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Mayer Hawthorne: New Detroit Soul

Calling Mayer Hawthorne "retro" wouldn't be far off, nor would it be the first time the Detroit multi-instrumentalist and producer has heard the label. But Hawthorne's '60s- and '70s-inspired soul sound represents more than just a throwback.

The Detroit-based jazz and soul music Hawthorne grew up on has stayed with him. Despite the retro sound and image, Hawthorne never seems to live in the past. A modern musician, he's as comfortable performing on stage as he is in a skate park. Hawthorne's latest effort, A Strange Arrangement, finds him crafting songs with both an old-school feel and a contemporary vibe.

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