An interview with Harrison Kennedy: Chairman of Soul: Video


An interview with singer Harrison Kennedy, has been able to pull from styles as varied as Funk, Soul, R&B, Blues, and Gospel.

What do you learn about yourself from the Blues and Jazz people? How do you describe your sound and songbook?

For a while as a youngster my parents had a “drink house” on Sunday’s. At that time, it was unlawful to bootleg on Sunday. Many notable jazz and blues players came to our house to play darts, drink relax and play. I didn’t know as a 7 year old that Billy Holiday was singing, or Duke Ellington was playing piano, or Lonnie Johnson playing guitar in our dinning room. Many more artists showed up at our home back then, I thought everyone could do what they did, I had aunts who played and sung, my mother played, too. And I sang tenor in our church, from 11 years old. My mother would sometimes call be downstairs to sing her favorite song… (I had no idea what tune was her favourite)

So, I would just make up a song about what I saw in the room, and everyone would laugh and give me money… mom would say okay son, go to bed. What I heard as a child, is responsible my love for story songs and melody. Like I was able to present with “Black and Tan records, Bob Lo Island!! and Electro-Fi records now. I’m grateful to these labels.

How has the Afro-American culture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

My great great grandparents escaped from slavery in the mid 1800’s, and came to Canada. To this day we have kept in touch with our Afro American relatives. The influence is deep.

Which acquaintances have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

My mother was the strongest person in my life, she said “the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary! Ray Charles told me to remember that “we stand on the shoulders of gaints”

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

Mostly I miss vocalist’s who can sing, and you believed them. I hope trump is seen for what he really is, a bum!!!

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I’d love it if it was not so expensive on so many levels!!!..Too many middle men.

What has made you laugh and what touched (emotionally) you from the house where you grew up with famous visitors?

My relatives loved to tell funny stories, I loved that. My mother took an abused German shepherd dog away from a neighbor. Everyone said was a killer, he became a gentle pet in our house, she said all life responds to tenderness!!

What is the impact of Blues/Soul/Jazz music and culture to the racial, political and socio-cultural implications?

The impact is obviously worldwide. Who doesn’t know Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” or Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a Changing” music has a way to tell the truth and shame the devil.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

That’s a tough one. This planet has so many beautiful places and people, and food, and music … hmmm…. How about … everywhere…

Interview by Michael Limnios

Картинки по запросу Harrison Kennedy

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