published Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Music at Mocha: Xsklusive, Bar-Kays anchor Friday, Saturday shows - Feb. 14-15

The Bar-Kays
The Bar-Kays

Mocha Restaurant & Lounge, 511 Broad St., plans a weekend of Valentine’s music.

The first night, “an evening of elegance,” is designed to “show the ladies nothing but love” with R&B group Xsklusive and the Mocha Renaissance Band.

The second night is meant to have you “Shake Your Rump to the Funk” with The Bar-Kays as the Memphis soul group makes the first stop on its 2014 tour.

■ Friday, Feb. 14: Xsklusive — AJ, Quan and CJ — is presented by Moshay Entertainment, Mocha’s events group. They’ll perform songs for lovebirds, as well as Xsklusive originals with the Mocha band.

There will be two shows. Doors open at 5 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show and at 9:30 p.m. for the 10 p.m. show. Admission to the first show is $5 for the first 50 tickets, $10 for the rest. All tickets to the second show are $10. Reserved VIP seating is $20, which includes a bottle of house wine.

■ Saturday, Feb. 15: The Bar-Kays originated as Stax Records’ house band in 1966, offering the sound of soul in a city known for singing the blues and birthing rock ‘n’ roll. The Bar-Kays released 29 albums, including one with platinum sales (1 million) and five that went gold (500,000 sold). The band’s 20 Top 10 singles included the 1967 smash “Soulfinger.”

Their vibrant approach landed them a backup spot on a worldwide tour with Otis Redding, but it ended in tragedy, with Redding and four band members perishing in a 1967 plane crash.

The Bar-Kays soldiered on, recruiting vocalist Larry Dodson. The new edition went on to play on Stax records behind such artists as Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Soul Children and Isaac Hayes. They were integral to Hayes’ landmark albums “Hot Buttered Soul,” “Black Moses” and the Grammy-winning “Shaft.”

Besides Dodson, the current incarnation features founding member James Alexander, who plays bass. Other members of the band are guitarists Mike Anderson and Tony Gentry, keyboardists Mark Bynum and Ezra Williams, drummer Carlos Sargent, background vocalists Darrel Stanley and Archie Love and sound engineer Bryant Nesbitt.

Shows start at 7 and 10 p.m. General seating is $20; VIP seating is $30. The first 100 tickets bought at the restaurant will be discounted by $5.

For reservations to either show, call 423-531-4154 or visit www.mochajazz.net and click on Events/Tickets.

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