The Spinners arrived after Motown’s soulful majesty of the 1960s and just before disco took over in the late ’70s.
But there was nothing in-between about the Spinners’ concert Saturday in The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center. This was full-fledged blast.
The Spinners cooked up a musical stew filled with rhythm and blues, dance, funk and soul. These guys have been around nearly five decades and have enough hits to jam a boxed set.
“Let’s hear it for the 1970s, y’all,” Spinner Charlton Washington said early on.
The group opened with a silky-smooth dance groove on “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.” Washington, along with original member Henry Fambrough, Marvin Taylor, Ronnie Moss, Jesse Peck and Keith Ferguson keep the beat and memories going throughout the show.
A tight, four-piece band backed up the group. They brought a ’70s dance floor riff to “It’s A Shame” and “I’ll Be Around.” The Spinners have a sense of history and it showed during a soulful cover of “Funny How Time Slips Away.”
Next up was the essential Spinners’ song: “Working My Way Back to You.” This sounded like a blend of Motown and disco – with an infectious beat.
The mood turned serious and introspective on “Sweet Sadie,” as Charlton Washington offered a heartfelt lead on the Spinners’ tribute to mothers.
The group had a chance to sample some famous singers during introductions. Tenor Ronnie Moss made like Smokey Robinson with some soaring high notes on “Ooo Baby Baby.” Marvin Taylor turned the heat up on Marvin Gaye’s funky “Let’s Get It On.” And they all joined together on a joyous romp on the Spinners’ hit, “Mighty Love.”
The real highlight, though, came near the end of the concert. That’s when the Spinners paid tribute to Sam Cooke. The group had a big hit with Cooke’s classic song, “Cupid.”
They turned the old R&B hit into a ’70s dance floor staple when the Spinners mashed it up with “I’ve Loved You For a Long Time.”
One this night, however, there was another Sam Cooke chestnut to be roasted in a delectable musical way – “Having a Party.” The Spinners all kicked in to make it a wickedly soulful finale that did Sam Cooke proud and had The Sharon rocking.
Tony Violanti is a veteran journalist and writes for Villages-News.com.