As the summer festival seasons go in Shreveport-Bossier, June always belongs to Let the Good Times Roll Festival.
The festival, which kicks off tonight, has become known as a celebration of black culture, food and, most importantly, music. Each year you can always count on at least one big-name, R&B headliner.
Well this year, Rho Omega and Friends are pulling out all of the stops to take festival-goers on a trip down memory lane of 90s R&B with a star-studded lineup that can be best described as the romantic, the cool and the sexy.
The Romantic – Tony! Toni! Tone!
If you’re a fan, the minute you read that name, in your head you heard the opening chords of Anniversary or Lay Your Head on My Pillow or It Never Rains (In Southern California) and the list goes on. These brothers – Raphael Saadiq and Dwayne Wiggins are actually brothers while Timothy Christian Riley is their cousin – put the love in love songs during the ’90s. And while Saadiq has gone on to achieve a successful solo career as a singer, songwriter and producer, Tony! Toni! Tone! still performs, this time with their cousin Amar Khalil on lead. They’re scheduled to close the festival out on Sunday night at 10 p.m.
Slow Down may have been the song that put Bobby V., (formerly known as Bobby Valentino), on the map back in 2005, but true ’90s hip hop/R&B heads will remember him as one-fourth of the short-lived teen group Mista, who sang the 90s hit, Blackberry Molasses. Anyway, these days he’s best known not only for his own songs, but for his collabos with everyone from Lil Wayne to Nicki Minaj. He takes the stage at 10 p.m. Saturday night and expect him to perform past hits, as well as his new single Mirror from his forthcoming album Dusk Til Dawn.
Note: If you get there a little bit earlier, you’ll get to hear Latocha Scott at 8:45 p.m. Not recognizing the name? Well, she’s the former lead singer from the hit 90s girl group Xscape and the voice behind some of their biggest hits like Who Can I Run To.
When he croons, women swoon and it doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty easy on the eyes. R&B hearthrob Tank, known for hit ballads like Please Don’t Go and Maybe I Deserve, added acting to his plate with his starring role alongside fellow singer/actress Letoya Luckett in Preacher’s Kid. What fans may be surprised to know is that he got his start singing background for another R&B hearthrob – Ginuwine. Tank is scheduled to take the stage at 11 p.m. Saturday night, following Bobby V.
Of course, the festival is also a showcase for regional and local stars as well. Here are just a few of those acts you should definitely check out:
Tonight, June 15: zydeco artist Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band at 7 p.m. on the main stage; Shreveport’s own Betty Lewis at 7 p.m. on the second stage.
Saturday, June 16: area R&B favorite Mark Scroggins at 5:30 p.m. and zydeco favorite Chris Ardoin NU STEP Zydeco Band at 6:45 p.m. on the main stage; as well as 103.7 The Beat Presents Beat The Street, Yung Willie, Billy Broadway, Big Poppa and more at 7 p.m. on the second stage.
Sunday, June 17: Popular area bands Windstorm at 7 p.m. and Alter Ego at 8:45 p.m. on the main stage; Reneesance and Friends at 6:30 p.m. and Rhythm Warehouse at 9 p.m. on the second stage.
Visit the Rho Omega and Friends website here to see the complete itinerary.