This year at Bergen Fest, Naomin Shelton was the unexpected positive experience to me, like Charles Bradley was at the Oya Festival last year. And intersting enough, both artists are signed to Daptone Records, the foremost record company for old-time soul after 2000.
Naomi Shelton has been singing gospel and soul for more than 50 years, but released her debut CD, What Have You Done, My Brother on Daptone Records in 2009. Before this CD, she had released several singles in earlier years, but she had been singing continuously for many years.
Her singing career started about 1960, when she was inspired by artists like Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding to try to sing secular R ‘n’ B. She was instantaneously popular on the local scene, and in 1963 she moved to New York and started a three gigs a week job at Brooklyn’s Night Cap. Here she met Clifford Driver, who became her lifelong musical mentor.
In the 90’s Driver had put together a vocal group, and he invited Naomi Shelton to join the group as a lead singer. She had been singing in churches and clubs since the 60’s, and accepted the offer. THey made a couple of singles, but it was not until 2009 that the debut CD came out.
This year she played at Bergen Fest, and her concert was held at the tent scene. Her voice is strong and sweet at the same time, and she had a great report with the audience. Her bamd was classic gospel soul, and she did a good mix of the songs from the album
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.