Soulful singer Karyn White seizes the day

COURTESY PHOTOSoul hits: R&B singer Karyn White is ending a 17-year break from show business with a funky engagement at the Rrazz Room.

COURTESY PHOTOSoul hits: R&B singer Karyn White is ending a 17-year break from show business with a funky engagement at the Rrazz Room.

Sexy, sassy soul singer Karyn White didn’t look like she has spent 17 years out of the spotlight at Thursday’s opening gig of a three-night run at the Rrazz Room.

Alluring in black – tank top, skin-tight pants and sparkling stilettos – White crooned, growled and belted late-1980s-early ’90s hits and new tunes from her 2012 release “Carpe Diem.”

Backed by a funky, Bay Area-based five-piece band including longtime collaborators Derek Allen on bass and Bobby G on guitar, the R&B singer showed no signs of distress after a long break from show biz (to raise a family and establish an interior design business in the Sacramento area).   

New tunes “My Heart Cries” and “Carpe Diem” had a similar feel to White’s  chart-topping, anthem “Superwoman” and the uptempo “The Way You Love Me” (which got a hip-hop treatment) and, not surprisingly, had everyone in the room singing along.

Rounding out the band were Thomas McCree on drums, Devin Watkins and Dave Jackson on keys, and top-quality backing vocalists Julie “Juju” Morris and J Ali, whose duet  of “Love Saw It” rivaled White’s original with Babyface.

Oozing sexiness, she got up close and personal to a fan who who came onstage for “Can I Stay With You?” looking as sultry as she does in two-decade old videos.  

White dedicated a new song “Sista Sista” to Whitney Houston, and did a deeply felt cover – something she said she rarely does – of Cyndi Lauper’s big hit “True Colors.”

Closing with the inspirational, upbeat title tune from her new album, White’s lively show hopefully signals increased activity in her long-dormant show biz career.

IF YOU GO

Karyn White
Where: Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 22 Mason St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. today, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $45.50 to $55.50
Contact: (800) 380-3095, www.therrazzroom.com

artsKaryn WhitemusicPop Music & JazzRrazz Room

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD Gang Task Force is ‘no more’: Chief reenvisions investigative unit

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Stores including Walgreens and Safeway are required to pay their employees additional hazard pay under a city ordinance that is currently set to expire later this month. (Shutterstock)
Grocery workers could gain additional weeks of $5 per hour hazard pay

San Francisco will vote next week on whether to extend a law… Continue reading

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Most Read