Take a stroll down memory lane, to a simple time when love and rhythm were in the air.
That’s what Garfield Fleming and That Motown Band plan to deliver when they take the stage at the Mars Theater on Friday in Springfield. Fleming is no stranger to the magic of Motown and Rhythm & Blues music. He spent 25 years with the famous R&B/soul group, The Delfonics, before launching a successful solo career in the 1980s.
It’s a living link to a bygone era, revered for its upbeat, pop-influenced rhythm and blues style synonymous with American industrial cities like Detroit and Philadelphia.
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These proud working-class metropolises spawned iconic black singers and vocal groups in the 1950s and 1960s, who transcended class, race and geography to top the radio charts of their time. “It was this positive time that we came into,” Fleming shared between stops on his 2022 tour.
“We had a message in music at that time, it was all about love and trying to be happy and hanging on to your relationships.”
That Motown Band is a 10-piece band with four vocalists, including Fleming, that has been entertaining rhythm and blues fans for years. At their concert in Springfield, the band promise to deliver classic songs that defined a generation of music fans, classics like “Heat Wave”, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”, “Baby Love” and more .
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These are songs that strike a chord and take listeners back to a time when life was simple and love abounded, Fleming noted.
“To bring back some of those positive memories and days when things were more peaceful and lovely and just groovy — people can relate to that,” Fleming explained.
“When our friends and fans can come out, they’ll have a chance to sit down and bring back great memories, young and old, they’ll have a great show.”
That Motown Band’s musical journey is led by Grammy-nominated producer, composer, arranger, vocalist and guitarist Johnny Gale. Gale is a recognized expert in the authentic style of classic soul, doo wop, R&B, blues and rock.
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That Motown Band is a group of authentic experts on a subject dear to them: the classic sounds of an era they grew up defining. Even after decades on the road, on stage and in the studio, Fleming says he and his bandmates are still electrified at every performance.
When the lights come on, the music kicks on and the fans start cheering, it’s an experience that remains magical all these years later, he said.
“People can feel it. They can relate to it,” Fleming explained.
“Once you hear the music backstage, and it’s time to hop on, you can’t help but go out there and feel positive – whether it’s one person or a full house, the band is running and that’s the energy we’re trying to keep.”
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
WHAT: That Motown Band, live at the Mars Theater
WHEN: Friday at 7 p.m.
WHERE: The Mars Theatre, 106 South Laurel Street, Springfield in Effingham County
COST: Tickets are $46 and can be purchased online, at the theater or at Springfield City Hall