Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Super Percy & the Soul Clique Band

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Veteran singer Super Percy is a hard-soul belter in the tradition of fellow locals Lee "Shot" Williams and Johnny Sayles: on up-tempo funk-R & B workouts like "Take Me Higher" and "Blues Man," both from his self-released 2005 CD, Is It Real, his singing is so coarse and blunt it almost feels assaultive. But he tempers that aggression with embellishments like breathy gasps, choked glottal stops, and teary catches in his voice--a little hammy, sure, but somehow those fillips don't get annoying no matter how often he uses them. He's especially effective on ballads: "Tell Me" is shot through with wounded machismo a la the late Tyrone Davis, and on "Why You Make It Good" he turns seductive, adding a tremulous quiver to his raspy baritone. His backing band, the Soul Clique, led by guitarist Jay Schutman, prefers to set a deep groove and stay there--so as not to draw attention away from the man in charge. Fri 7/28, 9:30 PM, Lee's Unleaded Blues, 7401 S. South Chicago, 773-493-3477. Free.

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