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King Floyd

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KING FLOYD

Even by R & B standards, the career of New Orleans vocalist King Floyd has been erratic. Raised in a musical family, he was a local celebrity by the time he hit high school. After trying his luck in both New York and California (where he cut his first LP in 1967), he returned home to the Crescent City and, in 1970, erupted onto the national charts with "Groove Me," an infectious delight that melded deep soul emoting with a funk-popping, near reggae beat, all heated to a boil by producer Wardell Quezergue's fatback horn charts. His voice was a silky and supple instrument, as capable of sensuous pillow talk as funky imprecations, and more hits followed, but by the end of the decade Floyd was more of a rumor than a presence. He'd resurface occasionally in obscure New Orleans venues or out of town in Houston or Miami; he toured South Africa in 1982. A 1994 retrospective on Malaco, Fine Cuts, reintroduced Floyd to a new generation of roots-happy funk lovers, and since then he's been slowly orchestrating a comeback. Judging from the critical reaction to his appearance at the Bally's casino in his hometown earlier this year, the years have stolen none of his gifts. Saturday, 9:30 PM, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 312-427-0333. DAVID WHITEIS

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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