ALBANY -- Mardi Gras revelers who like to mix a little sweet soul music with their party are invited to do so at the Albany Civic Center Saturday night as Odyssey Records and Bud Light Platinum present R&B Soulfest 2012, featuring Keith Sweat and the Manhattans.
Also featured on the bill are T.K. Soul and Wilson Meadows.
"There's a lot of excitement from all over the region for this show," Odyssey Records owner and promoter Gilbert Udoto said Monday. "People are buying up seven, eight, 10 tickets at a time and planning reunions at the show. We've sold more than 3,000 tickets already and are looking for a big crowd.
"The timing was just right for this show. I've been working on it since last year, and I called the agency and told them just what I was looking for. I think we've put together a great show for people who like all kinds of R&B, soul and blues music."
Topping the bill is sweet soul man Sweat, whose familiar hits include "I Want Her," "Keep It Comin'," "Twisted" and "Nobody." Sweat is also the "concierge" at the "Sweat Hotel," a syndicated love song/advice radio program heard in urban and adult markets throughout the country.
"Keith will have his black sofa; he'll bring the Sweat Hotel to Albany," Udoto joked.
The Manhattans, whose sweet soul/dance performances feature Gerald Alston and Blue Lovett, are known worldwide for their hits "Shining Star," "We Were Made as One" and the monster hit "Kiss and Say Goodbye."
"We had the Manhatans here at the State Theatre before, and there was not enough room to hold all the fans," Udoto said. "It was like bringing Bon Jovi to the Hasan Temple. There are people from all over the region -- from Jacksonville to Atlanta -- who are coming in for the show."
Udoto noted that "the young girls are the ones who want the tickets" for bluesman Soul, while Meadows "comes here every two years, so this is like a homecoming for him."
Sweat performed in Albany twice during the '90s -- with Melissa Morgan and Salt N Pepa -- and is generating excitement with his return.
"This is a good marriage, a little something for everyone," Udoto said. "It's a perfect tie-in with the Mardi Gras festival. Fans can enjoy all the activities downtown and then come on over to the Civic Center for the show."
All tickets are VIP or reserved seating and are available at Odyssey Records, Big Daddy's Lounge, the Sandtrap Lounge, the Civic Center box office and at all Ticketmaster locations. Showtime is 7 p.m.
"There are plenty of tickets available, but I'd advise anyone who wants to secure the best seats to get their tickets early," Udoto said. "But we're going to have plenty of seats for everyone; the Civic Center is a big place. I've already started planning the next Soulfest for next year; we want to make this an annual event."