“back to Back to Black”: Celebrating Amy Winehouse’s Legacy with Remember Jones and Nik Greeley

It’s been over 10 years since the release of Amy Winehouse’s iconic album Back to Black, but it feels as relevant today as it did in 2006. Next Friday, July 21st, soul vocalist and band leader Remember Jones will recreate the entire classic album with a 15-piece orchestra at Ardmore Music Hall as part of his “back to Back to Black” series.

Philly-based funk rock collective Nik Greeley & The Operators will open the show. Nik Greeley, who is also a member of the funk extravaganza Swift Technique, is known for being one of the best frontmen and performers in Philadelphia, often being compared to the likes of James Brown, Joe Cocker, and Jim Morrison. He talked to Rock On Philly on his admiration for Amy Winehouse and the state of soul music today.

 

Rock On Philly: How did Amy Winehouse and her album Back to Black affect you as a music lover and musician? Do you have a favorite Amy Winehouse song?

Nik Greeley: I think it’s one of the best albums ever made. It’s timeless, and the songs are so well crafted and arranged. The music and lyrics fit together so perfectly. It’s hard to pick a favorite song on that album, but I’d have to say “Love is a Losing Game.” I’m also a big fan of her first album, Frank and love tracks like “Mr. Magic” and “I Heard Love is Blind.” She was the real deal, period.

ROP: For people who have never seen an Operators show, what can they expect from your set?

NG: They can expect a really fun, engaging live experience featuring some of the best players in Philly, who also happen to be many of my best buds. We keep things loose and funky, and we make sure we leave you wanting more, every time.

ROP: This isn’t your first time playing with Remember Jones. When else did you play with him and how were those experiences? 

NG: [The Operators and I] had the pleasure of playing with Remember Jones at the Light of Day Festival in Asbury Park, and I got to come out and sing “Gimme Some Lovin'” with him at his album release party at Asbury Park Convention Hall where the likes of James Brown and Led Zeppelin played back in the day. I’m a big fan of Remember Jones and think he is one of the best singers and frontmen in the game right now.

ROP: What do you think of the current state of soul music? Are there any artists that you are particularly excited about? 

NG: I think we’re seeing an exciting resurgence and interest in soul artists and singers: Charles Bradley, the late great Sharon Jones, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Leon Bridges, Philly’s own Son Little and Mutlu, Allen Stone, Lee Fields, Har Mar Superstar – just to name a few. But there’s soul in all music and genres; Father John Misty or Sturgill Simpson for example: those guys are channeling soul but in their own way. Music is emotion, and soul music hits you right in the gut and stays with you for life.

Tickets for this 21+ show (minors can be accompanied by a parent) can be purchased here

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