Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shirlette, the Dynamite Brothers & friends bring soul to Duke Gardens

All photos by Kevin Norris
With a little help from an impressive roster of friends, Shirlette Ammons and the Dynamite Brothers unleashed their new collaboration on a large, receptive Duke Gardens crowd Wednesday evening.

The group took the stage and launched into a funky set of R&B music, mixing songs from their debut album And Lovers Like and other songs from the Dynamite Brothers catalog. Each song on And Lovers Like features guest performers, many of which were on hand to reprise their roles.

First up was Justin Robinson, former member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. He sang and played autoharp on the band's groovy version of the Drops' song "Kissin' and Cussin'."

Jocelyn Ellis and Pierce Freelon of The Beast took the stage for a high energy performance of "The Catch Up." The pair and Ammons seemed downright giddy during the song.

A very pregnant Yahzarah, also known as Purple St. James, didn't let her baby belly keep her from delivering a stellar performance on "Tomorrow Neva Comin'."

The final guest of the evening was Juan Huevos, who killed it with an over-the-top animated performance of "The Shake." The band returned for a quick one song encore before calling it a night.

The shows at Duke Gardens every summer are always good, but there seems to be one every year that's just really fun. Last year Kooley High was that show and this year Shirlette and the Dynamite Brothers take the prize, though the series isn't over yet.

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