Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heston brought the dessert

Posted By on Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 1:14 PM

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  • FAITH HILL

The website site for poet and musician Hank Stewart’s “Third Annual Hot Chocolate Affair” boasted a “secret location revealed upon ticket purchase” — which inarguably sounds more alluring than an unmarked warehouse-turned-art-gallery deep in the bowels of Decatur, where the event was really held.

The totally hidden but cozy metal-sculpture-filled gallery was the site of Heston’s concert and listening party for the singer’s sophomore album, Warm Human, Cold World.

Patrons who purchased VIP tickets were treated to center seating and drink tickets. The attire called for “any flavor of chocolate.” Sure enough, the capacity crowd was packed with brown people wearing various shades of brown.

And there were desserts. Lots of desserts. Like a Food Network challenge, a triple-tiered gold-frosted cake with a photo of Heston’s album cover was the center piece of the caterer's marketplace area in the back of the room. Other foodies on deck featured items such as vodka-infused cherries and bacon-coated chocolate on chocolate cupcakes.

That was only part of the decadence. Hank Stewart opened with a series of poems on relationships and sex. And more sex. Not explicit like the “Punanny Poets” of HBO Real Sex fame. Just enough to get a soft R rating. But no worries, there was scarcely anyone under forty in the building. It was very grown and sexy.

During Stewart’s stanzas, Heston and the Hank Stewart Trio chimed in with a few backing vocals. When the R&B crooner was finally introduced, as an artist “who has written songs for Charlie Wilson,” among other accolades, he did not disappoint. His sound harkened back to a time when people really had to sang (not sing); before YouTube popularity determined the path of an artist’s career. He performed tracks such as “Something in the Water” from his new album, to be released in the U.S. and Europe on January 24 through Dome Records. He and the band’s improvised version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” garnered the strongest crowd response.

“Every one song is a personal experience," he said regarding his upcoming release. "That’s where all the inspiration from writing comes from. It’s very much a sensual, sexy, more romantic type of album.”

A little hot chocolate went a long way. Heston was enough. No need for anything sweeter, chocolate-flavored or otherwise.

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