Thursday, June 26, 2008

Soul Fixin'

Year of the Gentleman

Ne-Yo has put the finishing touches on his third album Year of the Gentleman, due in August. The influence of Michael Jackson is quite evident in the music of Ne-Yo, Ne-Yo makes it a point to pay homage to his musical icon on all of his albums. Ne-Yo pays tribute to Michael on Year of the Gentleman with "Nobody."

"Nobody" tells the story of two strangers on the dance floor."Say she didn't give you anything, but instead she just started dancing, and it was the most amazing thing you've ever seen," Ne-Yo explains. "It's like she's untouchable, like it would be a sin to touch her or dance with her, with what's going on with her right now."

Ne-Yo played the track for the music legend and received positive feedback. "He told me that he likes the way I do Michael Jackson," Ne-Yo beamed. "I asked him what he meant by that, and he said, 'When you do that, it doesn't feel like you're trying to copy me or trying to be me. It feels like you're complimenting me.' And that's what I'm doing. It means the world that he liked it."

Check out the video below, Ne-Yo gives
MTV a preview of Year of the Gentleman.


Soul Fixin'

Got Soul? The Heineken Red Star Star Soul concert kicks off August 6th at BOULEVARD3 in LA with performances by Ashanti and Goapele. The complete lineup includes Keyshia Cole, Raheem DeVaughn, Chrisette Michele, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, Bryan-Michael Cox, Estelle, Bilal and Lyfe Jennings.

In addition to the LA launch, Heineken Red Star Soul will bring memorable music events and concerts to select cities nationwide.

8/13 - Dallas, Gilleys - Raheem DeVaughn & Bryan-Michael Cox
8/20 - Atlanta, Opera - Lyfe Jennings & Bryan-Michael Cox
8/27- Chicago, House of Blues - Dwele & Chrisette Michelle
9/4 - Detroit, Fillmore - Dwele & Estelle
9/10 - Cleveland, House of Blues - Lyfe Jennings & Bilal
9/17- Washington, D.C, Ibiza - Raheem DeVaughn & Chrisette Michelle
9/24- Philly, World Cafe Live - Musiq Soulchild & Estelle
10/1- NYC, Mansion - Keyshia Cole & Raheem DeVaughn

Soul Fixin'

Obama Covers Rolling Stone
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama is covering the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine. In an in-depth interview Obama discusses the youth vote, the music on his iPOD and his top three priorities as President.

Speaking of music, Obama is a self proclaimed 'Stevie Wonder geek.' "When I was at the the point where you start getting involved in music, Stevie had that run with Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness' First Finale and Innervisions, and then Songs in the Key of Life. Those are as brilliant a set of five albums as we've ever seen" explained Obama.

A wide array of artist including Jay -Z, Bruce Springsteen, Earth, Wind and Fire, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Howlin' Wolf, Sheryl Crow, and Bob Dylan share space on Obama's iPod.

Video Soul

Maxwell emerged from the land of hidden soul singers and paid tribute to Al Green at the BET Awards with a rousing rendition of "Simply Beautiful." Peep the video above. Ladies, this video may cause an orgasm.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Soul Fixin'

Al Green Stole The Show
Every year I look forward to watching the BET Awards. Unfortunately, this year's award show ranks as the worst so far. The combination of D.L Hughley's corny jokes and a  handful of horrible performances proved to be disastrous.
Let's fast forward past the foolishness and get to the highlight of the show, Rev. Al Green receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. Jill Scott started the tribute off with a shaky performance of "I'm Still In Love With You," Anthony Hamilton kicked things into high gear with "Tired Of Being Alone" and Maxwell emerged from hiding and gave a rousing rendition of "Simply Beautiful." Al Green accepted the award, gave his acceptance speech and conned us into thinking he wouldn't perform. However, in typical Al Green fashion he made a u-turn and strutted to the mic and put a hurting on "Let's Stay Together." Everybody and their mama was on their feet singing and two stepping. I do mean EVERYBODY, Al Green brought the ENTIRE audience to it's feet. Al went right into "Love And Happiness" with the charisma and sheer conviction of a Memphis preacher...oh wait...Al green is a Memphis preacher. Check out  Rev. Al Green in all his glory. Head over to BET and check out Al's performance of "Let's Stay Together" and the tribute performances.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Soul Fixin'

Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing

Jill Scott: The Real Thing (Live In Philly) premieres June 29 on TV One at 10pm. Jill Scott takes the stage in her hometown of Philly and performs a mix of old and new songs. Jill Scott ranks as one the best performers in the world of R&B, if you've never seen her in concert be sure to check out Jill Scott: The Real Thing. Peep the preview clip below.

Soul Fixin'

At the age of 58 Stevie Wonder is busier than ever. In the midst of a tour, Stevie is working on two albums and rumors of a third album are spreading. In honor of his late mother Lula Mae Hardaway, Stevie is working on The Gospel Inspired By Lula. "Some of it is going to be traditional gospel but some of it is going to be ... I'm trying to do some (different) stuff," Wonder explained. "I might do something in Arabic. I might do something in Hebrew. My whole thing of the title is just saying 'Spreading the good word, the message." Stevie plans on releasing the album January 11 to commemorate what would have been Lula Mae's 77th birthday. Stevie is no Aretha but he can surely sing the gospel, peep Stevie singing "I Won't Complain" at Luther's funeral in the video below.

Through The Eyes of Wonder, the second project, is described as a performance piece that reflects Stevie's experiences as a blind man. "What I want to do with our live performances is to create visuals that [give] my take on how I see the world and how most various things affected me," he explained.

Stevie did not deny or confirm rumors of a possible duet album with Tony Bennett covering the songs of Marvin Gaye produced by Quincy Jones."I'm the last one to hear about it and the first one to agree. Definitely Tony and I talked about doing some stuff together. And Quincy and I have always wanted to work together on a project."So if this is something that Quincy is doing and Tony and everyone has decided to kind of go in that direction ... obviously I'm a great fan of Tony Bennett and I've been since a little kid, you know, so I'm excited to be a part of it."

Soul Fixin'

New Edition Grabs ASCAP Award
Last night Ricky, Bobby, Mike, Ralph, Ronnie and Johnny Gill received the ASCAP Golden Note Award. Celebrating 25 years in the game, New Edition was honored in recognition of their innovative and enduring contributions to music. No word on the makings of a new album, but Ralph Tresvant is working on a solo release. The album will be released through his independently owned and operated label, Xzualt Media Group, that has direct distribution deals on Apple iTunes and other retailers. Ralph plans to hit the road on an up close and personal tour later this year. Take a quick listen to a snippet of his upcoming single "It Must Be You."

Soul Fixin'

Summer In The City
New Yorkers mark your calendars. This year's Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series kicks off July 14 and features performances from Patti LaBelle, The O'Jays and others. By the way, all shows are FREE!!! The concerts are held Monday nights at 7:30 pm at Wingate Field in Brooklyn.

July 14 - The O' Jays & The Manhattans
July 21 - Mystery Legendary Performer
July 28 - Mary Mary, Tye Tribett, & Ricky Dillard & New Generation
August 4 - Erykah Badu
August 11 - Jill Scott
August 25 - Patti LaBelle

Video Soul

Teena Marie....need I say more?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Soul Fixin'

Fall Back

Common's Invincible Summer won't see the light of day this summer. The album, described as having a feel good summer time vibe, was scheduled to drop in July. The release date has been pushed back, the album will be available the first day of fall, September 23rd to be exact. I wonder if Common plans on changing the album title?

Speaking of Invincible Summer, Common said “you can expect some fresh music that you’ve never heard from Common before…definitely a new sound. The inspiration came from me being out at them clubs. I said I want people to feel my music in that way… Not only do they know Common as this conscious artist who brings thoughtful lyrics."

Soul Fixin'

New MusiqMusiq Soulchild is busy working on two albums. A follow up to 2007's Luvanmusiq is due to drop this fall. “ I been workin’ on this new album, my 5th one as you know, and i think this is gonna be my best one yet..." In addition to his 5th studio album, Musiq is recording a Christmas album. ( I thought Musiq was Muslim...I guess I was wrong.) “I’m havin’ a whole lotta fun with it, trying out some knew things, spreading my creative wings a little bit, all in the name of the holiday season, actually I know some of y’all been waitin’ on me to do one, so come this Christmas, I got you.” Thanks a lot Musiq, I know I speak for many when I say I've really been waiting for a Musiq Soulchild Christmas album. Is he serious?

"Radio," the first single off the album is expected to hit airwaves this week according to Musiq's Myspace. Musiq describes the single as "different."

Soul Fixin'

Up and coming Atlanta bred soul singer Melissa Young released the video for her popular song "I'm Just A Girl" earlier this month. Take a look at the video and check out her critically acclaimed debut Just Up The Road.

Soul Fixin'

Hard Times @ Douglass High

Take a look at this clip for the new HBO doc "Hard Times at Douglass High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card." Premiering tonight at 9, "Hard Times at Douglass High" takes a look at the brutal inequalities of America's minority education using Frederick Douglass High School as a focal point. Filmmakers Alan & Susan Raymond spent an entire year filming at the inner city Baltimore school, were two-thirds of teachers are non-certified and many students lack basic reading and writing skills and come from poor backgrounds and broken homes. Frederick Douglass High is struggling to meet the expectations of Bush's controversial No Child Left Behind Act.

Video Soul

Stephanie, I'm burning up...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Soul

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday Soul

Don Cornelius sells Soul Train [AOL BlackVoices]
Aretha Speaks on Black Music [
AOL BlackVoices]
The Roots Live With Bun B [
Underrated Philly Soul Singers [
The star witness in the R. Kelly Trial dicusses relationship with R.Kelly [Essence]

Friday, June 20, 2008

Soul Fixin'

The 'Queen of German Soul'
On more than one occasion I came across the music video for Joy Denalane's song "Heaven Or Hell" while watching Soul Sessions on BETJ. At the time, Joy Denalane was foreign to me but I instantly fell in love with her voice. Think back to the summer of '05. let your mind go back to the remix of Common's "Go," the voice heard on the track belongs to Joy. A voice that reminds me of Faith Evans mixed with the rawness of a young Mavis Staples. Joy is a testament to the global influence of black music,born in Germany to a German mother and South African father Joy was influenced by the sounds of soul, R&B and hip hop. Her career began at the age of 16, performing with local soul and reggae bands.Fast forward a couple of years. In 2002 Joy releases her debut album Mamani, a genre bending mix of soul, jazz and Afro-beat. The German language album debuted at #8 on the German charts and spawned four hit singles. A few years later, Joy came to Philly to record her sophomore album, Born & Raised, a blend of soul, hip hop, and gospel. Rappers Raekwon and Lupe Fiasco and R&B singer Governor make guest appearances. Musical contributions were made by James Poyser and a slew of other renowned musicians. Soul music is alive in well in the music of Joy Denalane.Take a listen and experience the soul of Joy Denalane. Check out the video as well.

Soul Fixin'

The White House Celebrates Black Music Month

Earlier this week, the White House hosted a celebration of Black Music Month with performances by Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers and Walter Hawkins of the legendary Hawkins family. "For this year's Black Music Month, we return to the theme of gospel music." said President Bush. "The gospel music tradition was born from great pain. Slaves sang spirituals to communicate with one another in the fields, and songs of faith helped black Americans endure the injustice of segregation. Today, gospel is more than an anchor for black culture and history -it's a source of inspiration for the whole nation." He finally said something right.

Even though a large group of hand clappin' and foot stompin' black folk invaded the White House,President Bush felt right at home, isn't it obvious?

Soul Fixin'

MJB: Live From Abbey Road
Mary J. Blige television alert!!! Live From Abbey Road, the Sundance Channel's acclaimed music series,returned to television last night. Mary J. Blige helped kick off the second season with performances of "Just Fine," "Come To Me (Peace)" and "Family Affair." If you missed the season premiere last night, you can catch it tonight at 9.

Video Soul

This is the perfect video for a Friday.Biggie took a DeBarge sample and turned it into a classic hip hop party jam with "One More Chance/ Stay With Me Remix". Faith Evans is featured on the chorus with additional vocals from Mary J. Blige.

Under The Covers

The output of great songs written by Smokey Robinson is astounding. "The Tracks Of My Tears," You Really Got A Hold On Me," "My Girl," "Cruisin'," and "Ooo Baby Baby," are just a countless few. In 1965 The Temptations scored a hit with "Since I Lost My Baby," a song composed by Smokey and Pete Moore. The song was featured on the album The Temptin' Temptations. Full of heartbreak, "Since I Lost My Baby" finds lead singer David Ruffin narrating the story of a man losing the one he loved. In a world where everything was near perfection and everyone had all they could ask for, all he wanted was his baby.17 years later, Luther Vandross would revive the classic song for his sophomore album, Forever, For Always, For Love. In classic Luther Vandross style, Luther wrapped his smooth vocals around "Since I Lost My Baby" and slowed it down and made it an essential 'Quiet Storm' song. Much like he did with Dionne's "A House Is Not A Home," Luther made "Since I Lost My Baby" his own. Without a doubt Smokey Robinson is "America's Poet Laureate of Love," peep the last verse of "Since I Lost My Baby":

"My determination is fading fast
So fast so fast so fast
Exploration is a thing of the past
I can't see how my hopes gonna last
Good things are bad and what's happy is sad
So sad, so sad, so sad"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Soul Fixin'

Send It On...

For a number of years we've been skeptical, much like the look on D'Angelo's face, of any whispers of a new D'Angelo release. This time around it seems like Michael Eugene Archer bka D'Angelo has finally got his sh*t together. I think it is safe to say that we can expect a D'Angelo album early next year via J Records. D' Angelo's Virgin Records contract was purchased by J Records in 2005. According to a source close to the project, the as-yet untitled album features collaborations with Raphael Saadiq. D' Angelo also plans to record with John Mayer. Let's keep our toes and fingers crossed.

On Tuesday, Virgin will release a CD/DVD retrospective, The Best So Far..., featuring hits, unreleased tracks and previously unreleased videos. Hopefully this compilation can hold us over until we hear some new sh*t.

Soul Fixin'

June Is Black Music Month
Our beloved President, George W. Bush, has proclaimed June 2008 as Black Music Month. Who said George Bush doesn't like black people? In an official proclamation, President Bush said "throughout the course of American history, black musicians have used their great talents to share the richness of the African-American experience and to develop a uniquely American style of music enjoyed throughout the world. This month, we honor the pioneers of African-American music and today's contemporary artists who have enriched the lives of people everywhere."

In honor of Black Music Month, Public Soul Announcement takes a look back at some memorable album covers.

Video Soul

Soul Fixin'

Dreaming of Gladys
The '76 Gladys Knight & The Pips soundtrack album, Pipe Dreams, has been reissued. Gladys Knight also starred in the film. Pipe Dreams has been packaged along with the Curtis Mayfield produced soundtrack album Claudine. Pipe Dreams garnered very little attention back in '76. The album includes "So Sad The Song," which was a Top 20 soul hit, and two songs penned by Rev. James Cleveland, "Follow My Dreams" and "I'll Miss You." Far from an essential album, Pipe Dreams is an overall decent album, it is defintely worth adding to your collection.

Under The Covers

Rumor has it that Barack Obama is looking for a campaign song, "A Change Is Gonna Come" is the ideal song for Obama's historical run for the White House. A change is so desperately needed in this country. "A Change Is Gonna Come" was composed by one of soul music's founding fathers, Sam Cooke, during the turbulent 60's. It's no coincidence that a gospel singer turned pop star wrote the highly emotional "A Change Is Gonna Come." Much like gospel staples "I Won't Complain" and "How I Got Over," "A Change Is Gonna Come" forces one to reflect on their life. Cooke was inspired by Bob Dylan's protest song "Blowing In The Wind," and two life-altering incidents; a conversation with sit-in demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina and the death of his infant son. The song, with it's dramatic orchestral backing and mournful french horns, exemplified the trials and tribulations of black America, especially the second verse, "it's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die/'cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky/it's been a long, a long time coming/ but I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will." "A Change Is Gonna Come" appears on Cooke's final studio album, Ain't That Good News. Surprisingly, "A Change Is Gonna Come" only reached #9 on the Black Singles charts. In the years that followed, "A Change Is Gonna Come" became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. In 1966, Aretha Franklin wrapped her soulful gospel drenched vocals around "A Change Is Gonna Come" and payed homage to her musical idol. The song is included on 'Retha's '67 Atlantic Records debut, I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, considered to be one the greatest soul albums of all time. Aretha's cover of the song is mind blowing, Aretha's opening note sends a chill through your body and for a second you forget "A Change Is Gonna Come" is a Sam Cooke song. Even though Aretha is one of music's greatest interpreters, Cooke's recording reigns supreme. "A Change Is Gonna Come" set the foundation for other socially-conscious songs such as Marvin's "Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler)" and Curtis Mayfield's "We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue." "A Change Is Gonna Come" ranks on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was selected by the Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry, a list of sound recordings that "are culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States."

Classic Album Revisited

Mary displayed a vocal maturity that had not been heard on her previous releases. Mary abandoned the elements of hip hop and made a conscious effort to create an album that combined the elements of soul and jazz. Reclusive musical genius Lauryn Hill contributed to the project and wrote the smooth and uplifting track 'All That I Can Say.' Elton John played the piano intro to his hit song "Beenie and The Jets" for the song 'Deep Inside' in which Mary confesses "the problem is for many years I've lived my life publicly so it's hard for me to find a man I trust.....deep inside I wish that you could see that I'm just plain ol' Mary...." The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, joins Mary on the track "Don't Waste Your Time" and offers The Queen of Hip Hop Soul a little sound advice. Mary's ex-lover K-Ci Hailey duets with Mary on the emotionally charged song 'Not Lookin'', Mary defiantly declares "I'm not impressed by your honesty, oh no no, I don't need you to tell me I look good, I don't need it...cause I've been hearin' that around my hood...." It is obvious on tracks like ' No Happy Holidays' and 'The Love I Never Had' that Mary was going through some changes and trying to find her way out of all the drama. Mary's rich voice, polished production, sophisticated songwriting, and the elements of soul and jazz help to make Mary a classic album.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Soul Fixin'

Aretha is my main chick, but I love me some Patti. Who doesn't love Ms. Patti? "If Only You Knew," "You Are My Friend," "On My Own," "Kiss Away The Pain," I could go on and on. I even like her take on Aretha's "Ain't No Way." Ms. Patti recently appeared on the CBS Early Show and performed "If You Don't Know Me By Now" in support of her new release Patti LaBelle Live In Washington D.C. The album isn't new new, Live In Washington D.C was recorded back in '82. I know Patti is from Philly and was at one point signed to the famed Philadelphia International Records but "If You Don't Know Me By Now" belongs to Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, much like "A Song For You" belongs to Donny Hathaway. It pains me to say it, but Patti has no right singing "If You Don't Know Me By Now." If you disagree, take a look for yourself.

Video Soul

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Soul Fixin'

New Music from John Legend
Has John Legend lost his soul in the hopes of going mainstream? John Legend describes the sound of his upcoming album as "a little more uptempo and pop sounding." The first single, "Green Light" featuring Andre 3000, off his upcoming album lacks that soulful John Legend sound. I was quite anxious to hear something new from John Legend, "Green Light" isn't what I was hoping for, I hope it isn't a sign of things to come. Take a listen for yourself.

Soul Fixin'

Everything Is Everything
Today, an expanded edition of Diana Ross' 1970 sophomore album, Everything Is Everything, will be released. The album will contain the original 11 tracks along with unreleased covers of the Beatles' classics 'Something' and 'What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life.' Alternative versions and remixes of 'Come Together,' 'Baby It's Love,' and 'I'm Still Waiting.' The original recording features a bold cover of Aretha's classic love song 'Call Me' and a stab at the Beatles' 'The Long And Winding Road.'

Video Soul

This week Video Soul will feature some of my favorite hip hop videos. Take a look at Jay-Z's "Song Cry."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Soul

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday Soul

R. Kelly...Not Guilty!!!...[MTV]
Some New D'Angelo???
Erykah Badu done lost her mind!!
[Crunk +Disorderly]
Ayah...She's a Problem Woman

Friday, June 13, 2008

Video Soul

Above is the latest video from Chrisette Michele. "Love Is You", produced by John Legend, is the latest single from her debut album I Am.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Soul Fixin

Throwback to the '60's
Somehow this slipped under my soul radar. In early May, Raphael Saadiq held a listening party at Sony Club in NYC for his upcoming vintage soul album. The as-yet-untitled album was inspired by Saadiq's love of that old school Motown sound. In an effort to capture that old school 60's vibe, Saadiq recorded on vintage guitars, drum kits, and mics. Motown legend Stevie Wonder is featured on one track playing his trademark harmonica. "You couldn't help but feel like you had snuck into the den during one of your parents’ ‘grown-ups only’ parties" said blogger Candace L. "All that was missing were some elk antlers hanging on the wood panels." If anyone can capture the spirit and soul of Marvin, Stevie, Smokey, and the rest of the Motown fam, it's Raphael Saadiq. As of now, there is no word on a release date.

Soul Fixin'

ReRe's Revival
What: Aretha's Annual Church Revival
Where: Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ
When: June 12-14
Who: Aretha Franklin, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Dorothy Norwood, Vickie Winans, Twinkie Clark, Bill Moss Jr.; evangelists Sandra Riley, Esther Smith and Ruby Terry and pastors Rev. Edgar Vann Jr. and Rev. Donald Parsons.

"I would love to see the city of Detroit come out to the revival and refresh their spirits and faith in the gospel and the word, and allow it to give many the support and the power that they need in these economically trying times." Franklin said in a statement. "Bring the children and give them the foundation that will stay with them for a lifetime, as it has with me."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Soul Fixin'

The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash
"Don't push me, cause
I'm close to the edge
I'm trying not to loose my head

It's like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder
How I keep from going under .."

The above chorus belongs to one of hip hop's most memorable songs, "The Message," recorded by Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five. 26 years after releasing the thought provoking tale of ghetto life, Grand Master Flash has delivered a new message in his memoir "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats" co written with David Ritz.

Flash, born Joseph Saddler, chronicles his life,from his turbulent upbringing to the early days of hip hop to the drug addiction that nearly killed him. "This whole book was scary for me." Flash said in a recent interview. "We as human beings, we don't willingly display our skeletons, our pains, our hurts, not the deep, deep, deep ones."

Flash, who invented turntable techniques and brought hip hop to the forefront, currently host a weekly mix show on Sirius Satellite Radio and is working on a new album, The Bridge.

Check out an excerpt from "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats."

Video Soul

Trying to find the latest news on D'Angelo is like looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A few years ago, rumors were swirling that he was working on a third album, James River. More recently, he was featured on Common's most recent album, Finding Forever, on the superb track "So Far To Go." Angie Stone, tell your baby daddy to get his @$$ back in the studio ASAP!!!!

Raphael Saadiq is working on a new album inspired by his love of the Motown sound.

Soul Fixin'

Hip Hop's Jazz Singer
Described by many as the jazz crooner for the hip hop generation, Jose James, is gaining plenty of buzz with his debut, The Dreamer. I don't much about Jose but the music, a combination of jazz, urban blues, soul & hip hop, speaks for itself, take a listen. Be sure to check out his website.

Payin' Homage

In the late 70's, the Harlem bred Angela Bofill debuted with an elegant sound that mixed the elements of jazz and soul with a touch of Latin flavor to create a blend of genre bending music. At a time when music trends were changing and disco was the craze, Angie's music was salvation for those looking for the soul of days gone by. Being of Cuban and Puerto Rican ancestry and growing up in Harlem, Angie was influenced by the sounds of Motown, James Brown, Aretha and Latin music. At the tender age of 18, Angie was an accomplished singer and songwriter, working with legends Cannonball Adderdely, Herbie Hancock, Nat Adderley Jr. and Dizzy Gillespie. Angie's solo recording career started in '78 with the release of her self tittled classic debut, Angie. She went on to record a string of classic albums and gave us hit song after hit song, "I Try," "Angel of The Night," "Break It To Me Gently," "This Time I'll Be Sweeter," "I Wanna Love Somebody," to name a few.

After recovering from a 2006 stroke, Angela suffered another massive stroke on July 10,2007 and was in critical condition for some time. She remains at a nursing home in California. According to her website, Angie's speech and mobility are continuing to improve and it is only a matter of time before she returns home.

Head over to her website, all proceeds go to support Angie's recovery.

Soul Fixin'

Let Aretha Back In Your Life
Atlantic Records has reissued Aretha's 1974 LP, Let Me In Your Life. Released in the aftermath of the Quincy Jones produced Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of The Sky), and prior to the Mayfield produced Sparkle, Let Me In Your Life found Aretha working with legendary team of Wexler-Mardin-Dowd for the last time. This was the first album in which Aretha received co producing credit. The highlight of Let Me In Your Life is Aretha's amazing voice, a voice that isn't overshadowed by the songs, arrangements or sounds. Let Me In Your Life displays some of Aretha's finest vocal performances. The Stevie Wonder penned "Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)" is included on this set and turned out to be a #1 hit for Aretha. "I'm In Love," written by Bobby Womack after he married Sam Cooke's widow, topped the R&B charts as well. Testimony to Aretha's interpretative genius, she also scored a hit with Marvin & Tammi's "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing." Aretha came up short on Leon Russell's "A Song For You." Don't get me wrong, Aretha's version is great, but "A Song For You" belongs to Donny Hathaway. Unlike previous recordings, Aretha sang a few ballads, "Oh Baby," "With Pen In Hand," "Eight Days On The Road," and "If You Don't Think." Bill Withers' " Let Me In Your Life," "The Masquerade is Over," and "Every Natural Thing" are also included on the album. Let Me In Your Life began to mark the decline of Aretha's illustrious career with Atlantic Records. Disco was the new craze, Aretha tried to adapt to the new trends but failed with releases such as La Diva and You.

Under The Covers

"Betcha By Golly Wow" written by Linda Creed and producer/songwriter Thom Bell, was first recorded in 1970 by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and featured on The Best of Freddie Hubbard. Creed and Bell composed many other Philly soul classics, including "You Are Everything," "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)," "Ghetto Child," and "The Rubberband Man." Intelligent lyrics, superb arrangements, lush production and the falsetto of lead singer Russell Thompkins Jr turned "Betcha By Golly Wow" into a hit for The Stylistics. Recorded for their debut album, The Stylistics, "Betcha By Golly Wow" became a #2 R&B hit and reached #3 on the Pop charts. Six years later Phyllis Hyman wrapped her bittersweet romantic vocals around the Creed/Bell composition and created a brilliant slowed down remake. Hyman's version is featured on the Norman Conners album, You Are My Starship. Not as popular as The Stylistics' version, "Betcha By Golly Wow" is considered to be one of Hyman's finest recordings.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Soul Fixin'

New Music Drop
Live In Washington, DC Patti LaBelle
The Carter III Lil' Wayne
Maximum Strength KRS-One
Like A Fire Solomon Burke
Black Rose Hil. St. Soul
Let Me In Your Life Aretha Franklin (reissue)
Aretha Arrives Aretha Franklin (reissue)
Loverly Cassandra Wilson
Coltrane Live at Birdland John Coltrane (remastered)
A Love Supreme John Coltrane (remastered)
Love Man Otis Redding (reissue)
Love The Woman Chante Moore
Experience Gospel: The Essence of Rev. James Cleveland Rev. James Cleveland

Soul Fixin'

The Trials & Tribulations of Robert Kelly

Here's the latest on the R. Kelly trial.
Two days and 12 witnesses later, R. Kelly's defense team rested their case on Monday. The self proclaimed 'King Of R&B'...oh wait...that's Bobby Brown...the self proclaimed 'Pied Piper of R&B' did not take the stand in the child pornography case.

The defense called three relatives of Roshana Landfair, the alleged victim in the infamous sex tape, who testified they did not recognize the young girl in the video. The prosecution's witnesses included childhood friends and relatives of Landfair, who identified her in the video.

Grant Fredericks, one of the prosecutions rebuttal witnesses, will be called to the stand today to counter the testimony of defense witness Charles Palmer, who testified he didn't see the infamous mole. Mole?...R.Kelly's defense claims the man in the sex tape doesn't have a mole on his back much like the mole R. Kelly has had since childhood. The prosecution is expected to recall Atlanta prosecutor Robert Wolf, who's expected to testify that the fiance of the prosecution's star witness Lisa Van Allen was not offered a deal in exchange for Van Allen's testimony. Closing arguments will begin Thursday.

Robert Kelly is charged with 14 counts of child pornography. If convicted he faces up to 15 years in prison. If he is convicted, I think it is only right that Micheal Jackson be forced to join him in prison.

Video Soul

Nas Debuts "Be A Nigger Too" Video

Nas has released the first official video for his upcoming untitled 9th studio album.Directed by Rick Cordero, the video was inspired by old Spike Lee films. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, the video includes clips of Nas looking at his reflection through a mirror and rapping about racism, politics and religion and what appears to be a white slave owner pointing a gun at a black male slave. You may or may not agree with Nas' use of the N-word, either way take a look.

Soul Fixin'

Happy 35th Birthday Faith Evans!!!!

35 years ago, the woman we would all come to know as Faith Evans entered the world.It's been 3 long years since she blessed us with The First Lady. We all are in desperate need of some new Faith Evans music!!! Faith, if you are reading this, I think it is time to make some changes. You may be in need of new management. You are one of the finest vocalists of our time, its a shame you haven't achieved the success of Mary or Alicia, you are more than capable. Mary has reached the height of her career in her mid 30's, the same is possible for you. I came across your website and MySpace page looking for any news of new music to no avail. I believe I speak for many when I say, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU VERY SOON!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Young, Gifted, Black and Dead!!!

A picture is worth a thousand words...

These photographs were all taken in 2006 at various sidewalk makeshift memorials, prayer vigils, wakes, funerals, and burials in the city of Philadelphia. The deceased were all young African Americans murdered by fellow African Americans. This is not a Philadelphia problem. Black on black violence is a national problem. It's my problem. It's your problem. It's our problem. When will we solve it? The statistics are alarming; according to a 2005 Justice Department report blacks, who make up 13% of the US population, accounted for 50% of the nations murder victims, 93% of these victims were killed by fellow African Americans.

Young, Gifted, Black and Dead!!!: Previous Posts