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Monday, February 9, 2009

Grammys, part 2

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 4:19 AM

The tribute-to-legacy-artists section, I think, deserves just a touch of snark... if only because this is the city that invented music.

1. Ne-Yo can sing.

Alongside Smokey Robinson, Jamie "I'm Not An R&B Legend, But I Play Some On TV" Foxx and original Top Duke Fakir, Ne-Yo kicked butt (and was the sharpest one on all the choreography, too) during a Four Tops medley in tribute to Levi Stubbs, the vocal group's leader who died this year. Seriously, the man was born forty years too late. He was made to wear a gold suit and spin on his toes while snapping his fingers.

2. Neil Diamond can't.

His breathless, William Shatner-style semi-spoken version of "Sweet Caroline" was very sad.

3. Bo Diddley's band is still alive, y'all.

B.B. King led a very nice tribute to Bo Diddley, with John Mayer, Buddy Guy and Keith Urban whipping out their variations on Bo's signature guitar rhythm. But... it might have been nice to bring out the two guitarists who actually helped create that sound, who played with him since 1957 and 1961 (and who have both played the Ponderosa Stomp) respectively, and who are both still around: Jody Williams and Peggy "Lady Bo" Jones. I'm just saying.

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