Front Row: Raphael Saadiq He's been a member of Tony! Toni! Tone! and a hitmaking producer, but in his solo career, Raphael Saadiq has proven himself as an old-school soul throwback.

Front Row

Raphael Saadiq, Live In Concert: SXSW 2011

For all its irresistibly soulful energy, what really jumps out about Raphael Saadiq's music is the smooth precision with which it falls into place. A perfectly tailored showman, the producer and former member of Tony! Toni! Toné! plays the part of the in-control frontman to perfection. But don't mistake his impeccably presented persona with sterility: This set from Stubb's in Austin, Texas — recorded live as part of the South by Southwest music festival — is a full-blown soul revue, complete with choreographed backup singers and buckets of sweat. When a guy this cool exerts this much effort, it's a joy to behold.

Saadiq is set to release his fourth studio album in May; titled Stone Rollin', it's a fine set of polished throwback soul. But new songs like "Heart Attack" and the set-closing title cut already spring vividly to life in concert, making this an essential early companion piece for the studio tracks to come. It's a big, bright ball of energy, and it serves Saadiq's songs well.

Set List

  • Intro
  • "Testify"
  • "Heart Attack"
  • "Stone Rollin"

Band Personnel

  • Raphael Saadiq - Vocals, Guitar
  • Rob Bacon - Guitar
  • Josh Smith - Guitar
  • Calvin Turner - Bass
  • Lemar Carter - Drums
  • Charles Jones - Keys
  • Erika Jerry - Background Vocals
  • BJ Kemp - Background Vocals
[+] read more[-] less

More From R&B/Soul

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Marcia Ball On Piano Jazz

Marcia Ball bends our understanding of blues with her melding of deep southern melodies and rhythms.

Marcia Ball On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/622296437/622349099" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Trouble Funk performs a Tiny Desk concert on April 9, 2018. Eslah Attar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Eslah Attar/NPR

Trouble Funk

We squeezed 12 go-go musicians behind the Tiny Desk. Watch what ensued.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Ranky Tanky On Mountain Stage

Hear the Gullah-inspired sounds of Ranky Tanky's self-titled release, performed live by the powerful jazz quintet based out of South Carolina.

Ranky Tanky On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/606078911/606083350" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top