KEXP at CMJ 2012, Day 1: Cody ChesnuTT

photo by Ben Mobley

Ten years ago, Cody ChesnuTT released The Headphone Masterpiece, a double album that placed R&B bangers right next to confessional laments, both recorded with the unusual twist of a lo-fi aesthetic. The next year, legendary R&B crew The Roots decided to cover one of ChesnuTT’s songs, resulting in “The Seed 2.0,” an acclaimed R&B/rock fusion track that served as both artists biggest brush with mainstream consciousness up to that point in their careers. But where The Roots moved on to become late night’s sharpest house band, ChesnuTT laid low, touring while sporadically releasing music until this year, when his second, Kickstarter-funded album, Landing on a Hundred, arrives (out October 30). No longer limited to four-track equipment, ChesnuTT finds himself immersed in the sounds of the soul greats on Landing on a Hundred, incorporating shades of Afrobeat, gospel, jazz, and more into the fully-formed follow-up to his stunning debut.

Live at the CMJ Union @ Union Square Ballroom during KEXP’s live broadcast during 2012 CMJ Music Marathon, Cody ChesnuTT performed a rare stripped down set -- just him and a guitar -- of new songs, all the while encouraging audience members to participate, snap fingers, sing along. Raw, honest and pure, the songs touched the audience so deeply that one person even commented, “That was a Charles Bradley moment.” Afterwards, Cody shook hands with those lucky enough to be close to the front of the full room and then lingered for a while to chat with fans. No doubt, Cody ChesnuTT is back with another masterpiece.

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Ben Mobley

photo by Ben Mobley

photo by Ben Mobley

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Lauren Slusher

photo by Ben Mobley

View more photos here.

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