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Kenny Lattimore brought his "A" game, as always, to the Birchmere in Arlington, Virginia on this warm summer night. Over 15 years into his solo career, Lattimore continues to bring the heat whenever he performs. Starting out with the inviting strains of "Come To Me" from his WEEKEND CD, he immediately set the tone for the evening and welcomed the audience into his 500-seat "living room" for an intimate conversation with music.

"Days Like This" from his fine 1998 FROM THE SOUL OF MAN CD continued the groove while he showed off some of his dance moves from back in the day. Reaching back to the beginning with his first hit "Never Too Busy," Lattimore confirmed the enduring appeal of this classic tune.

Introducing a song from his forthcoming BACK 2 COOL project, he spoke about his intention for his music "to speak to the hearts of women and the minds of men." Now that is an ambitious undertaking, but with a song like "What Must I Do," which is all about fixing whatever is wrong in the relationship, he seems on track.

One of the strongest tracks from his debut CD was the up-tempo track "Climb the Mountain." This is always a highlight in Lattimore's live show allowing him a chance to show he can do more that sing a love song. Some fine work by his background singers really made this come to life. This definitely stand the test of time.

Breaking into his best British accent, he offered his version of two Beatles classics. First up was his sweet version of "And I Love Her" which was on his last CD, the very fine TIMELESS (which too many people missed - go get it!). One of the high points of the show was his searing take on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with the able support from his guitarist Willy Woo and the rest of his band. This songs builds from a simple guitar strum to a full on inquisition, and then back to a quiet, dramatic ending. Bravo!

Being a DC native, Lattimore waxed poetic about the origins of The Quiet Storm radio format in his hometown. (Who knew he could do a spot on imitation of Phyllis Hyman!) This served as his introduction to his hit version of Norman Connors' "You Are My Starship," another track from his TIMELESS CD (see video on this page for an excerpt).

Turning to his forthcoming CD again, he served up "Built to Last" and his current hit, the sincere mid-tempo ballad "Find A Way," which has been a welcome addition to the airwaves for the last couple of months.

After bringing the crowd alive with his hit "Weekend," Lattimore finished the show with a touching story about overcoming his innate shyness and declaring why he does what he does, with his greatest hit "For You" one of the most enduring ballads of the last 20 years.

Kenny Lattimore proves that with his peerless instrument and a collection of well crafted songs in his arsenal, an artist can thrive in this ever changing world of music even as the industry continues to evolve. Only the strongest survive and he has shown he has what it takes to keep on growing. His versatility is his greatest asset and there is no limit to even greatest success for him.

About the Writer
Michael Lewis is a long-time associate at His industry experience includes Sony Music, Motown and La Face Records, and a tenure at HEAR Music. He is grateful to contribute to sustaining the legacy of R&B and soul music.

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