The Isley Brothers Inject Pitchfork Music Festival With Some Classic Soul Check Out Photos and Watch Their Live Pitchfork Performance On Blurred Culture!
“…Another sibling group closed the day out – am I sensing a theme here, Pitchfork? The Isley Brothers formed in 1954 and have spanned decades and genres with one of the longest-running and most influential careers in popular music. Bandmates have come and gone over the past sixty-five years, but they’ve always kept it in the family. Now, the band simply consists of lead singer and founding member, 80-year-old Ronald, and his younger brother and guitarist Ernie, age 67.
The duo hooked younger listeners by mixing modern samples in with some of their iconic hits. Kendrick Lamar’s “I” pays homage to “That Lady,” the Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” borrows from “Between the Sheets,” and Thundercat’s “Them Changes” reworks “Footsteps in the Dark.” It seems like a new hip hop or R&B track samples the Isley Brothers every other day, but the family has impacted all types of music.
Ron recounted showing “Twist and Shout” to the Beatles, who immortalized the track in rock and roll history with their cover. But it was the Isley Brothers carefree performance of the song that first made it a hit before the Beatles released their version. Watching a sea of thousands of people young and old do the twist was pretty amazing.
Even more mind-blowing was Ernie’s ability to play complicated guitar riffs with his tongue better than most could with their hands. He did have a bit of a head start to learning since Jimi Hendrix lived with the family for two years and taught him to play at age 11, but even half a century later, it doesn’t seem like his competitors have really caught up. I never would’ve guessed Ron’s age either, and something about watching them play made getting older look like a lot of fun…”