Duo brings older crowd, ‘90s R&B music to Downtown Greensboro
Childhood friends Angel Howze and Dexter Porter have teamed up to bring big talent and smooth sounds to intimate venues in downtown Greensboro with 2nd Fridays GSO.
National recording artist Tony Terry and renowned DJ Triple J kicked off the 2nd Fridays GSO launch on Jan. 12 at One17 Sofa Bar and Lounge, located at 117 N. Green St. Terry debuted his new single “Take Me” at the launch event.
“It’s a place for the middle-age adults to come,” Howze said. “Those who are not club heads anymore, but still want a place where you can come and listen to music, have drink and enjoy yourself. We wanted to create an environment for the working, family individual that still wanted to go out and enjoy themselves.”
Howze, the founder of Vmac515, has a startup company in the Triad area that provides stage and production management, casting and front of house management. Porter, the founder of the Atlanta-based Osiris South Records, has roots in artist management and promotion.
Each 2nd Friday GSO event will include live jazz, R&B, soul and poetry performances. While the target audience is the 30+ crowd, Howze said she wouldn’t discriminate against those who like good music.
“Those who enjoy the old school sound are more than welcome,” she said.
Sterling Holland, owner of One17 Sofa Bar and Lounge, said that he is excited about the new venture and looks forward to more successful events from Howze and Porter.
“I think it’s something the city needs and it’s a void that needs filling,” Holland said. “The age group is almost a forgotten market. I’m excited about the work that Angel and Dexter [are] doing. I almost forgot how great Tony Terry’s career was. He had a 30-year run with one song. People got married to that song, and it’s people’s favorite. I’m looking forward to [Howze and Porter] bringing other artists of that stature, and excitement, to this venue.”
North Carolina native, Terry has been performing since he was a young child. His talent has garnered him multiple Billboard chart-topping hits like “Forever Yours” and “Everlasting Love.” The 1990 hit “With You,” which was on Terry’s self-titled second album, catapulted him into the spotlight, leaving an impact on many couples – and their weddings – along the way.
“It’s humbling,” Terry said. “I’m fortunate to have a song that has become a part of the fabric of so many people’s lives. It’s really humbling. I don’t take it for granted.”
The album landed on the Top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the Top 10 on the R&B chart. In 1991, he was also nominated for two Soul Train Music Award nominations: Single of the Year and Artist of the Year. The single, “With You,” also received an American Music Award nomination.
“There was a five-year span where I didn’t’ want to sing that song anywhere because everywhere I went I was asked to sing it. If I was asked to participate in a musical, play or a theatrical piece, they would put the song in whether it had anything to do with it or not,” Terry said. “So, I just started feeling some type of way about it. Now when I think about it, that song is one of the things that has kept me working over the years, so I embrace it.”
Terry is working on new music and will be starring in a new reality show on Bravo called “The Circuit.” The show is about life on the road in the theater world and follows the cast for eight weeks as they put shows together.
Terry is no stranger to the stage, though few know that his career began in theater. He was in ‘Sisterella,’ co-produced by Michael Jackson, ‘Mama I Want to Sing’ and David E. Talbert’s ‘His Woman, His Wife,’ co-starring Grammy-award winning Stephanie Mill, to name a few.
“I didn’t realize how big it was at the time,” Terry said about his part in ‘Sisterella.’ “Michael Jackson would come in and sit in the back with a mask on and slip out before the show was over. I was just having fun. It was just a gig at the time. In retrospect, I look back and think that was really something. At the time I didn’t get it.”
Howze said that she’s heard great feedback and is already planning for February. She’s planning to do a tribute to Gerald Levert, and it will feature performances from R&B groups Rude Boys and Men at Large. The event is scheduled for Feb. 9 at 9 p.m.
For more information or tickets, visit 2ndFridaysGSO.eventbrite.com.