Thursday, March 8, 2012
One of the best pieces of advice Bay Area R&B musician Anthony Young ever received came directly from the mouth of funk legend Roy Ayers.
“All you need to do,” Ayers told him, “is keep doing what you’re doing.”
Young has been living by that code since he started singing at the age of 4. The Sacramento native grew up in a musical family and he’d spend hours listening closely to everyone from Sam Cooke to Michael Jackson. Young’s mother even sang with Louis Armstrong a couple of times.
Music has remained a critical part of Young’s existence ever since. Whether he is opening for Kool and the Gang or providing the back-up vocals for Vallejo-based hip-hop artist Turf Talk, he needs melodies and harmonies like a diabetic needs insulin.
Young also has his own band, Masters of Old School, which recently updated its name to Anthony & The Brothers Young. The mostly R&B cover band – with a repertoire including everything from Chaka Kahn to the Commodores – has played nearly once every month at Sly McFly’s for the past eight years. Their return on Saturday night will be closely followed by the release of Young’s new album Pardon Me, featuring all original material. The sexy-cool title track is a throwback to the sound of The Isley Brothers and showcases Young’s silky voice, which he uses like a weapon of mass seduction.
Though his attention has mostly been directed to the new album, it’s hard for Young to keep his mind focused on just one task at a time. The consummate workaholic has been working on a side project called JMAY with Janet Jackson producer D.O.A (Derek Allen). Seems Young, like Janet, is living in a “Rhythm Nation,” where all he can do – and wants to do – is keep doing what he’s doing.
ANTHONY & THE BROTHERS YOUNG play at 9pm, Saturday, March 10, at Sly McFly’s, 700 Cannery Row, Monterey. Free. 649-8050.