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

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.