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Legendary soul singer Al Green still preaching good music



The Rev. Al Green hasn't lost his reputation for putting on a stellar show. Looking toward Friday's concert at Riverwind Casino in Norman, he recounted his last visit to Oklahoma.

"Well, I did Tulsa, Okla., last year. And the crowd is downright rowdy," he said. "You know how Oklahoma is: They like to get out in the aisle and party with ya."

Green's upcoming album is being produced by ?uestlove of the rap group The Roots, and Green said its hip-hop feel is "friskier" than his past material.

"The changes are coming from a little more different places, you know, a little more quicker," he explained. "The times are a little quicker. But still, they want me to sound like Al, so I still keep playing like Al and keep up with the changes."

That could help Green reach a younger generation, although his appeal has always been universal. Charlie Nicholson, owner of Charlie's Jazz-Rhythm & Blues Records in Oklahoma City, described what makes Green special.

"Al approaches it from the soul," Nicholson said. "Basically, all your soul singers, they try to reach you from their soul. But Al takes it a little step further: he makes you go back and talk to your God, or talk to somebody. He puts that on your mind when he phrases his music." "Dave Bond


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