Despite his personal interest in Cleveland, he swears he had nothing to do with choosing to give us this pre-Thanksgiving treat. Hamilton is set to appear at 9 p.m. this Wednesday in the House of Blues’ Foundation Room, 308 Euclid Ave., with J Pennelope and Antoine Dunn on the side as part of The Grey Goose Martini Experience.
By FELICIA C. HANEY
Known for his soulful feel and captivating voice, Anthony Hamilton has mastered the art of the love song. And this Thanksgiving, he’ll sprinkle a little of that love on Cleveland’s plate to satisfy our palettes with a shot of Grey Goose to wash it all down. Hamilton is set to appear at 9 p.m. this Wednesday in the House of Blues’ Foundation Room, 308 Euclid Ave., with J Pennelope and Antoine Dunn on the side as part of The Grey Goose Martini Experience.
The singer, songwriter and seven-time Grammy-nominee is no stranger to the Rock Hall city, in fact he has a very personal connection here. “My wife is from Cleveland,” said Hamilton. “And, we get out there pretty often actually; come down there to eat.” Eat? In Cleveland? Not words you’d usually hear from out-of-towners so CP2 put Hamilton’s so-called knowledge of Cleveland to the test. Outside of choking it down at the in-laws we wanted to know where else he goes for grub when he’s in town. “We come down there and eat. I’ve been to a few places… Crocker Park, they have a lot of good restaurants out there. I’ve been down to Pickwick and Frolic, I really like that, and uhh Hot Sauce Williams.” Hot Sauce Williams? Now that’s more like it “coming from where he’s from.”
Despite his personal interest in Cleveland, he swears he had nothing to do with choosing to give us this pre-Thanksgiving treat. But, the powers that be were kind enough to schedule a three-day break before and three-day break after his stop in Cleveland on the Woo Tour, which serves as the prequel to his highly anticipated fourth studio album, “Back to Love” due out in December.
Although he was mums the word as far as details are concerned for fear of losing his intended shock value, he did promise that, “This time around I’ll definitely push the envelope, strategize and build my profile from clothing to hairstyle to cologne, well I don’t wear cologne, but the shoes I may wear, to the toothpaste, whatever it may be. Just building the brand.” And that brand also includes Hamilton’s future career goals as not just a CEO of a label, but branching out into film scoring, writing, producing and acting as well. After cameos in “American Gangster” and “Soundtrack for a Revolution” (co-written, directed and produced by Dan Sturman, a Shaker Heights native), Hamilton has definitely been bitten by the bug.
Do we smell a mogul in the making? “Yeah, you have to grow,” said Hamilton. “You’re only here for a season and your job is to enjoy, make the best of it and leave something for somebody else. I want my children to be able to enjoy life and be able to take what I created and live on through it and allow me to live on through it. A good legacy never hurt anybody.” And with twin boys fresh off a first birthday celebrated earlier this month, Hamilton’s legacy is definitely growing at twice the speed.
Singing since the age of 10 in his church choir, his vocal prowess has allowed him to span an array of different genres from rock to hip-hop, country and soul. Unable to be boxed in, Hamilton has created his own lane with the green light to go straight to the top of the charts. When asked to describe his music and what he considers it, Hamilton said “Real and relevant, just good music. Soul, R&B whatever makes you comfortable. If you’ve got the white collar friends who are high up on the pedestal and R&B is not classy enough then you can call it Soul music. If your in the ‘hood and you ridin’ out then you call it ‘that’s my joint.’ Or you can call it ‘classic soul’ if you’re really trying to show off… Neo Soul, that’s that new stuff. I mean I used to fight that but, whatever. Call it Anthony Hamilton. Call it whatever you want as long as you listen to it.”
Speaking of “new stuff,” Hamilton, who’s been singing professionally since 1993, commented on the state of today’s music where “real music” like his doesn’t always get the notoriety it deserves. “There are a lot of trends in today’s music. It kinda lacks individuality,” the multi-faceted entertainer said. “And the real music… a lot of people don’t know that there are more people doing that kind of music than just John Legend. I think once people get a chance to really hear it, they’re gonna love it.”
So this Thanksgiving, give a lot of love and get your tickets! Be a part of Anthony Hamilton’s legacy partly rooted right here in Cleveland. Tickets are $32 in advance and $37 at the door and are available at Livenation.com, Ticketmaster.com and the House of Blues box office. But, if you show up with some wings and fries with sauce, you might just get a backstage pass!