'Twilight for Gladys Bentley' is the debut solo album from award-winning poet and musician, Shirlette Ammons. She calls the album a 're-imagining' of the trail-blazing blues singer and bulldagger, Gladys Bentley. Ammons spent over a year on a personal journey to explore and re-interperate the unsung blues singer who defied sexual and gender norms while putting on one of the hippest performance in 1920′s Harlem. 'Twilight for Gladys Bentley,' is the result of that exploration.
Shirlette says, "I wanted to create a record that uses hip hop, the music of posturing and prowess of my day, to channel the memory of Gladys Bentley. Gladys took popular songs and replaced the lyrics with raunchy, more provocative ones. I instead wrote original tunes that conjure the same energy of rebellion and sexual liberation."
Rather than conjuring up the blues like Gladys, Shirlette uses hip hop to create a record that revisits the steaze of southern dandyism, that is lyrically dapper, a little raunchy and a lot queer. The album features guest appearances from Sy Smith, W. Ellington Felton, Chaunesti Webb, Jocelyn Ellis, Germany's rap "Quing," Sookee and fellow Grip Tapes artist Little Hollow.
released 05 March 2013
Tracks 1, 10 and 11 produced by Bueller Tout'nou and Max Bedroom
Tracks 2, 3 and 5 produced by Shirlette Ammons and Max Bedroom
Tracks 4, 7 and 9 produced by Max Bedroom
Tracks 6, 8 and 13 produced by Apple Juice Kid and Max Bedroom
Shirlette Ammons is a Mt Olive-native and Durham, NC- based poet and musician who also directs a youth arts program. Her
most recent projects include Matching Skin feat the John Anonymous EP, a collection of poetry published by Carolina Wren Press and And Lovers Like, a collaborative album with the Dynamite Brothers. If you see her in the street, ask her about Bentley Mode....more