Best Grown and Sexy Club

Maxwell's Lounge

With R&B recently rechristened “grown and sexy,” what once was a form of music has morphed into more of a lifestyle — hence the swapping of nouns for adjectives. The new moniker is targeted at older members of the hip-hop generation who still want to feel edgy and contemporary, though they’re now old enough to see the value in classical conceptions of musicianship. Over the past few years many Oakland clubs have appropriated “grown and sexy” as a marketing term, and tailored their programming accordingly. The one that does it best is Maxwell’s Lounge, a downtown soul-food restaurant known for its R&B Fridays. For a reasonable price, patrons can check out such local royalty as Sunny Hawkins or Lenny Williams, the ex-Tower of Power frontman who came up in an era when women really did throw their panties onstage. Other hot bookings include soul-rock singer Martin Luther, the amazing (and vastly under-appreciated) Kisha Griffin, and Dynamic. Last year the club even hosted an engagement with Musiq Soulchild, who would normally headline the Fillmore in San Francisco. And the house band is no joke, either.

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