by Kevin Callan
The multicultural signer-songwriter Mutlu is the next artist to perform in the Pastorius Park Summer Concert Series at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 25.
Best known for his silky, angelic vocals and his ability to blend different styles of music, Mutlu Onaral is a Philadelphia born guitarist and singer-songwriter who draws influences from his upbringing with R&B and soul as well as his Turkish roots. Mutlu recently returned to Philadelphia this month after a long tour that included European dates opening and collaborating with Amos Lee and a string of U.S. shows opening for Hall & Oates.
Mutlu’s first full-length album “Livin’ It,” released in 2008 by Manhattan/EMI Records, put Mutlu on the map outside of his Philadelphia fan base, which arose from his previous two Eps. The album featured guest appearances from Daryl Hall, Amos Lee, G. Love and Raheem DeVaughn and was produced by the late Tom Wolk, whose backing vocals are also featured on a few songs.
Mutlu followed that album with an EP called “The Dream Book” in October 2013, which he describes as his “own brand of global pop music.”It is the first product of his collaboration with the production and songwriting team of Rob Hyman, Rick Chertoff and David Forman. Rob Hyman is best known for being a founding member of the rock band The Hooters, and Rick Chertoff has produced hits like Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
The EP features a variety of musical styles: The title track “Dream Book” uses the choked guitar chords of reggae music, while the song “Türkiye” employs exotic riffs rooted in his Turkish background. “The Dream Book” is Mutlu’s first album integrating his own cultural influences into his music.
The Pastorius Park concert series is produced annually by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and is sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital.
If it rains, the concert will be moved to the Lower School Auditorium of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Cherokee Campus. Be sure to check chestnuthill.org, where notice of a rain move will be posted after 6 p.m. the day of the concert.