Bobby Womack, Millie Jackson, Lattimore Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Feb. 4, 8 p.m. 2012

It's hard to think of another soul singer and songwriter as versatile as Bobby Womack: he's landed unforgettable hits in three decades, to say nothing of his recent cameos with Damon Albarn's Gorillaz (maybe you've heard him on "Stylo"). The Cleveland native got his start singing gospel with the Womack Brothers, who attracted the attention of Sam Cooke; he pushed them to make secular music, and they found modest success in the early 60s as the Valentinos. Later that decade Womack launched his solo career, which highlighted his stunningly deep, raspy voice and remarkable skill as a guitarist (he played in Cooke's live band for a spell). But he was also bogged down by questionable taste—he indulged in the occasional swollen arrangement and attempted less-than-ideal pop covers like "Fly Me to the Moon" and "California Dreaming." He hit his stride in the early 70s, striking a balance between funk and soul balladry, and after a rough stretch at the end of the decade he returned to the charts in the 80s with slick, ballad-focused albums, including Poet and Poet II. He's since made a handful of soul and gospel records, and though they pale in comparison to his best work, they display a voice with undiminished authority and seductive power. Albarn is coproducing Womack's new album, which is due out sometime this year on the XL label, but I'm pretty sure he'll be sticking to the tried-and-true for this show. —Peter Margasak Millie Jackson and Latimore open.

Price: $55-$85

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