I'm a little biased on this one... I love me some Memphis Soul Stew. This is probably the best music performance I've seen / heard all year.
Ten days ago, we reported that Justin Timberlake got a roomful of people including Barack Obama to sing along with Otis Redding. Now we have a 57 minute video of the full show, courtesy of PBS In Performance At The White House.
This is feel good music. My heart was warmed. The hair on my neck stood up with goosebumps. How else can you describe it? It's hard to pick highlights because every performance is great. Who knew that Cyndi Lauper could do a great Otis Redding impersonation?!? Joshua Ledet and Justin Timberlake show off some impressive vocal chops. Brittany Howard and the Alabama Shakes dig into Memphis blues, as does Ben Harper. Queen Latifah does a fine job as MC and ties things together with a song that might be best known as a hip-hop sample... but the best parts are when the original Memphis musicians get their moment: Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Sam Moore, Mavis Staples, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, and Charlie Musselwhite have been responsible for what's known today as Memphis Soul, and it's great to see them get the recognition they deserve.
01:04 | "Green Onions" - Booker T. and the Memphis Soul All-Stars
01:45 | Barack Obama Introduction Speech
05:21 | "Soul Man" - Sam Moore & Joshua Ledet
09:49 | "I'll Take You There" - Mavis Staples
13:30 | "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" - Justin Timberlake & Steve Cropper
18:38 | "Knock On Wood" - Eddie Floyd
22:52 | "Born Under A Bad Sign" - Alabama Shakes & Steve Cropper
26:19 | "I Can't Stand The Rain" - Queen Latifah
30:20 | "You Don't Miss Your Water" - William Bell
35:23 | "When A Man Loves A Woman" - Joshua Ledet
39:05 | "I'm In, I'm Out, and I'm Gone" Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite
43:39 | "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby" - Sam Moore
48:42 | "Try A Little Tenderness" - Cyndi Lauper & Charlie Musselwhite
53:52 | "In The Midnight Hour" - Booker T. Jones, Justin Timberlake, Sam Moore, Mavis Staples, All-Star Jam
Master of Ceremonies: Queen Latifah