Music Video: Robin McKelle & The Flytones - Like A River
Looking to evoke the aural legacy of classic Memphis soul, 'I wanted to capture the Memphis sound in the recording process and the goal was to write the music and arrangements with that sound in mind' Rochester native Robin McKelle and her band The Flytones immersed themselves in the city of Stax and Hi Records to record their new 'Heart Of Memphis' album, McKelle looking to channel the essence of Memphis soul that for her is 'different from the Motown sound because has more raw emotion and being in the south it’s also influenced by country music. It’s more “in your face” than the Motown. I have a natural gritty sound or rasp in my voice so this sound suits me well', and with the swelling horns and rolling swagger of 'Like A River' McKelle's authentically emotive voice showcases those classically soulful qualities as she pours her heart out with a rueful lament for a lost love.
Growing up influenced by Donny Hathaway, Dusty Springfield, Janis Joplin, Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin and 'loving this kind of music...there was something about the sound and the feeling that it gave me', McKelle learned classical piano and french horn, later going on to study Jazz at the University of Miami as well as both attending and later teaching at Berklee College of Music. The release of two swing-jazz albums in the mid-2000's saw McKelle discoverd in France, and she went on to tour the world with her music, returning to her more soulful roots and providing much of the songwriting for her 2012 album 'Soul Flower', including duets with Gregory Porter and Lee Fields, a trend that continues on 'Heart Of Memphis' with McKelle writing eleven of the thirteen songs, saying 'I really love writing...It’s important to continue to create new sounds and push ourselves into unknown places. That’s what artists are put on this earth for, taking risks and chances', an attitude that saw her recognized with an invitation to SXSW this year.