Smokey Robinson is easily one of the Motor City's most miraculous exports. The soul spearhead's elegantly expressive pipes and stunningly crafted songs stand as some of the very finest in American music. Just those tunes he co-wrote for others (Mary Wells' gorgeous "My Guy," Marvin Gaye's tender, bruised "Ain't That Peculiar") are utterly mind-bending, but Robinson's own immortal hits — classics such as "Tracks of My Tears," "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "I Second That Emotion" — are, of course, all elemental in American life, each displaying his singular mix of a deceptively light melodic touch and psychologically penetrating lyrics. The 74-year-old is still "Going to a Go-Go," big-time, with a major summer tour and brand-new album, Smokey and Friends
, coming out next week. One of the greatest ever soul stars, now is definitely not the time to start taking him for granted.
Sat., Aug. 16, 8 p.m., 2014