Curtis Harding: 2017
Curtis Harding and band at WFUV (photo by Kristen Riffert)
Whenever music pays homage to the past — and soul music is a rich tradition to mine — it can be difficult to find voices that are unique, rather than simply being an imitation.
Michigan native Curtis Harding earned his singular sound through a lifetime of experience. He first worked with his mother in a traveling gospel circuit and then cut his teeth in the Atlanta hip-hop scene, before landing a gig with Cee Lo Green as a backup singer.
This was the opportunity that opened doors for Harding, including a connection with Danger Mouse. Following Harding's 2014 debut album, Soul Power, those ties with the producer finally manifested into a collaboration, the single "Wednesday Morning Atonement," on Harding's 2017 sophomore album, Face Your Fear. It also brought another important introduction in the form of producer Sam Cohen.
I spoke to Harding about that fortuitous meeting, and got to know the singer a bit better on his first visit to Studio A. We were also treated to his effortlessly soulful performance of a couple of new songs.