Dennis Coffey & Friends, Stepkids, DJRC | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Dennis Coffey & Friends, Stepkids, DJRC Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Thu., June 9, 9 p.m. 2011

Detroit guitarist Dennis Coffey belongs to the rarest and most distinguished breed of session musicians: people know who he is. A key member of Motown house band the Funk Brothers, he also appears on loads of non-Motown R&B records, from Funkadelic to Quincy Jones. He can exert his personality without being obtrusive, bringing a hard-driving, often psychedelic touch to any session. His instrumental records under his own name have become sample fodder for countless hip-hop artists: his 1971 hit "Scorpio" turns up on songs by Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Geto Boys, the Fugees, and Mos Def, among many others. Coffey was busiest in the late 60s and throughout the 70s; since 1980 he's only put out a handful of albums, but two of them have been in the past five years. His new self-titled LP on Strut Records posits him as a Motor City elder; most of the tracks are soul classics on which he originally played, recut with younger singers like Mayer Hawthorne (the Parliaments' "All Your Goodies Are Gone"), Mick Collins (Funkadelic's "I Bet You"), and Lisa Kekaula of the Bellrays (100 Proof Aged in Soul's "Somebody's Been Sleeping"). The album also includes some new instrumentals in a heavy psych-funk mode. Coffey will be backed by Detroit funk band Will Sessions and New York-based singer Kendra Morris. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20, $15 in advance

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