NPR logo Mayer Hawthorne: The New Old School

Mayer Hawthorne: The New Old School

Mayer Hawthorne: The New Old School

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Mayer Hawthorne. Doug Coombe hide caption

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Doug Coombe

Mayer Hawthorne.

Doug Coombe

A former hip-hop DJ, Mayer Hawthorne (the "soul name" of Andrew Cohen) has transformed himself into a new old-school R&B sensation. Though Hawthrone has been a musician and producer throughout his life, his foray into singing is a recent development. Hawthorne's work seems heavily indebted to the '60s and '70s soul music of Memphis and particularly Detroit; it's hard not to think of the Detroit-born performer's work as an overt homage to the Motown label.

Set List

  • "Maybe So, Maybe No"
  • "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out"
  • "Green Eyed Love"
  • "The Ills"

Hawthorne recorded every instrumental part himself, from keyboards to horns, as well as every layer of rich vocal harmonies. For his debut album, A Strange Arrangement, Hawthorne assembled and arranged the majority of his sweet soul songs in his bedroom studio. The end result is a wonderful collection of nostalgic old-school music, which hints at a contemporary sound.

Note: This segment originally ran on 11/5/09

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Strange Arrangement [Bonus Tracks]

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