Carleen Anderson is American music royalty. Her mother, Vicki Anderson, was James Brown’s favourite vocalist and her stepfather Bobby Byrd founded the Famous Flames. Now Carleen – who relocated to London in 1990, becoming a Mercury-nominated star of soul and Acid Jazz through The Young Disciples and an epoch-defining solo career – honours her family’s history in Texas and Mississippi with ‘Cage Street Memorial’.
The project – there’s an award-winning album, a book and a stage show as well as a concert presentation – is a moving testament to Anderson’s gospel roots as the daughter and grand-daughter of Pentecostal preachers, and her personal journey from the Deep South to the UK, and thence to Bristol, where her musician son, Bobby, lives.
To hear Carleen Anderson’s astonishingly soulful voice backed by her own keyboards and an all-star quartet in the authentically churchy setting of St George’s is going to be one of the musical experiences of the year. It also acts as the official launch party for Bristol’s Americana Weekend, which follows in July (when we will be closed for building work as part of our capital project), and whose complete programme will be announced on the night.
“She’s not just good, she’s phenomenal. Carleen Anderson is one of a kind.” James Brown
“Carleen Anderson – She’s someone who I would sit around the venue all day, just to hear her soundcheck” Amy Winehouse
“Outstanding!” Gilles Peterson, BBC 6 Music