I went to see Anthony Hamilton yesterday at The Apple Store in NYC where he showed his new video, was interviewed in a Q&A headed by a writer from Essence (later taking questions from the audience), and then did a 3 song set with his live band which all were from his new CD.
I was impressed that it was also being recorded for later airing on the Net and there was a decent enough amount of promotion by RCA that I actually heard about the appearance, which isn’t always the case.
“Did you hear The Roots were here last week?” an employee asked me.
Thus goes it generally. Imagine that- a record company getting behind a quality artist who isn’t a kid making great, old school sounding music. Bravo to RCA for pushing Hamilton like this, who also did an earlier in-store at J&R the same day in NY.
In person Hamilton comes off as totally warm, sincere, passionate about what he does, and respectful of those who came before him, singing the praises of such diverse artists as Al Green, Earth, Wind and Fire, Jodeci and others whose names escape me.
Hamilton’s a great singer and live performer as well, and the three song set was the perfect tease that made we want to own the CD and see him live in a full show.
Which brings me to my only complaint. I had cash money ready to buy two CDs for Christmas presents. None were on sale there. They were hawking downloads. For someone with an old school audience, don’t the “suits” realize, some of us “oldheads” just don’t do the download thing? Money in hand and nobody to take it. Now THAT’S not good business.
Regardless, it was a lovely event with a warm feel to it. And the CD itself is great and maybe the “album of the year.” (If they still use that term?).
By the way, his song “The Point of It All,” from the previous CD remains one of my all-time favorite songs.
Anthony Hamilton, is an artist with class, integrity, dignity, taste, and sheer talent, all of which show in his work. That’s not a typical combination in 2011 going on 2012. I hope it sells a million copies. Or downloads if you will.