Frankie Beverly: Soul Music God
It’s so good to be alive, thriving, and seeing things clearly in this day and time. Us, from gen-x, we’ve transitioned into the phase of life from whence our parents’ once were, and it’s a blessing in itself arrive here. Yes, the joys and pains of it all have played its part in our growth. We’d be no less good without those experiences.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, what does any of this have to do with Maze and Frankie Beverly, Ty? Well, just check those particular words “joys and pains” in the aforementioned sentence earlier in this paragraph, and you’ll get a clear idea of where we’re headed. Come on and walk with me.
The journey of Maze and Frankie Beverly (or Frankie Beverly and Maze, whichever you choose, it’s still the same great band.) is definitely a beautiful one. Think about this: They started out as a singing group, The Butlers, which later ended up becoming Raw Soul, which ended up becoming whom we know today as Maze.
Now, yours truly was not born during the early inception of what was to become Maze. However, being born and raised during their heyday played a big part in what was to come.
Think about this: Since their album debut, 1977’s “Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly”, they enjoyed a string of monster success to the tune of thirty hit singles, nine of which were in the top ten on the Billboard charts.
In addition, of Maze’s ten albums, eight went gold. Talk about consistency, right? Their accolades are fantastic.
Yet, we would be remised if we didn’t focus our attentions on what Maze and Frankie present that holds us all captivated---- their live shows.
Mind you, Frankie has had some issues with his throat over the years, yet the party hasn’t stopped. If you’re blessed to have seen them in concert, you too have been amazed at what this amazing ensemble has presented to the masses worldwide.
If you’re like me, your first experience of hearing Maze and Frankie Beverly live was on radio, when their classic “Live In New Orleans” LP was out, and then on television. The television part was courtesy of BET, which was channel 30 on Continental Cablevision during the 80s. Yes, yours truly had to take you back with that last part; because the X-Finity name change for cable was decades away.
Seeing Maze and Frankie perform songs from “Live In New Orleans” on television was truly amazing. They literally kept the crowd rocking from the opening notes of “You”, to the closing notes of “Reason.” Now, yours truly was only 7, maybe 8 years old when that album came out. I thought it was a little bit of goofy, because of Frankie and his now trademarked baseball cap, yet it was funky at the same time.
The best part of the album, and that particular live show, is the middle part where Maze and Frankie go in with the timeless “Feel That You’re Feelin’” and “The Look In Your Eyes.” If there’s any part of this album that stays on repeat in my truck, it’s those two songs, and in their rightful order.