Concert Reports



Macy Gray

08/09/2012, Chumash Casino Resort

Seal and Macy Gray Bring the Soul 2 Tour to the Chumash Casino Resort


All Photos: Gary Lambert/

Very Special Thanks: Hildy Medina

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Seal80.jpgGrammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Seal recaptured the magic of 1970s R&B and soul, while Macy Gray lent her soulful voice to an eclectic array of modern hits, when the Soul 2 Tour arrived at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom.


Seal, the London-born singer who reached international stardom with hits such as “Crazy” and “Kiss from a Rose,” performed songs off his new album, “Soul 2,” which pays homage to the music coming out of Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia in the 1970s by legends such as Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Smokey Robinson, Bill Withers, the Spinners and the O’Jays.


“Soul 2” is a follow-up to Seal’s “Soul” album, which was released in 2008 and featured covers of songs by Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and others. It sold 3 million copies worldwide and was the top-selling album of the decade in France. “Soul 2” leans more to the ‘70s, digging deep into a time in which artists explored new heights of personal expression and cultural openness with equal measures of inventive creativity and populist immediacy. As a set it features love songs (the Chi-Lites’ “Oh Girl,” Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “Ooo Baby Baby”), out-of-love songs (Pendergrass’ “Love T.K.O.,” Rose Royce’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”) and some that are both (the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around”).




“These songs have a definite sound to them,” Seal says. “Of course, I can say this because I didn’t write them, but they were great songs. And I had such a good time singing them because they mean something to me. They’ve kind of chronicled my childhood and my adolescence.”


Macy20.jpgSeal is joined on the tour by Macy Gray, who won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2001 for her song “I’ll Try” and is best known for her distinctive raspy voice and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday and Betty Davis. She’s lending her unique voice to other artists’ songs on her latest album “Covered,” which features a surprising blend of genres. The soul singer puts her spin on hits from Metallica, Kanye West, MC Lyte, Radiohead, Sublime, Arcade Fire and many others. The first single off the album is “Here Comes the Rain Again,” which was originally performed by the Eurythmics.



Gray’s “I’ll Try” was featured on her multi-platinum debut album “On How Life Is,” which also featured hits such as “Still” and “Why Didn’t You Call Me?” She has released six studio albums, including “Big,” which garnered critical acclaim in 2007 and is seen by some as some of her best work to date. 


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