If there is one thing that southern gospel guitar master Roosevelt Collier knows, it’s how to get down and dirty. His squeals and peals add instant depth and power to any song he graces. Furthermore, Collier is no stranger to leading and following collectives of musicians, thanks to his numerous side projects and history as a go-to special guest, sitting in with countless amazing bands over the course of his career. The list of artists who have him on their wish list for collaborations is as long as the notes he teases out of his pedal steel guitar.
This past fall, Roosevelt Collier brought his inimitable talents back to Brooklyn for an appearance at the third annual Brooklyn Comes Alive. At BCA 2017, the pedal-steel virutoso once again showcased his unique and soulful spirit with a spectacular set of funky tunes at Brooklyn Bowl. For this year’s event, he brought several members of the progressive jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy with him, and they delivered an incredible performance filled with fun covers and interesting arrangements. Multi-instrumentalists Michael League and Bob Lanzetti reigned supreme on guitar and bass, respectively, and Robert “Sput” Searight owned the drumkit throughout—together, the band had more than enough firepower to back up Collier in his musical battle.
When Roosevelt Collier took the stage, he opened the show with a powerful take on “Amazing Grace”, performed in tribute to the late Charles Bradley, whose death was announced just before the doors opened. The song was delivered with true emotion and passion, and Collier and company harnessed that energy and infused it into their entire set. The ensemble filled the set with fun and familiar covers, such as “Come Together” and “Get Back” by The Beatles, which really connected with the passionate Brooklyn Comes Alive audience.
Check out videos of “Amazing Grace” into a stomping version of “Churchin'”, as well as Rosie’s take on “Come Together” below. But, be warned, you might just find yourself rising up and getting down, wherever you happen to be! Enjoy!
“Amazing Grace” > “Churchin”