Brits Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart met on a basketball court in London, while playing for opposing teams. They soon pushed their competitive fires to the side and formed the neo-soul duo Floetry, a group that has survived the dissipation of a genre often criticized for its smugness. Ambrosious and Stewart have crafted songs for artists such as Michael Jackson, Bilal, and the underappreciated songstress Jill Scott. The duo eventually relocated to Philly to work with Jazzy Jeff’s production camp, A Touch of Jazz, and in 2002 released their debut album Floetic to critical acclaim. They followed it up the next year with the somewhat redundant concert LP Floacism Live, and their most recent effort Flo’Ology expands on their affinity for sharp, jazzy poetics.
A handful of music critics argue that Floetry’s lyric-driven sound fails to translate well to the stage, but anyone who has witnessed them in person recognizes this is false. On the contrary, the duo’s sparkling wordplay and exceptional range are augmented by lush musical arrangements and infectious hooks. Floetry will be joined in San Antonio by Goapele, an up-and-coming artist with a similar musical aesthetic.
Tue, Mar 28
$50 (day of show)
Carver Cultural Center
226 N. Hackberry
Based primarily in Oakland, California, Goapele first began turning heads in 2001 with her eclectic debut EP, Closer, and its full-length follow-up, Even Closer. The granddaughter of German holocaust survivors and South African grandparents who persevered through apartheid, Goapele’s R&B-fueled tracks are imbued with progressive politics that are difficult to ignore. Goapele has said that she grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Bob Marley, and Miriam Makeba, artists “who created timeless music and positive change in the world.”
Her latest album, Change It All, includes collaborations with the Sa-Ra Creative Partners (the production team behind the aforementioned Jill Scott and Bilal), neo-soul crooner Dwele, and producer-songwriter Linda Perry, whose influence shines through on the Pink Floyd homage “Darker Side of the Moon.” Fans of Erykah Badu, Black Star, and Angie Stone should expect a similar vibe from this intriguing double bill that combines the better elements of smoky love songs and brainy political anthems. •
– M. Solis