SAD NEWS! We’ve just been informed that Tim Owens, Lead Singer from Earth Wind & Fire Experience feat. Al Mckay lost his voice last night in Vienna, which has resulted in the set being cut short. After seeking medical advice he has been told that further performances will cause permanent damage to his vocal chords. As a result, Earth Wind and Fire Experience feat. Al Mckay have been forced to cancel all remaining UK tour dates which unfortunately includes Sunday night at Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival.
Earth, Wind & Fire Experience feat. Al Mckay have sent their deepest apologies and hope they can join us in the future!
As soon as we heard the sad news we rang all our friends in the music industry and we are relieved to announce that the replacement Sunday headliner will be the legendary Family Stone.
Sly and the Family Stone were America’s first major multi-racial and multi-gender band. From 1967 to 1975, they had top-10 hits on both sides of the Atlantic, with recordings such as Everyday People, I Want to Take You Higher, Everybody is a Star, and Family Affair.
Founding members of the Family Stone, Jerry Martini, Cynthia Robinson, and Greg Errico, all Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees and R&B Pioneer Award Winners, will bring all their hits to Moseley this year for what is guaranteed to be an uplifting and memorable performance.
Sly and the Family Stone’s lyrics helped to define 1967’s Summer of Love and the memory of 1969’s Woodstock Festival. From the release of their first album A Whole New Thing, the group of black and white boys and girls told audiences “you can make it if you really try”, reminded them that there are “different strokes for different folks” and exclaimed “you don’t have to die before you live”.
Woodstock defined 1960s American counterculture, but Sly & the Family Stone may have felt a little out of place there. Despite their unique racial/gender harmony and the fact that A Whole New Thing had been a critically-acclaimed progressive funk and soul record, just a year before the festival they had sold out. 1968’s Dance to the Music, their second album, was heavily influential in the popularisation of psychedelic soul and laid the foundations for funk music, yet the Family Stone themselves didn’t think very highly of the record. Speaking about its single Dance to the Medley to Joel Selvin, author of Sly and the Family Stone: An Oral History, Jerry Martini said “Dance to the schmedley. It was so unhip to us… We just did it to sell records”.
By the time Woodstock came around though, Sly & the Family Stone had just released Stand! The album became one of the most successful albums of the sixties and, containing I Want to Take You Higher and Everyday People, it is considered one of the group’s creative high points. The Guardian has called the record’s bubbling funk “testament to the sheer brilliance of the group’s song-writing”.
Alongside founding the Family Stone, saxophonist Jerry Martini has played with contemporaries such as the Rolling Stones and Carlos Santana, and other luminaries like Prince. His outstanding career is proof that Sly Stone was right to call him “one of the funkiest white boys on sax”.
During the Family Stone’s prime, Cynthia Robinson was known for her large Afro and her brash vocal ad-libs. The history books will also recognise her as one of the first prominent black female trumpeters. She and Sly have a daughter together and after the group split in 1975 Robinson was the only Family Stone member to continue working with him.
Original Family Stone drummer, Errico was the first to quit in 1971 due to the band’s problems with substance abuse. He later toured with jazz fusion heavyweights Weather Report, played with David Bowie’s band, and collaborated with the likes of Grateful Dead and the Jerry Garcia Band, showing off the full range of his drumming talents.
At the Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul festival, Martini, Robinson and Errico will be joined by a host of talented musicians who will stay true to the Family Stone’s raw funk groove while playing all their hits.