I was walking down Broughton Street last Friday afternoon when I heard Laurie Goose Garner calling my name. I ducked my head into Savannah Bee Company where Garner serves as Mead Bar Manager to hear her bellow “I’m SO excited about the Son Little Show. I’ve already got my tickets and I’m telling everyone to go!” This made my week. Why, you ask?
Son Little is a fantastic artist that we’ve booked into The Jinx this Friday, May 13th, the night before he’ll play Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta but…he’s an an artist that not a lot of people in Savannah know of. Or maybe I’m wrong about that? When we book rising acts into Savannah who have no radio play, have never played Savannah, and don’t appear to have a large social media following in town, we are shooting in the dark. And yet, we jumped at the chance to have him.
Aaron Livingston, aka Son Little, was on our short list for Savannah Stopover this past March. The first time we played him in the office we did back flips! We were close to confirming him when we got the word that he had been selected to open for Leon Bridges’ spring tour and couldn’t make it, so when a tour date opened up for May 13th, we jumped at it.
Livingston is part of the growing cadre of very talented neo-soul/R&B artists that fit nicely into our memories of 60’s and 70’s R&B, but it’s not that simple so we can’t just leave it at that. In the case of Son Little, the sound is forward leaning and often cutting edge; reinventing a plethora of genres in deeply personal ways. His self-titled debut album, released in October 2015, is one that has grown and grown on me. Songs kick off in familiar territory — blues, gospel, sweet soul and funk — but are filled with a lyrical consciousness that’s more reminiscent of hip hop than mainstream soul.
And it seems just about everyone in the press has taken notice as well — from The New Yorker, to NPR, to The New York Times and music blogs far and wide. Perhaps not surprising considering his background: prior to releasing his debut album, Livingston worked with The Roots, RJD2 and Mavis Staples and you can feel the influences of all three in his music. A review from All Music seems to sum it up best: “Sometimes troubling, frequently joyous, and always articulate and thoroughly individual, Son Little’s cross-genre shape-shifting reveals more compelling nuances with each listen, and this is one of the most interesting and rewarding debuts of 2015.”
I don’t think we’ll see him again in a venue this small. I can already feel the energy in the room. Livingston will perform with his full band Friday night, May 13th at The Jinx. Local Savannah group Miquel Moure will open.
Below are a few tracks to set the stage followed by a full album stream. We hope to see you at the show!
“Your Love Will Blow Me Away”- Live
If you go:
Kayne Lanahan is the founder of MusicFile Productions and an occasional contributor to hissing lawns