*Around ten years ago I was invited to a concert by a group of promoters looking to partner with the group I was working with; nothing came of the meeting, but I was introduced to an act that, ten years later, is still cranking out good music.
Kindred the Family Soul was onstage that night and later in the crowd dancing with those in attendance. I purchased their debut CD Surrender to Love that night because I was not only impressed by the music, but they seemed to be real people and over the last ten years they’ve done nothing to dispute my first impressions of the husband and wife duo.
Ten years later, they’re still putting out music and still husband and wife, neither of which are small accomplishments in these crazy times. To commemorate the magic I felt that night and thousands of fans across the world have felt through the years, Fatin and Aja Dantzler have released Live from London: 10th Anniversary of Surrender to Love, an album developed from the appreciation of fans that have continued to support the duo throughout the last decade. Fatin believes this night at London’s Jazz Café is among the best representations of the energy and vibe Kindred emits from the stage; this recording captures the pure soul of the duo in its most organic form, as both artist and crowd feed off the energy from one another.
Nestled in Philadelphia’s Old City, the Five Spot is where Aja and Fatin started their trek to stages around the world. It was on that tiny stage they uncorked the soul they bottled from years of studying the greats and infused themselves in the middle of Philadelphia’s soul revolution alongside Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Floetry, Bilal, Jaguar Wright and others. The energy that emanated from 1 S. Bank Street is capsulated in a 75 minute thank you from the Dantzlers to those that have been trying to capture the emotion and synergy of the couple from the stages they’ve rocked since March 25, 2003.
Fifteen years of marriage, thirteen years as a duo, six children, four albums and countless memories provide for a grateful unit. This album is not only a chance for Kindred fans to relive a special moment, but also a chance for the duo to reach the parts of the world they’ve yet to rock; a calling card of sorts, to let people know this is what you’re missing. However, from West Philadelphia to Japan, thousands of people have experienced live what cannot be translated from listening to a CD, love. That’s what I saw that night; people who loved one another and loved what they were doing. In subsequent years I’ve learned their love ran deeper than the surface and extended to the culture, their community and remains stronger than ever of each other and their family.
Kindred the Family Soul has persevered through R&B’s gentrification and are working with a network of keepers of the soul music tradition to continue the legacy of Sam, Stevie, Aretha, Marvin, Teddy and so many others. They continue tour extensively and are recording a new studio album to be released later this year. The Shrine in Chicago plays host to a jam session they present that has seen The Roots, Robert Glasper, Jill Scott. Avery*Sunshine and Musiq Soulchild drop in thus far and Ledisi is scheduled for an upcoming visit among others looking to energize and provide a venue from Chicago’s musical community. It’s nearly impossible to harness the creativity that runs through Aja and Fatin; the two are looking to bring to the stage a play they’ve worked on the last couple of years and are consistently working on different avenues to build their brand and share what love and progression looks like through their eyes.
Visit www.KindredtheFamilySoul.com to stay current on all things Kindred and drop by Amazon.com to purchase Live from London.
Between rhetoric and reality is where you’ll find Al-Lateef Farmer: Black man, husband, social documentarian, and slinger of Soul by the pound. His brand of social commentary rooted in independent thought can be found at http://worldaccording2teef.com, and on Twitter @wrldacrdng2teef.