ROBERT A. KRAFT
Original Vintage Soul
The title is a nod to my late brother Stuart – one of the first artists to move into the Oak Cliff neighborhood between West Davis and West Colorado Blvd in Dallas. I would stay with him occasionally, when things got bad at home, and worked for him as a welder, steel cutter, and finisher in his sculpture studio, off and on, for years. The stereo was always blasting, and it was there that I discovered KKDA – 730 AM, “Soul 73”. I guess I was 15 or 16 years old. I listened to that station all day, sometimes.
Deep Ellum wasn’t far away. There were just a few beer joints open back then. The rest was used tire stores, pawnshops, warehouses and vacant storefronts. I would wander that direction after work to do some underage drinking (never got carded!) and listen to juke boxes stuffed with 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s R&B, or sit at the feet of venerated local bluesmen performing live on tiny stages for tips and “old time’s sake”.
That whole area around Downtown Dallas - Oak Cliff, Fair Park, Deep Ellum - was a steaming mix of Tejano music, Blues, Honky Tonk, Rhythm and Blues, and Soul music, drifting from the open doors of barber shops, cafes, from bars and night clubs. It was in the air, if you knew where to find it, back in the days before the Prophet Bar and the “revitalization” of Deep Ellum, or the realization of The Bishop Arts District.
I guess all of that music got under my teenage skin, and it has sweated out of me in almost all the music I’ve made over the years, and it infuses this latest project. I hope we capture the feeling of the world back then, and the hopeful belief that music truly could take us somewhere better, together.
NORTH BISHOP AVE.
The New Single!
Available NOW! on iTunes!
Photos by Sandra Dahdah
White Background Photos by Mary Keating Bruton
“Robert Kraft makes smart music that's also irresistably danceable. Everything he touches becomes an instant classic.” - Brennen Leigh