It's been more than 50 years since Sam Cooke first discovered the Womack brothers, and while his brother Cecil sadly passed away at the beginning of February, Bobby Womack is very much still alive and dancing. He's enjoying something of a career renaissance after releasing his first album in 12 years, The Bravest Man in the Universe last June, to great acclaim.
Apparently the soul survivor has another record in the works too, due out this year, tellingly titled The Best is Yet to Come, but before then he's headed to our way for one night at the Civic Theatre in Auckland, accompanied by his 15-piece band, on Saturday May 18.
It'll be the first time he's been to Auckland since he toured here with the Gorillaz back in 2010, having contributed his distinctive vocals to one of their Plastic Beach hits, Stylo. Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn returned the favour by producing The Bravest Man, creating an blend of "sentiment, regret, pain, and a plea for forgiveness and insight ...
in songs which crackled with disconcerting electronica or went back to origins in deeply felt spiritual settings" as Graham Reid described it in a review last year.
It's not the first time Womack has been considered something of an innovator. He played on Sly & the Family Stone's break-through album There's a Riot Goin' On, and was a session guitarist for everyone from Janis Joplin to Elvis Presley, as well as penning multiple hits for himself like That's the Way I Feel About Cha, Woman's Gotta Have It, and It's All Over Now - which was an early hit for the Rolling Stones.
You can expect to hear a grab bag of soul songs old, current, and brand new at his Civic performance, all of them performed with the knack of 50 years' experience.
Presale tickets available through muchmoremusic.co.nz from Tuesday March 26, with general tickets on sale from Wednesday March 27.
Meanwhile, they were doing the droll nerdy hipster thing 25 years before anyone even used the term hipster, getting into experimental wigs, fringe rock, wacky videos and ear-worm melodies delivered with sly humour. Now Brooklyn duo They Might Be Giants are returning to New Zealand for their first show since 2001, and fans can look forward to a selection of old favourites like Birdhouse In Your Soul, and Istanbul (Not Constantinople), along with songs from their new album Nanobots. And maybe even that song from Malcolm in the Middle too ...
They're at the Studio on Saturday May 18, with tickets on sale now.