Martin Luther, also known as Martin Luther McCoy, captured the hearts of audiences worldwide back in the early 2000s at the height of the Neo-Soul era. But now, while mainstream R&B pulls its influence from electronic club music, Martin Luther remains rooted in soul, funk and live instrumentation.
His five piece band (six if you include himself on lead guitar) performed to a packed house at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland, California Monday night. In the spirit of his namesake, Luther began his set with an inspiring recording of Martin Luther King Jr. Out of the five-piece set, Luther’s pianist, producer, rapper and music director Kev Choice continues to prove he’s one of the Bay Area’s most talented artists as he seamlessly juggled sounds from four different keyboards throughout the night. (A nice addition to the band was cellist Rebecca Roudman who, along with Kev Choice, created the orchestral sound for Martin Luther.)
Martin Luther’s artistry is as finely tuned as his guitar. And the audience never lost focus as he performed familiar songs from his debut album, songs from his new project Extra Terrestrial Brother, and even a cover of Al Green. Luther’s explorations of love, prejudice, and spiritually are, in my opinion, what’s missing from R&B today.
Download Martin Luther’s album Extra Terrestrial Brother for a price you name here.
This story was originally published on TurnstyleNews.com on January 18, 2012.