The Houston International Festival has announced the first confirmed acts for this year's festival, which returns to the freshly renovated Sam Houston Park downtown April 26-27 and May 3-4. This year's spotlight country is Australia, but the first round has a heavy deep-soul tint.
Photo courtesy of Dap-Tone Records Charles Bradley
The one single act we're happiest to see is Charles Bradley, the old-school R&B dynamo who has roared onto the soul scene the past few years thanks to his albums No Time For Dreaming and last year's Victim of Love. Imagine a male Sharon Jones backed by an equally stout band, the Extraordinaires, and you're almost there.
Others are emerging UK vocalist Laura Mvula, a double nominee in the 2014 Brit Awards (their Grammys) for her album Sing to the Moon; and the Family Stone -- that Family Stone, keepers of Sly Stone's psychedelic-soul flame. Maybe Sly himself might show up from whatever planet he's been on recently, but don't get your hopes up.