BEN L’ONCLE SOUL BRINGS SINATRA TO NICE

Septembre à Nice promet d’être soul! September in Nice promises to be soul!

Often described as the French Amy Winehouse, soul sensation Ben l’Oncle Soul is back with a third album, ‘Under My Skin’, a tribute to the legendary crooner, Frank Sinatra.

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Ben l’Oncle Soul will be in Nice this autumn for what should be a concert full of life! A great opportunity to see live an artist who has been making a big splash the world over in the last few years, with his eclectic brand of sound and his original look based on hats, bow ties and colourful jackets!

With a stage name that pays tribute to the fictitious elderly gent who serves as the brand image of Uncle Ben’s Rice, and music that is clearly influenced by American music of the 50’s and the 60’s, from the likes of Otis Redding and Ray Charles to Sam Cooke and Al Green, the young artist is as French as can be. Born Benjamin Duterde in 1984 in Tours in the Loire valley, he fell into soul music at a very young age, thanks to his mother who was immersed in that universe.

After graduating from art school, Ben, as he was then known to his friends, joined a gospel choir, the Fitiavana Gospel choir, which released an album in 2009 entitled ‘I Have a Dream’, featuring covers of soul classics such as ‘Killing me Softly‘.

Soon thereafter, the young man was signed by the French division of Motown Records and for his debut album, the eponymous Ben l’Oncle Soul, he chose to sing in both English and French. The album was a mix of original material and some covers, including his major hit, the soul version of the White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’,while his second offering, “A coup de rêves’, saw him team up with San Francisco-based psychedelic soul band Monophonics.

For his latest effort, which was released in late 2016, the French singer has reworked some of the greatest standards popularised by Ol’ Blue Eyes with a touch of reggae, soul, jazz and blues. With the help of both Matthieu Joly (Neïmo) and Benjamin ‘Waxx’ Heikimian (Naosol & The Waxx Blend) and thanks to his powerful voice, he has managed to give a new life to an extremely polished repertoire.

The thing which touched me most in Sinatra’s work, is the lyrics”, the soul artist says. “I wanted to give these jewels a new jewellery box, to create bridges between genres and periods.”

Ben l’Oncle Soul plays at the Théâtre Lino Ventura in Nice on Thursday, the 21st of September, 2017 at 8:30 pm. Tickets cost from €15,80 to €20,80 and can be bought at all the usual outlets or reserved online.

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MARK KNOPFLER TO PLAY THE NIKAÏA IN NICE THIS MAY

Article de la semaine pour Riviera Buzz. Article of the week for Riviera Buzz

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Dire Straits’ former frontman Mark Knopfler will be making his guitar cry just for you at the Palais Nikaïa in Nice this May!

His guitar solos on Dire Straits’s biggest hits from Sultans of Swing and Telegraph Road to Money for Nothing andTunnel of Love have turned him into a music legend. Now, thirty years after the release of his former band’s multi-platinum Brothers In Arms album, Mark Knopfler is back with his eighth solo effort, Tracker, released on the 16th of March last, and an extensive European tour that will take him to Nice on the 29th of May.

His former band may have reemerged recently under the name The Straits, but Knopfler seems more than happy to march on his own now, leaving behind his rock’n’roll days for more folksy, bluesy and jazzy sounds, with even a touch of Country, that take the listener on a leisurely stroll.

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The eleven tracks that compose Tracker all have a nostalgic feel to them, a languorous vibe and relaxed pace that tell colourful stories about a wide range of subjects and real-life characters, such as the late Beryl Bainbridge. AsKnopfler himself put it: ‘The album title Tracker arrived out of me trying to find my way over the decades. Out of me tracking time – looking at people, places and things from my past, and out of the process of tracking as in recording tracks in the studio.”

A few traces of the good old days still remain though. After all, Mark Knopfler is and always will be a guitar hero. His style of playing is immediately recognizable, his laconic voice has not changed and he still has an acute sense of observation in depicting real-life situations.

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Throughout his nearly forty year career, Knopfler has definitely carved out a unique legacy that makes him one of the world’s most recognized guitarists. And if the multiple Grammy winner will be playing his own material for the mostpart on his upcoming tour, one can nonetheless expect to hear a few Dire Straits hits thrown in for good measure.

Mark Knopfler plays the Palais Nikaïa in Nice on Friday, 29th of May 2015 at 8:00 pm. Tickets range in price from 56,50 € to 73 € and can be purchased through all the usual outlets or reserved online

All images courtesy Mark Knopfler website; photos © Fabio Lovino