Conscious soul singer Curtis Harding plays Great American

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Gospel-influenced psychedelic soul singer/songwriter Curtis Harding brings his current tour to the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco Thursday night.

Drawn to music by his gospel-singing mother, Harding would occasionally sing back-up at her church performances as a teen growing up in Atlanta, but eventually turned to secular music. He joined the hip-hop group Proseed in the early 2000s, which led him into the orbit of Goodie Mob member and solo artist CeeLo Green. Harding joined Green’s touring band as a back-up singer and would later contribute to recordings, even co-writing the song “Grand Canyon.”

Night Sun (Curtis Harding and Cole Alexander from Black Lips) “No Pressure” studio film HD by
videorahim on

After spending some time in Toronto in search of new musical inspiration which led him to buying a guitar and writing his first batch of songs, Harding returned to Atlanta and founded the garage punk/soul group Night Suns with Black Lips guitarist Cole Alexander. A single the band recorded for Burger Records led to a solo deal for Harding, who released his debut album Soul Power for the label in 2014.  

Curtis Harding – “Keep On Shining” by
ANTI- Records on

Packed with infectious retro R&B tracks that at times recalled Curtis Mayfield, the album still managed to mix in fuzz guitar and glam-tinged stomp that nodded to David Bowie and T. Rex. The singer and his band gained welcome exposure opening for Jack White on a string of sold-out dates that summer.

While it would be some time before he released a follow-up effort, Harding’s sophomore release Face Your Fear at last came out via Anti- Records in 2017. Collaborating with Danger Mouse at his 30th Century Studio in New York City, the album takes away some of the rawness of Harding’s debut in exchange for a lush, more heavily orchestrated approach that owes a debt to the sweeping psychedelic soul sound Isaac Hayes cultivated on his early albums.

Curtis Harding – “Hopeful” by
ANTI- Records on

Harding’s latest effort for Anti- entitled If Words Were Flowers came out last year and continues in a similar vein, channeling some of the heartache and disappointment of pandemic life and the social unrest of 2020 into the melancholy soul of the title tune and the strident protest anthem “Hopeful.” Harding performs new songs and more when he takes the stage at the Great American Music Hall Thursday night. Opening LA-based act Joshy Soul plays minimalist, Prince-inspired funk that hearkens back to the classic Minneapolis sound of the ’80s. 

Curtis Harding
Thursday, May 12,  $20
Great American Music Hall

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