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BOULEVARDS

Clear Channel and Giji

All Ages
Monday, June 20
Show: 8pm Doors: 7pm
$12

“I was born in the North Carolina mud,” says Jamil Rashad, better known as Boulevards, one of the most idiosyncratic artists making music in the Tarheel State. “That’s where I have my roots. I’ve lived in Los Angeles and New York, but I keep coming back here. This is home. This is where I’ve learned the most.” His fourth album, Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud, is caked in the soil where he grew up, mired in the muck of this place—not stuck but freed. “A lot of artists who are coming from smaller cities like Raleigh get overlooked, so a lot of us are underdogs. North Carolina doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves, but there are all these amazing people doing it a very particular way that is very inspiring. It’s always been at the center of so many different scenes—soul, country, jazz, hip-hop, indie rock. I wanted some of that dirt on this record. I’m leaving my footprint in that mud.” All of those styles and genres inform Electric Cowboy, but the dominant sound—the dominant mindset—is funk: gritty, warm, weird, charismatic. The music unfolds kaleidoscopically, giving Rashad the space to face up to his own demons while showcasing the energy and charisma that have made him a mainstay in the North Carolina music scene. It’s a new sound for him, but not an unexpected one; he’s been building toward this album for several years, showing new facets of himself with each new record. While drawing from different eras of pop history, he never sounds retro and never loses himself among the references.