SOUL FEST 2017
Come celebrate the legacy of the Motor City with icons of Detroit Soul music, Northern Soul, and Classic Motown. Featured acts include the Detroit Soul Ambassador Melvin Davis, legendary vocalist Pat Lewis, heavy hitting Motown artist Carolyn Crawford, The Undisputed Truth / Fabulous Peps lead singer Joe Pep Harris, Temptations' musical director and Motown arranger Mckinley Jackson, songwriter/producer/drummer Drew Schultz & The Broken Habits, all joined by the expansive live ensemble, the RockMill R&B Band! This unbelievable night of live music will draw from the golden era of Motor City music, while highlighting the undeniable fact that Detroit, Michigan is still a massive hotbed of soul, rock & roll, and Rhythm & Blues. Sunday, August 27th, Marble Bar, Doors at 7pm, advance tickets $15 at DSdrums.com or $20 the day of the show.
The Detroit Soul Ambassador, Melvin Davis, has made his mark in the world of classic soul, Motown, rhythm & blues, and funk as a singer, songwriter, drummer, pianist, producer, and record label owner over the course of a fifty-plus year long career in the music business. His solo singles with labels including Fortune, Groovesville, Jack Pot, and Holland–Dozier–Holland’s Invictus Records have become priceless icons within the Northern Soul movement in England. His drumming has been heard on record in Smokey Robinson & The Miracle’s classic “Tears Of A Clown” and groundbreaking Motown guitar slinger Dennis Coffey’s debut single “It’s Your Thing,” and on stage with artists including The Temptations, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Chuck Berry, and Smokey Robinson. His original songs have been recorded by artists including Johnnie Taylor, J.J. Barnes, Darrell Banks, Mavis Staples, The Dirtbombs, Edward Hamilton & The Arabians, Steve Mancha, and many more. As the lead singer of the Holland/Dozier/Holland supergroup The 8th Day, Melvin scored a top-10 hit with “You’ve Got To Crawl (Before You Walk).” With his own Rock Mill label, he released multiple solo albums, plus singles with Liz Taylor, Charisma, and Wayne Kramer of the legendary rock band MC5. His newest album, “Double Or Nothing,” is a culmination of a lifetime of Soul, Rock & Roll, and Rhythm & Blues, and a sign of things yet to come from the Detroit Soul Ambassador.
Pat Lewis is truly the Queen of Vocal Harmony. As a solo artist, Pat has released singles on Solid Hit Bound, Golden World, Goldmine, and Motorckty Records including multiple songs co-written with Funk pioneer George Clinton. Singing with The Adorables, her voice can be heard on countless releases for Golden World records, as well as on wax in Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight,” Jackie Wilson’s “Higher & Higher,” as well as records by Aretha Franklin, David Ruffin, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, Mary Wells, Parliament/Funkadelic, and more. She was instrumental in the musical development of Isaac Hayes, arranging and recording backgrounds for many of his iconic hits including the entire “Hot Buttered Soul” LP. She still tours and records worldwide as an icon of the Northern Soul movement, and continues to deliver engaging, dynamic performances on stage and in studio today.
JOE “PEP” HARRIS
As soon as you hear the rich, booming baritone ring through the Barrett Strong/Norman Whitfield penned mega-hit “Smiling Faces” by Motown group Undisputed Truth, you feel the hard-hitting emotion brought to the microphone by Joe Harris. Although he found worldwide fame singing lead with Undisputed Truth, he gained his notoriety as a part of the electrifying Detroit soul group, The Fabulous Peps. On the Detroit soul circuit, The Peps lit up countless nightclubs with their stratospheric vocal harmonies, dizzying dance steps, and infectious stage presence. His studio and stage work has included collaborations with Whitfield/Strong including the original pre-Temptations recording of «Papa Was A Rolling Stone,» as well as Rose Royce of “Car Wash” fame, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Mitch Ryder, and The Ohio Players, and his voice is still undeniable to this day.
Signed to Motown Records after winning a talent competition at the age of 14, Carolyn Crawford hit the R&B top 40 charts with «My Smile Is Just A Frown (Turned Upside Down),» written by Smokey Robinson. She has worked with countless legends including Teddy Pendergrass, disco pioneer Bohannon, and a pre-Anita Baker lineup of the iconic R&B group, Chapter 8. In addition to a solo career spanning multiple labels, Carolyn was one of the main touring lead vocalists with Motown's recording band, The Funk Brothers, after they reunited for the Grammy-award winning documentary, Standing In The Shadows of Motown. Carolyn's heavy-hitting vocal performance is sure to bring down any house!
McKinley Jackson is a legendary arranger, keyboard player, trombonist, producer, and writer whose resume reads like a greatest hits compilation. He has toured as musical director for Marvin Gaye, has written songs for the Four Tops, and written arrangements for recordings by Aretha Franklin, Tower of Power, The Impressions, Freda Payne, Chairmen of the Board, Dionne Warwick, and countless more. As an artist, he was the leader of The Politicians, who released a seminal funk album on the Holland/Dozier/Holland owned Hot Wax label. McKinley continues to write, tour, and perform, currently touring as Musical Director for The Temptations.
Drew Schultz entered the music industry at the age of 19 touring as drummer, percussionist, archivist, and conductor for the legendary Motown group the Four Tops. He has also performed behind countless legends including Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Dramatics, The Contours, The Miracles, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, Jerry Butler, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Chairmen of the Board, Freda Payne, The Velvelettes, and more. He is the spearhead of the Back To Class Project, a series of his own original songs with 50% of profits benefiting public school music programs in Detroit. As a part of the project, Drew has written and produced with featured artists including the Four Tops, Funk Brothers, Melvin Davis, Spyder Turner, McKinley Jackson, James Jamerson Jr, Dennis Coffey, Lenny Pickett of SNL / Tower of Power, Pat Lewis, Ken Knox of Chairmen of the Board, Reginald Torian Sr. of The Impressions, and more. In the studio, Schultz has served as a Pre-Production engineer for Motown Records, gaining credits on releases by Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, David Ruffin & Jimmy Ruffin, the Cellarful of Motown series, and more. His freelance studio and audio production work has included collaborations with Ice T, Nate Dogg, and Earth Wind & Fire founder Maurice White. He is a published contributor to Modern Drummer Magazine, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from New York University, and is a college instructor at the Detroit Institute of Music Education.