I’ve occasionally bemoaned the lack of black rock singers (especially female ones) in today’s musical climate, but one of the originators is returning with new music for the first time in 20 years!
Legendary funk-rock singer Nona Hendryx’s new album Mutatis Mutandis is set to be released by Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records on July 31st. It’s digital release comes a couple weeks earlier, on July 10. It’s her first release of any kind since she reunited with her LaBelle band mates Sarah Dash and Patti LaBelle for Back To Now a couple of years back.
On Mutatis Mutandis (Latin for “Changing those things which need to be changed”), Hendryx attacks the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh (“Ballad of Rush Limbaugh”), Gulf oil spills (“Oil On The Water”), and lends the necessary gravitas to a striking rendition of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” with smoky vocals somewhere between funk and the end of the stratosphere. Blistering guitars, killer horns, and gospel flourishes and unstoppable beats fill the album, but don’t take away from the message at hand – Nona Hendryx is here to tackle social issues, point out corporate greed, black on black violence and attacks by political and religious conservatives. The result is an album steeped in vintage R&B and soul, but totally in tune with the here and now.
“I chose the title and was moved to write and record the CD by the major events and changes on the world’s stage in the last 12 years, initiated by the ‘black swan’ event, 9/11,” expands Hendryx.
In addition to the release of her new album, Nona will kick off ‘A Woman’s Bill Of Rights Tour’ of the east coast in support of Mutatis Mutandis, beginning in Boston (YES!!!) on July 12. She’ll then move on to hit New York, Philly, DC and New Haven before wrapping up in Long Island on July 21. More dates will be added into the summer and early fall.
Hendryx is running a campaign with PledgeMusic to support the tour where participants can pre-order the album and will get access to exclusive tour updates, videos from tour rehearsalsr, a chance for musical rarities as well as some interactive experiences and surprises that we can’t tell you about yet! Pledges won’t just help support the tour, but will also help an amazing organization called Little Black Pearl, a school in Chicago for alternative learning for youths ages 12 to 17. Find out more info and ‘Pledge’ athttp://www.pledgemusic.com/
‘A Woman’s Bill Of Rights Tour’
July 12 – Boston, MA – Johnny D’s
Meantime, here’s some old school Nona for ya! Looking forward to the new album!