The Womack, the Chez Nous-inspired nightspot created by Tucker Woodbury's Genuine Concepts, will open its doors on September 30.
Now, the plan is to recapture some of the Chez Nous vibe in The Womack by bringing in some of the same musicians that once played the classic Phoenix club.
The vintage lounge was a fixture of Phoenix nightlife for 44 years. A windowless building meant that the lights were low and the atmosphere decidedly sexy as R&B acts and soul artists filled the walls with smooth, sultry sounds.
The Roscoe Taylor Band will be playing the club on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, according to Woodbury. More acts will be added to the calendar as time passes, he says, but those plans are still in the air until the club opens.
"The Roscoe Taylor Band will be playing R&B, funk, and soul, and all of the danceable stuff they used to play at Chez Nous back when, so it's kind of a homecoming for them," he says.
Chez Nous was a staple of Phoenix nightlife for decades. In 2000, New Times' Brian Smith described the scene as "a microcosm of the Valley's population, of ethnicity, age, size, and gender. White, black, brown, smart, stupid, silly, happy, drunk. There are slinky strippers with moneyed suitors. There are divorcée moms going out. Cocksure gents work every angle. Snow-haired couples with decades of connubiality behind them."
Taylor is a drummer-turned-singer that got his start as a gospel singer. He has recorded original music, but most of the stuff he performed at Chez Nous were covers. And even those were pretty fantastic.
"When Taylor sings a song, he has the ability — that gift — to actually justify its existence, even if it's a disco cover," Smith wrote. "Combine that skill and the sexual tension he oozes, and it's no wonder nearly everybody who sees him perform is baffled as to why he isn't a major star."