Local Wire

Anthony Hamilton

Anthony Hamilton hasn't had an easy time of it. His first release was shelved when Uptown Records hit the skids. And then, after proving himself a critical darling with sales to match on MCA, he signed to Soulife, which went out of business just in time to not release what would have been his debut for the label. Fortunately, things are going better since his Grammy-nominated vocal on the Nappy Roots' track "Po' Folks" in 2002. His next two albums even saw the light of day, positioning Hamilton, a gritty yet sophisticated singer, as the new Bill Withers. By 2005, his profile had been raised enough that Rhino acquired the rights to his Soulife recordings. But what really sealed the deal was Ain't Nobody Worryin', an album so old-school, the first sound you hear is a wah-wah pedal. And the thing is, where most artists pimping the soul-revival tent come off as quaint or even dorky, Hamilton puts it out there like the kind of guy who's lived his songs, not some fool playing dress-up on '70s soul night.
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Ed Masley