If you never lived in the Detroit area, you probably won’t get the local pop-culture reference that’s at the heart of soul singer Mayer Hawthorne’s “A Long Time” video. Fortunately, I was a resident of the Motor City (or more accurately, it’s suburb, Southfield) from 1984-1987. So, while I didn’t get to catch “The New Dance Show”, the “Soul Train”-esque show that gets recreated for Mayer’s new video, I did get to watch “The Scene”, the show that was the predecessor to “The New Dance Show” and featured an equally low-budget set and similar bugged-out dancing. I even think the host was the same. Then again, I was 8. So I can’t remember, totally.
The first single from his upcoming sophomore disc, How Do You Do, “A Long Time” is a little more upbeat and radio-friendly than the songs on his first effort. A little less Smokey, a little more Daryl Hall. And that’s not a diss at all. The song’s got a cool finger-popping retro groove that makes it sort of an ill-fit with the late-eighties era fashions and dancing featured in the video (unless there’s some Teddy Riley-style synthesizer in there that I’m not hearing), but…nevertheless. The song is hot, the video’s funny, and I’m looking very much forward to hearing Mayer’s album in it’s entirety.