On this weekend’s The Progressive Underground: groundbreaking Detroit-based super-group BLACK BOTTOM COLLECTIVE

Black Bottom Collective

On this weekend’s The Progressive Underground (TPU), host Chris Campbell delves into the musical discography and interviews Detroit-based R & B/progressive hip hop super-group BLACK BOTTOM COLLECTIVE in advance of their reunion concert performance on August 7, Hastings Street Ballroom in Detroit titled “Return of the Soul Stirrin’ Meeting.”  

Also featured is music from Nite Funk, Beat Spacek, LeXus, Jneiro Jarel, Monica Blaire, Alton Miller, BadBadNotGood, and many more!  TPU features the best in techno, deep house, future soul, nu-jazz, b-sides and rare grooves.  The action happens this Sunday, July 31, 8-11 pm EST on 101.9 WDET and wdet.org.

 

BLACK BOTTOM COLLECTIVE BIO

Detroit’s Black Bottom Collective boldly treads the musical arena in the spirit of artists who have bent the rules of music, only to create innovative avenues for fans to enjoy. Their sound mashes raw urban energy with the roots of rock. Their music is hip-hop. Spoken word. Soul. If you need a section of the record store to look for them, go to “Rap.” But be prepared for much more.

Black Bottom Collective’s live show is their signature. It’s so ferocious, energetic and revivalist that it’s been dubbed the “soul-stirrin’ meetin’.” Few fans ever settle for just one outing. They return for the band’s lyrical content. No, for their gospel-tinged power harmonies. Maybe the angry guitars, or the DJ, or the rhythm section. Maybe they’re so loyal because they’ve discovered a crew whose music helps them leave venues, or CDs players, feeling better than they did before arriving, or pressing play.

Christened in 1999, the name honors a Detroit neighborhood that thrived during the 1940s and 50s. As the band grew its membership – African-American, European American, Native American, male and female – began mirroring segments of the fabled enclave. This inclusiveness represents an unheralded part of Motown’s history, the part that quietly boasts more than 140 cultures within city limits.

Black Bottom Collective’s ethnicity influenced their sound as members contributed individual tastes to songs. Traces of The Roots, Bob Marley and Black Sabbath began to show up in their sets. No matter the makeup of the audience, or where the band played, crowds ate it up. Trails were blazed, and people followed. And not just in Detroit. After conducting a national search, Budweiser’s True Music Live organization declared them one of America’s best six unsigned bands in 2004. Their story and photo ran in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair that same year.

Their growing fan base supported their debut album, 2002’s Stay Low, Keep Movin’, which won Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding Funk/Hip Hop/Urban Recording in 2003, and for Outstanding Funk/Hip-Hop Group in 2004 and 2005. Three award-winning years, from one album. Their follow up, People Mover, continued in this vein, winning awards in 2006 & 2007. The band won a 2008 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Hip-Hop Recording in collaboration with Grammy award-winning producer Don Was.

Black Bottom Collective insists that it’s unnecessary to validate themselves by dropping the names of artists they’ve opened for or performed with. The truth is, however, their experiences span far and wide, and they’ve landed on stages with people worth mentioning. So…the names, anyway. Common. Mos Def. Talib Kweli. Angie Stone. Dwele. Stevie Wonder. Nnenna Freelon. Vinx. Jill Scott. KRS-One. Doug E. Fresh. Will Downing. Cee-Lo Green. Dianne Reeves. Joe Hunter of The Funk Brothers. Angelique Kidjo. Quincy Troupe. Chuck D.

(Taken from Black Bottom Collective’s Facebook page)

Image credit: Cybelle Codish

About the Author

Chris Campbell

Host/Producer, The Progressive Underground

Host/journalist/DJ/producer with a deep interest in curating Detroit’s rich music scene and presenting it to the world-at-large.

ccampbell@wdet.org   Follow @cambeaux

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