Tuesday, November 21 / 6pm doors, 7pm music
$15 adv, $20 door / Tickets
Luther “Badman” Keith (Blues)
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Sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide.
Luther “Badman” Keith: His vocals have been compared to Jimi Hendrix, his guitar style and energy to Luther Allison with a songwriting gift and sense of humor all his own. All this from a guy who didn’t pick up a guitar until he was past 30 years old and didn’t play his first professional gig until he was well into his 40s.
“No, it wasn’t a midlife crisis thing,” Keith explains, “It just took me that long to figure out that playing the blues was part of what I was born to do. It just wasn’t part of my life plan when I started out. . The only thing I played when I was growing up was the radio and baseball.”
The Badman has come a long way in a short time. Instead of being a guy who grew up playing the guitar, Keith studied journalism and was a successful newspaper executive and columnist. He became a convert and an apostle for the blues after attending a concert by the legendary Luther Allison and decided on the spot that he wanted to become a bluesman.
“I was awful for a long time, but too stubborn to give up,” he said. “One day someone said I was starting to sound decent and I should put a band together and put out a CD.”
The rest, as the cliché goes, is history.
A native of Detroit, Keith released his third CD, Blues Nation, to widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for two Detroit Music Awards in 2011 (he now has five nominations). He has won songwriter awards, represented Detroit as the city’s top blues band at the International Blues Challenge and even played for Morgan Freeman, a big blues fan, at the actor’s Ground Zero blues club in Memphis.
Keith uses blues, funk and rock to craft songs that put a smile on your face, like Menopause Woman or Barbecue Baby, delves into the meaning of life with tunes like Life got In The Way and What’s The Use, and flat out rocks on songs like Blues Nation, Badman and What Happened to Rock N Roll.
On Blues Nation, Keith takes listeners on a sonic journey across America, mixing Latin and Afro grooves, exploring the impact of blues on lives and lifestyles in our nation. He even created a Blues Anthem, mixing Muddy Waters with the National Anthem, and a Blues Nation Pledge.
‘It might be called a mini-concept album,” Keith said.
“I mix a lot of styles but it all comes back to the blues,” he added. “Blues is a lot like hot sauce. Whatever you put it on, it’s gonna make it taste – or sound – better.
“I often get told by people that they don’t like the blues, but they like what I do. I just try to be myself and put my own flavor on the music.”