Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Baby-makin’ R&B group H-Town in town Saturday night


The way Shazam Conner tells it (punctuated with a hearty laugh), H-Town is responsible for 1/3 of the population of the United States. In the 1990s, the Texas R&B group (Conner, along with his late brother Dino and friend G.I. Jackson) had hits with the songs “Knockin’ da Boots” and “Lick U Up.”

The titles tell you what you need to know. This is baby making music (NOT an official genre).

“The women at my shows are still making babies,” says Conner, in town with H-Town Saturday night at the Selland Arena, playing on a bill that includes R&B singer Al B. Sure and Keith Sweat. “We’re going to be singing all the hits,” he says.

Then, he lists them, starting with “Boots” and “Lick U Up,” and rattling through a half dozen others.

H-Town released its last album “Imitations of Life,” in 2004, just after the death of Conner’s brother Dino, but the group never really stopped playing, Conner says. In fact, he and Jackson just finished recording songs from a new album to be released next year.

A single should be out next month.

Lyrically, the new music is classic H-Town — full of down-and-dirty fictionalized love songs. Musically, it keeps the pairs’ signature melodies and classic R&B beats, but adds contemporary influences in the hooks, Conner says.

“It’s H-Town with a new millennial twist.”

It’s a sound that fans are ready for, says Jackson. While, H-Town tends to gets classified as old-school, or worse yet, adult contemporary, the pair is anything but.

Conner and Jackson are still in their (late) 30s. Their fans are listening to hip-hop and rap and R&B.

The O’ Jays, the Isley Brothers, those are real old school artists, Jackson says.

“We’re not there yet,” he says. “Maybe someday.”

Watch the video for H-Town’s “Knockin’ da Boots,” on the jump.

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