It’s been a minute since the last Sidebar podcast but I figured I could make things up to y’all by busting out an interview with Syl Johnson, the legendary R&B/funk musician/singer out of Chicago. Syl’s going to be playing in Los Angeles, with Breakestra no less, on February 11th and I am hella excited to see how they’ll team up.

Syl’s been riding a wave of re-discovery every since his Complete Mythology anthology dropped on Numero Group back in 2010.1 We talked about how busy he’s been, especially in working with a new generation of young singers, but the podcast is mostly devoted to going through the history of his songs, including getting a back story to “Different Strokes” that I had never heard before. I wouldn’t say it’s NSFW…but it’s definitely adult material!

All that plus you get to hear Syl doing his best Ol Dirty Bastard impersonation. Hot damn!

The Sidebar #22: Syl Johnson

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Music used in the podcast (all available on The Complete Mythology unless *otherwise indicated*)

  1. Here’s my NPR review of the set in case you missed it.



2 comments to THE SIDEBAR #22: SYL JOHNSON

  • Eliani

    Eating my heart out over that show! Would have loved to make it.

  • Kurt

    Oliver: So how did you come up with that opening groove [to “It is because I’m black?”], it’s so dark, it’s so moody?

    Syl: It’s because I’m good!

    Hah! Great podcast OW, thanks…

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