RIP: Sweet Pea Atkinson (1945-2020)
Special sad RIP (Rock In Piece) notice: Singer Sweet Pea Atkinson died Tuesday in LA of a heart attack. Discovered by Was (Not Was) after he sang on Grace Jones’s “My Very Special Guests,” Atkinson later sang with the Boneshakers, on sessions and tours with Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett and more, plus solo projects.
His baritone booms that irresistible musical invitation that we all “Open the door, get on the floor. Everybody walk the dinosaur,” from the Was (Not Was) album “What Up Dog.” A powerful voice, operated with rare skill and soulful passion, he sang neo-soul with old-soul force.
His 2017 album “Get What You Deserve” snaps, crackles and pops with veteran savvy, suave big-town R&B confidence and expert accompaniment in every locked-in instrumental riff and oh-yeah backing vocal – the calm fireworks of masters at play.