From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Does It Matter That She's White?

Writing a music blog this morning wasn't on my very long list of the written words for the day, but as I glanced at my overnight Twitter timeline, something caught my eye.

On Twitter, I follow a  lot of music people, go figure. One of those musicians is Joe Bonamassa, guitarist extraordinaire. I also follow and am a huge fan of Beth Hart. Joe and Beth have recorded two albums together, tour together, and I would suspect at this point are friends with each other. If you're not familiar with Beth, you should be, she is incredible. I've already reviewed her live show at the NYC Winery, and her latest solo album Bang Bang Boom Boom.

On Hart's and Bonamassa's latest album Seesaw, Hart does a cover of Tina Turner's "Nutbush City Limits," and knocks it out of the park. When the video of the recording of the song was released, I showed it to everyone I knew. The reaction I received from nearly everyone was one word, "Wow."

This morning on Twitter, I saw Joe Bonamassa retweeted something Gene Simmons (yes, KISS) had tweeted earlier.

Beth Hart's cover of the original, NUT BUSH CITY LIMITS by Tina Turner is surprisingly convincing for a white singer. Check it out

In fairness, Bonamassa replied "I agree, she sang great."
But the tweet by Simmons really bothered me, which is why we are all here today. I thought it might be time to have a little discussion about the inclusion of race in his tweet. While there is no denying there are musical lines drawn in genres of music preferences between races, is it ok to compare an individual voice by race?

Here are the two videos, first the original by Tina, then Beth Hart with Joe Bonamassa. They both kick ass.




What do you guys think?

I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop
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12 comments:

  1. when you played Beths version a while ago,I thought WOW great cover.Never did the fact that she is white enter my pea brain.Just a great singer blessed with a wonderful voice singing.Yes she did a strong show at NYC Winery,keep on singing Beth Hart.

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  2. Gene Simmons..........well now, not pleased with his statement, but not surprised by his choice of words. The only positive note I see is "check it out" maybe the only intelligent thing he said............

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    1. I thought we had moved beyond the need to define someone's vocals by race.

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  3. To me... if you close your eyes it is hard to tell who's who! Both fabulous but Gene... or are we looking at the pollitically correctness of his statement which I hope not. If anything I wish he would have said... "for a white girl" because I would agree! Great tune... great performances!

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    1. Your words "if you close your eyes," is it exactly. Just listen and let the music speak. It's not a matter of being politically correct, which I could give a shit about, it's just goes to the idea of it makes no difference if she's black or white, so why mention it. Thanks for commenting.

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  4. ridiculous

    Have you ever heard Joss Stone, Duffy, Adele, Amy Winehouse? They're all lilywhite British girls who sounds like 1960s soul and r&b singers.

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    1. talent is talent. comparisons bring on expectations which are rarely fulfilled. race comparisons are exactly what you said... ridiculous.

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  5. Beth has been around for years ... and has always kicked butt. Who cares what color anyone is? My ears and brain only tell me if they're worth listening to. I will say that comment goes along with the "White Men Can't Jump" philosophy, which is mostly used as a joke style of put down. Besides, Gene Simmons is very old school, and shows it continuously. Good Job!

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    1. thanks rich, yes if we all would only rely on our ears and brain. making the assumption that his brain is in good working order is another thing.

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  6. Gene Simmons espouses some pretty antiquated thinking. I think if anybody still thinks white girls don't have soul, they should listen to some Christina Aguilara among others as proof that it's just not true.

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  7. It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

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