“NOW …. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN ABOUT”
City’s Bloodstone remains one of the soul music scene’s
brightest and longest-burning lights of the soul music scene. Bloodstone
has stood the test of time for more than four decades, all the while
performing with some of pop music’s most renowned and revered
the local scene as “The Sinceres”, band founders Charles
Love, Harry Williams, Willis Draffen, Charles McCormick, Roger Durham,
and Melvin Webb, took their unique sound to stages across their native
Kansas City, crossing racial boundaries and working to establish harmony
both on and off stage. The Sinceres took their act to California,
where they set the L.A club scene on fire. Performing alongside groups
such as then popular Younghearts and The Ike and Tina Turner Revue,
the band honed its skills and crafted what became the distinctive
Bloodstone sound before striking out for London, England in 1972.
chance fifteen minute performance at London’s legendary Roundhouse
Auditorium would soon bring Decca Records knocking at their door.
Stax recording artists Carla and Rufus Thomas and the up and coming
Al Green, had sold out the venue. Bloodstone played as a warm-up act
as Al Green’s band was setting
up backstage, behind the curtains. The band brought the audience to
their feet and kept them there throughout the intermission in what
Britain’s Blues and Soul Magazine described as a history-making
performance. The five-minute standing ovation subsided only when the
band returned to take another bow. Al Green remembered that night
and Bloodstone appeared with him on several tours.
The band that left the U. S as the Sinceres, returned as Bloodstone
to record their second album and their first hit song, “Natural
High.” The group would return to London both to record with
the London Symphony Orchestra’s string section and appear with
such artists as the Who and Sir Elton John. While Natural High was
being certified gold, the band suffered their first loss with the
passing of band member Roger Durham.
Bloodstone recorded five albums with Decca, venturing into movies
with the 1975 Charles Rondeau picture “Train Ride to Hollywood.”
After recording albums on Epic-CBS and Motown and fighting through
the disco era, the band performed with such artists as Marvin Gaye,
the O'Jays, the Temptations, Elton John, Gladys Knight & the Pips,
the Supremes, Sly and The Family Stone, Chaka Khan and many others.
Bloodstone signed with the Isley Brothers’ T-Neck Record label,
recording the legendary “We Go A Long Way Back” in 1982
and while on tour received word that Melvin Webb, their longtime friend
and drummer passed away.
Old School revival of the early 1990s brought Bloodstone back to prominence,
and they began an extensive slate of live performances throughout
the nation and overseas.
the death of founding members Roger Durham in 1972, Melvin Webb in
1982 and Willis Draffen in 2002, Bloodstone have kept on singing.
Instead of looking for a new voice from the west coast or the east
only had to look across the state line to ask Kansas City, Kansas
Donald Brown to join the group. Needless to say he was more than excited
to become a member of the group who’s music he’d come
has now relocated back to Kansas City, started their own record label
and have now released their first CD. “Now! That’s What
I’m Talkin’ About!” on Check It Records, highlights
what Bloodstone hopes to introduce as “the Kansas City Sound”,
introducing the nation to the often-overlooked area’s talented
musicians, songwriters, singers and producers.
this newest chapter of the group’s career, Bloodstone has made
the long journey from scrappy innovators to elder statesmen of soul
and will continue to do so with grace, talent and in perfect harmony.