Monday, July 9, 2012

Musical Monday - Frankie Beverly & Maze

This past weekend was bittersweet for me. It was bitter because I was NOT at the Essence Festival as I have been continually for the last 12 years during the 4th of July holiday. Just in case you are new here, I blogged about it here and in the past. We both love New Orleans, however, Mr. Mixologist is not the Essence Veteran that I am, so it wasn't as big of a deal to him. LOL  However, it was sweet because we have made a conscious decision together to stay on a budget & savings plan for our wedding in New Orleans next year and the trip just did not make fiscal sense until we hit some of our savings targets. I am proud of deciding to be practical and not giving in to all my desires. As I get older I am having to learn that I must act like an adult cannot do everything LOL.

Several of my friends that I travel with every year were there, so vicariously through their many text messages,  tweets, FB updates and instagram pics, I got to somewhat experience it. Once of the advantages of having been to so many festivals is that I have seen it grow evolve and change in many ways. I have seen many of the artists that perform numerous times over the years.  Outside of just the music and parties, I love the empowerment seminars, the artwork, the celebrity meet and greets and of course the beauty of my people all in one place, a city that I love ! One thing that I do miss though is having Frankie Beverly & Maze close out the event each year. Up until like 2 years ago, you could always count on their performance the final night & they did not disappoint. However, Essence decided to change it up to appeal to a younger demographic and did not invite Frankie Beverly & Maze. That was a really big deal the first year that it happened and lots of fans were really upset. In time, Maze found a new home with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival held in April each year and Essence continues to bring more diverse Main stage artists.

While watching the BET Awards last week and the Frankie Beverly & Maze tribute. It did finally occur to me that I am getting OLD ! LOL. I say this because I noticed that the majority of the audience could not get into the music the way I would have thought. They do not know the words to the songs! And I think it's because they are too young to appreciate it. It makes sense when you think about it. The Essence Festival is 17 yrs and going. That is a really long time.Maze has been performing live shows for many years. The demographic that can really get into this groups music is getting older. Real musicians, real instruments, no auto-tune and can hold the attention of an arena full of people.  Frankie is still cool as hell and he is still fine. I think he is aging pretty well actually,  but his voice is failing him somewhat (he has has some throat problems in the past). But at their concerts we sing all the words anyway so, you are so busy jamming you don't notice it as much ! LOL I have so many fond memories of this music, this band, New Orleans and of course of Essence that will stand the test of time.

I found a great interview clip from a few years ago, an NPR interview with him and that fine ass Ed Gordon ! It has lots of musical clips inside and explains the Maze phenomenon. Take a listen and enjoy !

Frankie Beverly NPR Interview with Ed Gordon

And this is for all of my fellow Southern Girls out there !

Have you been to Essence ? Are you a Frankie Beverly and Maze Fan ?  What about New Orleans ?

Thoughts ? Comments ? Questions ?

Beautifully Complex 


Kurlylicious said...

I'm not the Veteran of Essence that you are, but I've been on a few occassions, but haven't been since 2007. My husband and I opted to go to Vegas 4th of July 2008 and that's when he proposed and 2009, we got married that May in St. Lucia and then went to Jamaica 2 weeks later, so I couldn't fathom spending the money. The next year, 2010, I lost my Daddy that May and we already had our anniversary trip planned to Cabo, so I said no. Now last year and this year, I'm just mad at myself for not going LOL. Maybe next year...

Beautifully Complex said...

Yes, there is always next year ! LOL
I am just happy to know that it's not going anywhere. Essence is fully entrenched in NOLA. They had it in Houston the year after Katrina which just proved that no other city can host this event like New Orleans.

Anonymous said...

I have been to the Essence festival twice but it's been a while. 2007. It's great to know that you and Mr. are on one accord as far as sacrificing and saving money towards the things you want.

Beautifully Complex said...

It has been a little challenging but we are helping each other stay on track, LOL.