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Hot Stepper Productions presents:

featuring a special live performance by Gwen McCrae

with resident Bump N' Hustle DJs
Paul E. Lopes and Mike Tull
and special guests
Son Of S.O.U.L. and Moreno

Friday, January 24, 2003
at
Roxy Blu, 12 Brant St., Toronto

$15 advance tickets available at: Sim and Jones (388 College St.), Kops (229 Queen St. W), Play De Record (357A Yonge St.), Vice (383 Queen St. W.), Cosmos (607 Queen St. W.), Rotate This (620 Queen St. W.), Metropolis (162 Spadina Ave.), Soundscapes (572 College St.)
more at the door

"Get up, clap your hands…get on up and clap your hands"

Bump N' Hustle has kept the fires burnin' now for 7 years and we're celebrating our anniversary with a funky disco jam!

We'll be joined by the Queen of Rare Groove herself, vocalist Gwen McCrae!
Gwen is known for her classic dance floor fillers "All This Love That I'm Givin", "Keep The Fires Burning", "Rockin Chair", "Funky Sensation", "90% Of Me Is You", "Doin It" (recently sussed by Ashley Beedle for his Grassroots compilation on Strut Records) and many others. Gwen McCrae tracks contain enduring beats and vocals so dope that they've been sampled by the diverse likes of Afrika Bambaata, Lost Boyz, Cassius, Big Daddy Kane, Masters At Work, Biz Markie, and Scarface.

Our January 1997 event with Gwen drew 900 people to the Guvernment Nightclub in -35C temperature! It was our first presentation of an international artist and one of our most memorable Bump N' Hustle parties ever.

Rippin' it on the turntables will be Paul E Lopes, Mike Tull, Son Of S.O.U.L. and Moreno.

Gwen McCrae was born in Pensacola, Florida on December 21, 1943. The youngest of five children, her earliest influence was Gospel music and Gwen spent countless hours listening to The Mighty Clouds of Joy and James Cleveland. Later, she discovered Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. Gwen's singing career began in local groups, such as The Lafayettes and The Independents. The transition from Gospel to secular music and performing in clubs went surprisingly smooth, despite her strict Pentecostal upbringing.

Before Henry Stone's T.K. record empire went belly-up in the early eighties, Gwen had recorded some twenty+ singles for the label's Cat subsidiary. "Rock Your Baby", turned husband George into a disco star and put T.K. records on the international music map. It was a worldwide smash and sold well over 16-million copies. Gwen followed up with "Rockin Chair" and a grammy nomination.

After TK went under, Gwen was spotted at a showcase and was signed personally by Ahmet Ertegün, the chairman of the board at Atlantic Records. The debut single was written and produced by Kenton Nix, who also wrote the massive 1981 track "Heartbeat" for Tanaa Gardner. "Funky Sensation" without a doubt some of the best dance-friendly Soul ever made, became an instant club favorite and raced to R&B #22 in September 1981. It was Gwen's biggest hit since "Love Insurance" from six years earlier. Gwen's eponymously titled LP was filled with high-quality, dance-Soul, such as "Poyson", a track co-written by Gwen.

The unabashedly funky 45 "Keep The Fire Burning", written by Willie Hutch, was launched in January 1982. A happy Gwen smiled from ear to ear on the sleeve of the album "On My Way". Gwen had never sounded better and the material was strong. A host of well-known musicians and writers contributed, such as Michael Wycoff, Nathan Watts, James Gadson, Fred Wesley, David T. Walker, Paulinho Da Costa and Leo Nocentelli. Willie Hutch also wrote the second single "Doin' It", yet another seriously funky song.

In the mid-eighties, the phenomena known as "Rare Groove" -which is the equivalent of the U.S. "Old School Revival"- happened in the U.K. A growing number of British Soul fans rediscovered Gwen McCrae and the interest led her to re-record "Funky Sensation" on the Rhythm King label in 1987. That year, Gwen traveled to Britain for some club dates, only to learn that she was more loved in the U.K. than in her native America. The British even dubbed her "The Queen of Rare Groove." "When I went overseas, I didn't know people loved me so much. They really loved my old stuff and I had to go up there and sing 'All This Love That I'm Givin', which is a classic in Europe. And then "Funky Sensation" and "Keep The Fire's Burning" are also classics over there. Yeah, I was shocked! "
Gwen kept busy with shows in the U.K. and her 1996 single "Girlfriend's Boyfriend" was an underground success.

Gwen signed with the Nashville, Tennessee-based GoldWax record label (distributed by Ichiban) and the result; "Psychic Hot Line", landed on the shelves in October 1996. The U.S. radio embraced the funky title track, which was picked as the first single. The album can only be described as superb and marks a welcome return to Gwen's deep Soul roots, with a touch of down-home Blues thrown in the mix, as well. Playing behind Gwen is something as rare as a live band and the material is made up of three new cuts; "The Snake That Hisses" (co-written by Gwen), "Your Kinda Loving Ain't Good Enough" and "Psychic Hot Line", plus several wonderful renditions of R&B classics, Solomon Burke's "Cry To Me" being one.

Gwen has definitely proved to be one of the most consistent -and finest- exponents of the Southern "deep soul" style of singing.


© Hot Stepper Productions 2001