“The billboard outside the ~newly refurbished Checkmate Lounge reads “The Sensational Latimore and Company.” That’s an adjective that’~ been wasted too many times on mediocre acts. But not this time . Sensational really is the best word to describe Latimore. From_ the moment he struts onto the Checkmate’s stage, bare chested and wearing a massive silver and turquoise Navajo necklace, you know Latimore has got his act together . His personal magnetism captures the audience immediately without having to resort to the extremist theatrics used by so many of today’s performers. . His music is hard to categorize. It is a blend of blue~. Jazz, rock and soul reflecting Latimore’s own varied musical background. The words are honest and from the heart. · He belts out “Qualified Man” as his opening number. Lots of men don’t give a damn, -Wham, Barn, thank you ma’am. Put him out your bed honey, Try me instead, Oh let me be your qualified man. The underly.ing message is obvious and it is ~vid~nt in most of his songs. Be good to your woman and she’ll be good to you: . . He makes this point again while talking to the audience during “Keep the Home Fire Burning.” “A lot of guys think they can have a fire burnin somewhere and still keep the fire burnin’ at home. It won’t work. One day you’re ·gonna walk into your house, and its gonna be warm in there, and you’re gonna find someone else’s fire burnin’ there instead.” The crowd laughs, but to many, his words ring very true. The man sounds like he’s been there . · . . A song called “There’s a Red Neck in the Soul Band” prompts Latimore to introduce his white guitar player Ron Peterson. “A lot of people ask me why I’ve got a white guitar player in my group. · · “I tell them it’s because h.e can.play! .” · The rest of the band consists of Latimore’.s brother, “the Colonel.” on congas, Michael Jones on keyboards, bass player Dave Clark – “he’s from Augusta, Georgia, but he tells everyone he’s from Chicago,” and percussionist Glen “Zeke” Holmes – “he doesn’t like being called just a drummer.” · Latimore proceeds to do his biggest hit to date, the million seller “Let’s Straighten It Out.” The song has more power in live performance than it could possibly have on a record. . Then, from the album It Ain’t Where You Been . .. comes his just released single “Somethin’ About ‘Cha.” He leaves the stage. the band still playing, but is brought back for an encore, a quick refrain from the last song. . The show is over. An hour has passed in what seems like no time. Latimore will be doing two shows nightly. except Monday, through No\·ember 21. Checkmate owner Lenny Levenstein has got a good act. In fact, as the sign says, it’s sensational.
T. K. PRODUCTIONS • 495 S.E. 10th Court• Hialeah, Florida 33010 • (305) 888-1685