Let Michael Kiwanuka 'Tell' You 'A Tale'

This past Monday I was lucky enough to catch the lovely Adele as she neared the end of the first of two UK tours she has planned this year. Had I known just how amazing her performance was going to be, I would have bagged myself tickets to see her on her second go round, but unfortunately all her current US and UK tour dates -- for the remainder of the year -- have sold out. As well as seeing Adele do her thing live, those who got to the venue early were treated to an opening set by singer/songwriter/guitarist Michael Kiwanuka. Accompanied by a friend who provided additional guitar and backing vocals, Michael performed a short, but very sweet set of soul-stirring mid-tempo tracks that, while hard to hear over the crowds commotion, definitely caught my attention. Fast forward two days and while perusing the blog of UK soulstress Stac I came across Michael's name and a link to his debut song and video "Tell Me A Tale." The song is the title track from his debut EP, which will gain an official release in June. (I'm kicking myself for not getting a copy on the night!) Drawing comparisons to Marvin Gaye and citing Bob Dylan and Otis Redding as influences, there are no prizes for guessing that Michael's particular brand of soul is of the "retro" variety, however to dismiss it on that basis would be a mistake. Personally, albeit on the strength of this song alone and the half-heard live performances, I think this guy has a little something extra that makes him stand out from all those who have been jumping on an already over-ridden bandwagon. Take a listen and see if you agree.

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