The Chuck Brown Band at Howard Theatre Friday, Aug. 22

The Godfather of Go-Go would have turned 78 on Friday, Aug. 22. Two years after his death, his final album of new music, Beautiful Life, will be feted at a release concert featuring the Chuck Brown Band and special guests. The album juxtaposes songs Brown recorded shortly before he died with newer numbers recorded by his tight and funky group, sprinkled with cameo appearances by the likes of Wale and Faith Evans. True to Brown’s modus operandi, Beautiful Life incorporates songs and stylings from multiple decades of African-American popular music—the gospel standard “Oh Happy Day” and the suave Lou Rawls cut “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” appear alongside the rap track “Pop That Trunk” and “Still Crankin’.” While Brown’s raspy and soulful vocals and warm guitar-playing will be noticeably absent at the release show, the onstage cast will compensate as best they can. Masterful keyboardist Sweet Cherie, Brown’s rapping daughter KK, and go-go vets like E.U.’s Sugar Bear and Rare Essence’s Jas Funk know how Brown entertained District residents for much of his life. Tonight, they’ll pay him homage by performing D.C.’s own polyrhythmic beat complete with neighborhood shoutouts, call-and-response chants, and the godfather’s sing-along melodies. The Chuck Brown Band performs with Black Alley at 9 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. $22.50–$40. (202) 803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com.

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