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Syl Johnson 

When: Thu., Jan. 16, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., Fri., Jan. 17, 7:30 & 10 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 18, 7:30 & 10 p.m. 2014
Price: $20, $22
Over a recording career that has spanned more than five decades, Mississippi-born singer-guitarist Syl Johnson has turned his attention from Chicago blues and funk to Memphis soul and touched on hip-hop with his daughter, rapper-singer Syleena Johnson. He scored his biggest hit in 1975 with a Willie Mitchell-produced 45 RPM version of the Al Green album track “Take Me to the River,” but is most beloved by soul connoisseurs for a series of funky late-Sixties hits, beginning with “Come On Sock It to Me” and including the widely sampled “Different Strokes” and the protest songs “Is It Because I’m Black?” and “Concrete Reservation,” all of which appear in the four-CD, six-LP box set Complete Mythology, issued in 2010 by the Numero Group. Still socking hard at age 74, Johnson will play an extremely rare Bay Area engagement at Biscuits and Blues (401 Mason St., San Francisco) Thursday through Saturday.
— Lee Hildebrand


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