The Ford Signature Series at the newly-renovated John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, a jewel in the Hollywood Hills, welcomed to the stage for the first time soulful singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc with a concert promoting peace and love.
For this special performance, Blacc, well-known for his chart-busting 2013 hit, “Wake Me Up,” brought with him to the stage Los Angeles-based guitarist Woody Aplanalp, local Brazilian guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento, East LA-based son jarocho band Cambalache, soul/rock fusion group The Brothers Band and avant-classical punk trio, The Concentrates. Blacc wanted to give them an opportunity to showcase their talent and also joined each artist for some songs.
It was a great combination as Blacc performed songs by Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and other icons of American social movements past and present. One of the most notable songs Blacc sang was Dylan’s 1964 release “The Times, They Are A-Changin.”
Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time.
“I’ve wanted to do a show like this for some time now and I’m happy to be working with the Ford Theatre to finally see it materialize,” Blacc said. “The bands on the stage with me are comprised of musicians that I believe have true talent and possess strong artistic voices but have yet to have an opportunity to share their voice with a wider audience.”
“As far as the song selection goes, these are pieces that have their roots in protest and civil justice. As familiar as these songs are to us, I feel that their meaning and importance has too often gone overlooked…I wanted to break bread with the audience in a way that nourished the mind and soul.”
Blacc is now writing and recording for his next album release and his adoring fans will be in for a treat, just like the treat they received during his performance at The Ford.
For more information about concerts at The Ford, go to: http://fordtheatres.org/
Steven LIeberman is a veteran sports/arts/entertainment journalist. Lieberman has covered entertainment and professional sports, Including the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, for the past 14 years. Among his entertainment work, Lieberman covers concerts, theatre and events.