Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little John Roberts brings soul/live music fans 'Simply the Best'

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 10:33 AM


Longtime ATL-based fans of artists like India.Arie, Anthony David and Donnie are, more than likely, familiar with the name Little John Roberts. A world-renowned drummer and musical director, Roberts and his band the Chronicle are considered architects of Atlanta’s underground new-soul scene — known mostly for inspiring a generation of artists (like the previously mentioned India, Anthony and Donnie) with their weekly live music set in the mid-1990s at the legendary Yin Yang Café (now known as Apache Café).

Admirers of Roberts, however, may not be in the know about his latest musical endeavor: Simply the Best. Conducted by him and produced in association with the local promotional company Hot Ice Live, the new event (which kicked off about one month ago) goes down down every Thursday at 595 North and features music by a re-formed version of the Chronicle.

“Simply The Best has been growing — as anything new takes time for people to catch on,” said Roberts “We've had four shows so far, and the word is starting to get out around town that we're even at 595 North Event Venue.”

But as audiences catch on to the soulful web Roberts & Co. are currently spinning, the question is will they be treated to a nostalgic walk through Yin Yang … or something completely different?

“This time after doing the Yin Yang — as well as Oxygen, Club Kaya and most recently Sugarhill in the Underground — consistently for the last decade, I've decided to do something more structured than the famous ‘spontaneous jam sessions and sit-ins.’ It’s more of an artist showcase, if I might say, where I'm allowing the artists to perform at least three of their original songs backed by an all-star band directed by me. We usually have about three artists every show to perform, hand-picked by me and the Simply The Best team,” he said. “My main concern was that people want to hear something different outside of the normal ‘cover band’ songs that they've been hearing at clubs and venues forever in different cities. I'm bringing them something fresh and new and original from up-and-coming artists that they've probably never heard of and some they might have!”

Interested in getting a look and a listen? You can catch the next installment of Simply the Best tonight (Nov. 10), which co-stars DJ Salah Ananse the instrumental group Snarky Puppy. Here’s a clip of the band in action — with drum assists by Roberts himself:

$25. Doors open at 8 p.m. 595 North, 595 North Ave. To purchase tickets, visit

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