DRIVEN: A Tribute to Multicultural Achievement in the Automotive Industry returns this year for its eighth year with an experience which includes the publication, a youth symposium focused on careers in the industry, and an unveiling/awards celebration of diversity.
Ahead of his performance at culminating event, Eric Roberson chopped it up with City.Life.Style. on his return back to Detroit.
“Detroit is one of the first cities to embrace me as an artist. Not only have I gotten the chance to perform on countless stages there, but I have also had great people show me how amazing Detroit is. So I am looking forward to enjoying Detroit again on and off stage.” Said, Roberson.
Eric Roberson brought Fire… the music from the new EP that is… to Center Stage Theater in Atlanta on Saturday, November 4, 2017. The packed show celebrated the release of Fire the third EP in the ambitious trilogy of EPs Roberson released this year calledEarth,Wind & Fire. It’s ambitious, because Roberson covers A LOT of ground on these EPs. - GrownFolksMusic.com
For every heart-tugging, tear-inducing ode to relationships, there are just as many peeling back the curtains on the dark side of love: “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Woman to Woman,” “As We Lay,” and, of course, practically every drop of Beyonce’s Lemonade. It can be a struggle to put together, and damaging when it falls apart, so when a performer old enough to wear the battle scars of love can still wax rhapsodic about it all, taking you back to your first crush, rosy beginnings and the sugar-sweet promises of ‘happily ever after,’ you’ve got to embrace it. That’s what Eric Roberson conjures up, and delivers, in his latest EP, Wind.
The second in a trilogy of empowerment-themed releases (following his spring release, Earth), Roberson’s Windcertainly has a supple, soothing pace throughout, with lingering melodies that rise, fall and spin like a breeze. His compositions still pack substance within, idealizing love while examining and questioning its motives and contents. “Sky As Green,” for instance, finds Erro’s character acknowledging his own sharp edges and wondering if anyone will one day accept what he brings to the table: “Open up your mind, give me part of the time/open up your mind, just a little bit of love would be fine,”he croons over a foundation of horns and keys. “…I’m just searching for something that will last.”
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. (1 Corinthians, 11:13)
Paul wrote this guidance on the transition into adulthood two millennia ago, and we live on a planet of seven billion people who still struggle with it today. And if it is tough for those of us out of the limelight, it is particularly difficult for entertainers, working in an industry where attraction to youth is virtually reflexive. So we often hear from familiar artists whose years of experience provides them with something to say, but who instead spend too much time chasing elusive popular trends – a typically unsuccessful chase that shortchanges their artistry. There is a cultural thesis that underlies this chase: that the immaturity and impulsiveness of youth is exciting, and that the perspective and emerging selflessness that come from aging, parenting and mentoring is akin to irrelevance and unhappiness.
So it is refreshing to hear Earth,the first leg of the EP trilogy that Eric Roberson plans to issue throughout this year. Now approaching a dozen albums into his career, Roberson has always been a man of our time, and importantly a man of his time, consistently providing fresh grooves that hint of R&B, hip-hop and gospel, even as he sometimes transparently and sometimes opaquely tells therealstory of life.
Those who have lived a life will stop cold for cut #5, "The Hospital Song." With a gentle piano and one of the most subdued vocals of Roberson's recorded career, the song captures, in three and a half minutes, the cycle of life and family - and the building where they come together: "A hospital is a big old box / filled with joys and pain / one whose life is ending / another whose begins." It is a show stopper on his current tour, and the studio gives it an even more ethereal feel. In its soul, it is a 19th century spiritual brought forward to the world of 2017, and it works beautifully.