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Percy Sledge 

When: Sat., Aug. 11, 8 p.m. 2012
These days, late-blooming soul singers like Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, and revivalists like Raphael Saadiq and Nick Waterhouse are carrying the torch of classic R&B (and doing a fine job at it), while still-performing originators of the genre like The Temptations and The Four Tops tour with lineups that hurt for original members. Though traditional R&B is stylistically alive and well, the genre’s genuine articles are hard to come by, which is exactly why appreciators owe it to themselves to see Percy Sledge tonight. Best known for his 1966 hit “When a Man Loves a Woman” — easily one of the most iconic love songs of all time, with a heart-rending vocal to match — the 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and self-proclaimed “Golden Voice of Soul” is an R&B balladeer in league with contemporaries like Wilson Pickett and the inimitable James Carr. But unlike those guys, Sledge is still traveling this mortal coil, here to croon tears to your eyes with his booming, deep Southern tenor and wrenching ballads like “Take Time to Know Her,” “Out of Left Field” and “It Tears Me Up.” Muscle Shoals veterans bassist David Hood, Charles Rose and Harvey Thompson on horns and The Decoys (talk about one helluva pickup band) will back Sledge for tonight’s performance.
— Adam Gold

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