow the club scene any day. Friday at Lincoln Hall:

"The Super Bowl of Blues": Between his recent collaborations with the Gorillaz and being covered by Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump, Bobby Womack is earning an unexpected resurgence. The underrated soul star is accompanied by fellow veterans Millie Jackson and Latimore, making this a well-rounded musical Super Bowl of sorts. Saturday at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino:

The Sounds

Cohen presses on: Even though Leonard Cohen's latest studio CD is titled Old Ideas (Columbia), it actually consists of ten new tunes (and a personally designed album cover). The only old element is Cohen himself, who's now 77-years-old, but thankfully he sounds just as witty as ever alongside his gloriously weathered baritone vocals.

The latest round of Ringo: Ringo Starr's been relatively prolific as of late and on his 17th solo record, he connects with some of the best names in the business. The simply named Ringo 2012 (Hip-O/Ume) Leonard Cohenfeatures his typical Beatles-esque expressions alongside special guests like Van Dyke Parks, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Walsh, Benmont Tench, Dave Stewart and Don Was (amongst others).

A solo Righteous Brother reissued: Aside from his "Dirty Dancing" duet with Jennifer Warnes from 1987 "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," Bill Medley hasn't made much of a solo splash. Nonetheless, his first two albums Bill Medley 100% and Soft & Soulful (Real Gone) score a combined reissue after being out of print for ages and should have no problem appealing to die-hard fans.

This Week's Picks 2012

Jan. 23 - 29
Jan. 16 - 22
Jan. 9 - 15
Jan. 2 - 8
The Dish Archives - 2011
The Dish Archives - 2010 The Dish Archives - 2009
The Dish Archives - 2008 The Dish Archives - 2007

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