“We’re still in the music game. We want to make sure that we balance out the history of the music and still have it sound current. We still manage to make music that feels good to the audience,” said Gary “Big G” Glenn of the sultry soul group Silk.
Silk gave a high-energy performance during the Women’s Walk for Peace annual fundraising event on May 12 at the Homewood Coliseum.
The concert was co-sponsored by the Savoy Restaurant and The North Side Coalition for Fair Housing. All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Women’s Walk for Peace.
“We service low-income families and we wanted to support what the people who live on our properties wanted to do,” said Ronell Guy-Curtis, executive director of the North Side Coalition for Fair Housing. “
The Women’s Walk for A Peaceful Community was started five years ago. The two-mile trek, which is typically held every October, begins on North Charles Street in Pittsburgh’s North Side and ends near the Aviary.
“This is a cause that needs to be celebrated because any woman in an abusive situation is a survivor and needs to be celebrated,” Glenn said.
The group definitely celebrated its long-time fans by giving them a concert they will never forget by performing hits like “Can We Make Love,” “If You,” “Freak Me” and “Lose Control.”
Silk made its mark on the music scene after being discovered by fellow musician Keith Sweat in 1989. They are best known for “Freak Me” and “Happy Days (featuring Keith Sweat),” which were featured on their debut album, “Lose Control” in 1992. Three years later, their self-titled album reached number 21 on the R&B Charts and 1999’s “Tonight” album reached number eight on the same chart. “Love Session” came out in 2001, reaching number two on the R&B chart and number 20 on the US Billboard chart.
In 2003, now down to a quartet, (lead singer “Gary Lil’ G” Jenkins left to pursue a solo career) Silk released “Silktime.” The album held the cover of Blue Magic’s “Sideshow” and reunited them with Sweat in collaboration. But without Jenkins as lead singer, the album sold poorly despite a position of the Billboard charts.
In 2006, Silk released “Always and Forever,” a cover album that featured Prince’s “Adore,” “Always and Forever” by Heatwave, and “Secret Garden.”
“The album had a wide variety of covers on it. It was an opportunity to show off some of our versatility. All the songs on it were songs that we liked and it was a chance for us to try on different shoes. It is one of Tom Joyner’s favorite Silk albums,” Glenn said.
Jenkins returned to the group in 2007 after he released a solo project entitled, “The Other Side” and performed in Tyler Perry’s stage play, “Madea’s Family Reunion.”
Members of the group include Glenn, Tim Cameron, Jimmy Gates, Jonathen “John-John” Rasboro and Gary “Lil G” Jenkins, all of which are still with the group.
The quintet quickly became known for their raunchy love songs like “Freak Me,” “Lose Control,” “Girl U for Me” and others.
“Love is timeless. That’s a subject matter that’s not old or extinct. Everyone’s looking for it so that makes it easy to write songs about it,” Glenn said.
“People were around us, like Gerald Levert, and he helped us to understand what it was like to carry the R&B torch. We may not have known the magnitude of it, but real R&B music was made by all of us,” Glenn continued.
The group, which got its start doing a cappella church harmonies in their home town of Atlanta, is in the process of making a new album to be released sometime this year.
“This is like a marriage, there are good and bad points to it, but at the end of the day, the foundation of the past is the future,” Glenn said.
To remind the audience of its infectious sound, Silk has been performing at numerous events like the Women’s Walk for Peace concert. They were featured artists on this year’s Tom Joyner’s Cruise, along with Sweat, H-Town, Jon B and Slim from fellow R&B group, 112.
“We’re still on good terms with Keith. As long as we’re still doing what we do and he’s still doing what he does, there’s opportunity for us to do another collaboration,” Glenn said.
(For more information on The Women’s Walk for Peace, visit http://www.womenswalk.org or call 412-321-5527.)