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Friday, March 17

Brian McKnightat the Midland Theatre

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Since the advent of the "new jack swing," super-producer Teddy Riley's late-'80s push to inject hip-hop beats into R&B, soulful singers who play their songs instead of having someone program them have become increasingly rare. However, Brian McKnight, whose latest release, Back At One, has earned him Grammy, Soul Train Award, and Blockbuster Music Award nominations, supplements his rich vocals with talented turns on keyboards, bass, and drums. Signed to a record contract at age 19, this Buffalo native has displayed his talents on four successful albums while lending his producing chops to projects by such artists as Xscape, Chico DeBarge, and Take 6. Although McKnight might pick up his guitar on a few occasions during his live show, his concerts focus primarily on the power of his voice, and his renditions of romantic selections, such as "Anytime," should leave a large percentage of the audience breathless. 702 might start the evening off by inquiring, in the words of its hit song, "Where My Girls At?" But it shouldn't take too much searching for heartthrob McKnight to locate his screaming female fan base when he steps onto the Midland's stage.

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