The Soul Prophets

Soul Prophets

I think it was in 1987, I went to a show at The Palms in Davis, California. Robert Nakashima & The Soul Prophets were opening a show for Joe Louis Walker. Robert and his band had been playin' around Sacramento at Sam's Hof Brau and had a regular Sunday gig at the On Broadway. When they took the stage it started out with his usual blend of rapid fire guitar work evolving around a blues and soul base with some jazz and fusion thrown in. Then about the fourth song, out struts this tall young man in a blue waiter's jacket. It was like a scene from a B movie or something. But as soon as he started singing, I was astonished. With his hand held to his ear and him kneeling on one knee, he put on a performance that included takes on Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, and my man, Otis Redding. His name was Marcel Smith. After the show, I went and talked to him and told him I wanted him and the band to come play at my house, at a barbecue for a few dozen friends. I think that he thought I was just kidding, 'cause we never got around to it. Last year, I decided to repeat that same show at a Valentine's dinner dance in San Francisco. The Soul Prophets just tore it up. The place was in a dancin' frenzy. During the break, I had to convince the people who were leaving that the main act was still to come. Later in the year, they entered the Amatuer Blues Talent contest, where the winner would sp_prmo2.jpg (7067 bytes)appear at the Long Beach Blues Festival. They made it to the West Coast semi-finals in San Francisco. Joe Louis Walker was one of the judges, and the band competing against them was the Spiritual Corinthians, a band Joe Louis had played with for ten years. To make it short, the Soul Prophets won, and advanced to the finals.  Earlier this year during balloting for the SAMMIE award for the best blues band in Sacramento, a position Little Charlie and the Nightcats has held since its inception, an unusual thing happened. For the first time ever, in any category, there was a tie. So, two awards were given for the best blues band, the veteran Nightcats and the upcoming Soul Prophets.
- Big Mike

 Check out the Prophets' Have Mercy! release, From The Old School

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