I know a lot of you guys likely intend to attend either that solid show at the Downtown Presbyterian Church, The Thermals at The End or Raekwon at Exit/In tonight. But for those of you with a taste for '90s R&B, Mr. Brian "Back at One" McKnight will be serenading Ryman attendees this evening at The Mother Church. Before we proceed, however, allow me to hip you to something contributor Sean L. Maloney recently hipped me to: McKnight's sons, Niko and BJ, are in a band called Broken Robotz — frequently stylized as BRKN RBTZ. If you wanted to get all 21st-century-music-critic with it, you could potentially call it "fourth-wave emo," which basically means straight-up pop-rock, as the nuances of "emo" (which weren't particularly charming to begin with) have been watered down to the point of "starting back at one," if you will. So really, it's kind of like the sort of music Brian McKnight makes, but with more compressed guitars and Auto-Tune.
All that is to say, Ashley Spurgeon wrote a Critic's Pick on Brian McKnight, FTHR of BRKN RBTZ, and you can read it:
R&B singer-songwriter Brian McKnight has steadily been touring and releasing records for almost 20 years at this point, but you might be forgiven for not knowing that. He crossed over from the R&B/soul charts into mainstream pop culture in the late ’90s with the prom-night slow jams “Anytime” and “Back at One,” but has since slid back into the quasi-invisible world of tidy ballads and Christmas carols with your grandma’s boyfriend Josh Groban. Barring child-support dramas and allegations of not paying the staff for his short-lived syndicated talk show, McKnight has maintained a relatively scandal-free public existence, a rare feat for a man with, like I said, almost 20 years under his belt. —ASHLEY SPURGEON