The folks at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz club has really been on their A game lately with bringing some of the soul/R&B talent who really has the ability to touch your spirit, to the DMV as of lately. Their latest offering, Lyfe Jennings. Hitting the musical scene when neo-soul was dominating the game, this young brother from Toledo, Ohio fit comfortably in among his peers in this “sink or swim” industry, and 15 years later, it’s evident that he’s still out doing his thing.
Arriving locally for a show at the BBJC on Friday, January 11, 2019, Lyfe took us on a trip through life, going as far back as his 2004 debut album “Lyfe 268‒192“. Standing before an audience that knew no generational confines, he kept things simple. Rocking the show in a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers, he kept the audience engrossed via his vocal talents.
Lyfe has long had one of those voices that are unique, and comes around every so often. It’s a raspy tone that seemingly carries a lot of conviction with it, but it’s that same conviction that makes him relatable to anyone who listens to his music. It was obvious that the crowd was feeling the vibe, because they were singing each lyric word for word as if they had internalized a few of those songs. At certain moments, it was a little difficult to hear Lyfe sing because audience participation had gotten THAT loud, but that is always the good kind of “problem” that any performing artist would prefer to experience.
Of his back catalog of songs, we were treated to hear “Never Never Land“, “Stick Up Kid“, “Let’s Stay Together“, “Cry“, and “S.E.X” which he performed as a duet with his female background singer that literally stopped the show with her amazing voice. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s what we call sanging! The songs all came to life thanks in part to his four-piece band who were jamming all night long and gave each track the soul and “special sauce” that they needed.
The highlight for us was when we went into his very first single “Must Be Nice”. It kicked off with an extremely mellow, almost acoustic vibe before the full musical production kicked in. Lyfe is currently doing spot dates around the country, so please check him out if you get a chance.
Here’s a gallery of photos below taken by Mike Ware of M&M Photography.