08/09 Bayfront Blues Festival Duluth, MN
08/16 Summer Set Music Festival Somerset, WI
08/22 House of Blues Chicago, IL
08/29 Minnesota State Fair St Paul, MN
08/30 Minnesota State Fair St Paul, MN
09/06 The Summer Beer Dabbler St Paul, MN
09/27 LA SOURCE Fontaine, France
09/28 DOK Ghent, Belgium
09/30 New Morning Paris, France
And, “Knight Time” proved to be the right time, as local retro-soul band Sonny Knight and the Lakers closed out the annual In Cahoots- Red Stag Block Party in Northeast Minneapolis yesterday. The main focus of the event was to have eight of the area’s burgeoning local craft brewers paired up in teams, to each create a new brew, that the crowd would then sample, and vote for the best recipe (spoiler alert: the Fulton/Dangerous Man Brewing combination was far and away the winner).
Various local bands such as Alpha Consumer and Jeff Lynne tribute band E.L.nO provided the day’s sound track, in addition to Knight and the Lakers.
Sonny Knight is currently enjoying a second life, in support of I’m Still Here (Secret Stash Records). First recording almost fifty years ago, then briefly with local band Haze in the ‘70s, before being re-discovered from near-obscurity by Secret Stash co-founders Cory Wong and Eric Foss (who doubles as Lakers drummer). The label started as a vinyl re-issue house and has since grown to become something akin to the Daptone label in NYC that supports Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley and the Budos Band.
Local personality Foxy Tann introduced the group, which started with an instrumental primer to get the already-lubricated crowd, into more of old-school soul spirit, then Knight, dressed in white pants and shirt, with dark blazer and already patting his sweaty forehead, sauntered on stage for the opening, double-entendre song, ‘Juicy Lucy’.
The pace slowed a bit for ballad ‘When you’re Gone’ then quickly picked up again with ‘Caveman’, the imbibed crowd trying to keep up with Knight’s instructions on the dance, then the band returned for an earthy version of Sixto Rodriguez’ ‘Sugarman’ and lead single, from the album, ‘Hey Girl’, which had MC Tann and others dancing on stage, after which she declared, “that was a religious experience as far as I’m concerned!”.
Those that have not seen Knight and the Lakers are encouraged to, and area residents will have a few other chances—playing this weekend in Duluth, and later this month at the State Fair, before the band heads overseas for a few select European dates.
Sonny Knight and the Lakers at In Cahoots - Red Stag Block Party, Minneapolis (03 Aug 2014)