“This is a secret show, right?,” said Mayer Hawthorne at the start of his Live from the Artists Den taping. “Well, tonight, the secret word is fun.” He kept his word for the next 90 minutes, as he blazed through two dozen songs in his updated classic soul style, infused with everything from doo-wop to hip-hop. The setting was the opulent Grand Ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, where Hawthorne and his nimble band, The County, thrilled an invitation-only crowd of 400. Filmed for a future episode of the public television series, the set featured selections from Hawthorne’s acclaimed new album, How Do You Do, plus such fan favorites as “Green Eyed Love.”
Mayer Hawthorne is the pseudonym of singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Cohen. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Cohen grew up listening to the classic Motown soul, funk, and hip-hop of nearby Detroit. Stones Throw label head Peanut Butter Wolf signed Cohen after hearing a two-song demo he mistakenly thought were reworkings of old songs from the ’60s and ’70s. In 2009, Mayer Hawthorne’s first full-length album, A Strange Arrangement was released to critical acclaim and support from big name artists such as Kanye West and Justin Timberlake. Two years later, the equally well-received How Do You Do hit shelves, cementing Hawthorne’s place amongst the young retro-revivalist artists of today.
witf airs this episode of Live From the Artist's Den on February 9 at 11 p.m.
Watch a preview below.
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