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Mayer Hawthorne: The New Old School

A former hip-hop DJ, Mayer Hawthorne(the "soul name" of Andrew Cohen) has transformed himself into a new old-school R&B sensation. Though Hawthrone has been a musician and producer throughout his life, his foray into singing is a recent development. Hawthorne's work seems heavily indebted to the '60s and '70s soul music of Memphis and particularly Detroit; it's hard not to think of the Detroit-born performer's work as an overt homage to the Motown label.

Hawthorne recorded every instrumental part himself, from keyboards to horns, as well as every layer of rich vocal harmonies. For his debut album, A Strange Arrangement, Hawthorne assembled and arranged the majority of his sweet soul songs in his bedroom studio. The end result is a wonderful collection of nostalgic old-school music, which hints at a contemporary sound.

Note: This segment originally ran on 11/5/09

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