Clocking in at nearly three hours and performing at a breakneck pace, Carlton opened the show with a trio of his own songs setting the tone for what would be a special evening. A Lifetime of R&B is Carlton's reminiscing about the countless concerts he's attended and his interactions with these soul music legends. Exhibiting rare posters from his own collection, he takes us down memory lane by not only discussing each rare poster, but also performing the headliners' classic tunes. Carlton's poignant telling of that Christmas Day call he received when James Brown died will affect any R&B fan, while his performing of James Brown classics like Sex Machine will bring you right back up with that joyful noise.
Backed by a super tight band, Carlton keeps things moving throughout by
showcasing a variety of guest performers, as well as colorful audience members who inevitably end up singing, dancing, and adding to the fun. Exhibiting a stand-up comic's timing he even, on occasion, rewrites lyrics for a quick laugh. Throw in multiple costume changes, and working family members and even little kids into the mix, it's a wonderfully happy night of world class entertainment from a master showman who has performed around the globe; he remains an incredibly charismatic host.
Carlton J. Smith's A Lifetime of R&B returns to The Cutting Room September 15th. If you love great R&B in a gorgeous, laid-back venue as presented by one of the greatest showmen alive, mark your calendar and come down. You'll thank me.