WATCH: “Tell Me” by Devin B Thompson

The Rock & Roll Globe is proud to premiere the latest video from the Chicago soul blues luminary

Devin B Thompson (Art: Ron Hart)

The intersection of blues and soul is still a vibrant thoroughfare in 2020 as Chicago artist Devon B Thompson delivered a most auspicious debut LP this fall with Tales of the Soul.

And, like such classic acts like Syl Johnson, Luther Allison and the dearly departed Lucky Peterson, Thompson uses his own recipe of blues and soul to raise awareness of the many injustices that came to light during this COVID year. Which is why the Rock & Roll Globe is honored to premiere the video for Thompson’s latest single “Tell Me,” a riveting update on the indelible homebrew of grit and groove that’s been the calling card for Chicago blues artists since the heyday of Chess. 

“I wrote this song about 4 years ago in response to America’s lack of empathy for people who look like I do,” Thompson explains to Rock & Roll Globe. “Funny thing is, you can pick any era and you’ll find that someone has written songs making  similar statements. I find this to be very sad. I know we’ve made progress, but the job isn’t  finished yet. So tell me what would you do if it were you?”

Indeed its quite staggering to think that “Tell Me”–a song that echoes the poignancy of such enduring protest songs as Curtis Mayfield’s “We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue”–was written prior to Trump’s term as President of the United States. That is, of course, until you realize this kind of BS has been happening to Black men and women long before the tragic display of racial disparity that’s defined 2020.

“It’s just about the experience of being a Black man in America,” says Thompson. “The first thing I started with was, ‘Tell me what it is about my skin that you don’t like.’ It’s a real question — people who claim white supremacy can’t tell me why they don’t like me. But then it became a lot more real when Colin Kaepernick was going through some of the things that he was going through. The song is about challenging people to have empathy. In America, people seem to lack the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes.”

Tales of the Soul, which features blues guitar giant Robben Ford on two tracks, is out now on Severn Records.


VIDEO: Devin B. Thompson “Tell Me”


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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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