Soul City is playing Classic Soul R&B from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, to present day..

Sunday, April 19, 2015

WILL DOWNING


PRESALE TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!

Sat-Mon, June 27-29 at Yoshi's Oakland


One of the leading purveyors of unapologetic, unabashed romantic music


Will Downing
Women love Will Downing. And men love the women who love Will Downing. In his two decade recording career, the Brooklyn native has carved for himself a solid career as one of the leading purveyors of unapologetic, unabashed romantic music. And while this has not translated to crossover success – or even to broad urban radio success – it has gained for Downing a solid musical legacy and a rabidly loyal following of, well…women.

Celebrating his new release Euphoria, Downing had his first national exposure as a popular backing vocalist in the 80s before signing with Island Records. He recorded two modestly successful albums and had a minor hit with a cover of "A Love Supreme" before releasing his breakout 1991 album A Dream Fulfilled. It was a marvelous disc that showed Downing not only possessed a fine baritone voice but that he was also was an excellent song stylist, deftly handling such diverse songs as War's "The World Is A Ghetto" and Paul Davis's "I Go Crazy" and providing a stunning, definitive version of Angela Bofill's "I Try." Both the "I Try" single and the album hit the Urban top 25, and critical acclaim for the disc abounded.

A Dream Fulfilled began a period where Downing found his musical identity and was the first of a string of successful albums that focused on smooth, romantic music, mostly ballads. Sometimes unfairly lumped with his friend Luther Vandross, Downing was actually creating his own brand of love music that was less urban and much jazzier. And though Downing's songs were also more sensual than Vandross's, he shared Luther's sensibilities, singing to women on a truly romantic level that clearly went beyond the physical.

In the 90s and early 00s, Downing recorded frequently on multiple record labels. He became a regular at the top of the contemporary jazz charts and released a number of solid albums (perhaps the best of which was his album of duets with saxophonist Gerald Albright, Pleasures of the Night) with only one miscue (All the Man You Need, his lone album on Motown and an ill-advised attempt at an "urban" sound).

In early 2007, Will contracted a rare muscular disease, Polymyositis, which sidelined him for most of the year. It was a devastating attack, forcing Downing into a wheelchair for most of the year, and causing him to lose nearly 100 pounds. Despite the setback, he was determined to complete his debut album for Peak Records, After Tonight, for which he had recorded four songs prior to his illness. During the Spring of 2007, Will worked from his home putting down vocals despite severe weakness and fatigue. He would say it was "the hardest thing I've ever done," occasionally moving from chair to bed to complete a vocal piece. But out of this situation came another five wonderful songs, including the album's gem, "God Is So Amazing," a simple, melodic testimony of faith during difficult times. After Tonight became another fine addition to Downing's growing discography, and "God Is So Amazing" stood as one of the year's best songs.

In 2009, fully recovered, Downing began work on Classique, a new album of originals and three cover songs, with producer Rex Rideout at the helm. The disc was released in June 2009 to positive reviews. And in 2010, he issued one of his most ambitious projects, an "audio novel" called Lust, Love and Lies, that detailed a relationship going through various stages, with spoken interludes between a very strong batch of songs. It was released to enthusiastic reviews.

Looking back over the last two decades, Will Downing has established himself as one of the most consistent, soulful singers of his era and arguably, with the unfortunate death of Luther Vandross, as today's leading provider of romantic, soulful music.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Aretha Frankln Oakland Oracle Arena Aug 10th 2015


Aretha Franklin schedules Oakland concert, first Bay Area show in 30 years
Legendary vocal diva Aretha Franklin, who is famously afraid of flying, will be performing her first show in the Bay Area since the 1980s when she plays Oakland's Oracle Arena on August 10. According to a press release, tickets for the show start at $42.50 and go on sale on Friday, March 13.
Franklin's shows will feature an A-list opening act in R&B producer and singer Babyface. The concert will support the Queen of Soul's latest album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, which features covers of Adele's “Rolling in the Deep,” Sinead O'Connor's “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Etta James' “At Last” and Gladys Knight's “Midnight Train to Georgia.”
The Oakland concert is her third on the West Coast planned for the month of August, following shows in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara earlier in the week. Expect more dates to be announced in the future, since it would make sense for Franklin to perform as many shows as possible while she's out there.
Though Franklin refuses to fly, she does travel around the country frequently via bus. A few years ago, when there was speculation that she could become a judge on American Idol, Franklin insisted that she could take the gig despite her refusal to fly. “I’ve been to California from Detroit four times this year and Florida,” she said at the time. “I go wherever I choose to go comfortably on my custom bus.”
Franklin has performed at the Grammys and other functions in Los Angeles many times over the years, so she doesn't seem to have a problem getting around in America. She did miss out on an opportunity to perform at Queen Elizabeth's 50th Jubilee years ago because she wouldn't fly to England.
Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics was the singer's highest-charting album since 1985's Who's Zoomin' Who? Her remake of “Rolling in the Deep” reached the Top 50 on the R&B chart, giving Franklin her 100th career hit on that survey, the most ever among female artists. The dance remix of that track went all the way to No. 1, marking her first chart-topper on that countdown in 16 years.
Franklin has always been a great live performer and has made a remarkable comeback since her unspecified illness in 2010 had some tabloid outlets reporting that she was near death. She came back with a strong performance the next year at the Chicago Theatre, firmly establishing that she was back at the top of her game.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Portia Monique






It amazes me that true musical talent is so hard to find. It astounds me that Portia Monique is not being playing on the On-Air Radio Stations. She sure should be. Well DJ Michael Ealey is playing her on Streetwise Radio. He told me to check her out and I must say I’m glad I did because this young lady has talent. While listening to her music, I have become a fan. Portia Monique was singing at an early age, and it shows through the music she sings and writes about. Portia has a soulful neo-soul sound. I like her lyrics they have meaning. Here are the songs that I like, “Grace”, “Nobody” and "Get To Know You". If you never heard of Portia Monique, you can listen to her on Streetwise Radio you will become a fan. You can listen to Streetwise Radio on iTunes, Pandora, MyGen365, Live365 and Athena365.
LM


Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Passing Of A Soul Legend Bobby Womack



Bobby Womack has and will always be one of my favorite singer-song writers. Every time I hear "That's The Way I Feel About Cha", "Woman's Gotta Have It", “Across 110th Street", "If You Think You're Lonely Now", “I Can Understand It”, “I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much”, “Harry hippie” and “I'm Looking For A Love”. I get chills! Bobby Womack’s career spanned more than 50 years. This R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country singer gave the world beautiful music that has and will live on forever. For all of you who did not know Bobby Womack, he made one more album at the age of 68 called “The Bravest Man In The Universe” released in 2012. It has a modern day sound with the electronic rhythms, synthesizers, and keyboards but it also stays true to Bobby Womack sound. That raspy voice and those deep lyrics. Here are a list of my favorite songs on this album “Please Forgive My Heart”, “The Bravest Man In The Universe”, “Dayglo Reflection (featuring Lana Del Rey)”, “Stupid”, “Love Is Gonna Lift You Up” and “Nothin' Can Save Ya (feat Fatoumata Diawara)”. Bobby Womack was one true artist that could write significant lyric’s that told you what was going on in the world at the time. R.I.P. in peace Bobby Womack your music will live on forever. If you don’t know who Bobby Womack is. You can listen to Bobby Womack’s music on Streetwise Radio and become a fan. Also listen to Streetwise radio on iTunes, Pandora, Athena365, MyGen365 and Live365.
LM


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Carla Paige




There is one word I can say about Carla Paige and that is talented. She’s a poet, singer and actress. Carla did an open mic night on September 24, 2013 the poem was called “Words of Encouragement” and killed it! Her single “The Usual” is playing on Streetwise Radio it is awesome for her first single. This 17 year old from Georgia is a freshman at Valdosta State University's in Georgia. Carla Paige is a Musical Theater Major, who has the brains and talent to go as far. All she has to do is stay true to herself. Keep your eyes and ears open for Carla Paige, this young unrecognized star will surprise you. You can tune into Streetwise Radio, Pandora, MyGen365, Live365, Athena365, iTunes and Gilroy Radio to listen to talent like Carla Paige.

LM

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Now Playing The Stylistics, "Whatever It Takes".

                                                 
                                                       Check Out The Stylistics Here
                                                       http://www.thestylistics.org/1.html

Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE REVELATIONS

New Album from Brooklyn Soul Group
THE REVELATIONS 
The Cost of Living set for release April 29th
First single "Why When Love is Gone" available now as free download

The Revelations are set to release their fourth studio recording entitled The Cost of Living (Decision/Red River/Sony RED Music) on April 29th.  The new record displays the Brooklyn, NY band's trademark postmodern take on the classic soul/blues/rock sound, something The New York Times' Jon Pareles called "old fashioned soul songs for twenty-first century hard times."

Led by vocalist and songwriter Rell Gaddis, The Cost 
of Living was recorded at Willie Mitchell's legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, TN and features five 
original songs and three cover tunes.  From the first single a throbbing cut of a 1960's Isley Brothers tune "Why When Love is Gone", to the Memphis soul drenched original "Game of Love", The Cost of Living captures listeners very quickly. 

NPR says the group "blends the sounds of the bluesy rural South and gritty urban streets" and "crafts a sound that's timeless and undeniably energetic."

Produced by Bob Perry and Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell the album also features the bass driven "Mama", written by Rell and the band, about a single mother scrounging to raise her children, alongside the jaded optimism of  the reggae tinged rocker "It's Okay."  With the hard funk groove of "Money Makes The World Go 'Round" to the heart-broken disillusionment of the soul classic "Got To Use My Imagination" , The Revelations continue their tradition of presenting blues topics with soul music's urgency, weaving tales of perseverance despite hardship.

Alongside Gaddis (a former Roc-A-Fella signee), The Revelations feature Wes Mingus on guitar, Gintas Janusonis on drums, and newcomer Ben Zwerin on bass. The album also features  Stax and Hi Records session legends Bobby Manuel (guitar), Lester Snell (keyboards), and Charles Hodges (organ). 

Since they first came on the scene in 2008 with their Deep Soul EP (Decision), The Revelations have made a significant impact on the blues/soul scene. Jim Farber of the New York Daily News wrote, "The (Revelations) songs' melodies often recall the work of '70s soul stars, but they're played with a '60s fury". Adds Soul Tracks "... rich music where nothing's artificial, nothing's counterfeit, and everything's just pure, all natural soul."

The Revelations have provided musical backing for icons such as the Wu-Tang Clan and Lee "Scratch" Perry, as well as soul royalty Otis Clay, Willie Clayton, Benny Latimore, and Swamp Dogg. Their engaging and energetic live performances have won over audiences from Brooklyn to the Mississippi Delta to California as well as Europe, and helped them create fans such as A-listers B.B. King, Bobby Womack and Stevie Wonder in the process. 

This is new, true soul music with a sharp, modern edge. 



ALBUM INFORMATION:        
       
1-Mama  03:44   

2-Why When Love Is Gone  03:12 

3-Higher  04:09   

4-It's Okay  03:28   

5-Money Makes The World Go 'Round  04:49   

6-The Game of Love  04:23   

7-This Time  03:33   

8-Got To Use My Imagination  05:28   


Free Single Download Link: Why When Love Is Gone




Sunday, February 23, 2014

Karyn White: Carpe Diem


Karyn White is one of my favorite singers-songwriters. In 1988, her self-titled debut album launched her career. She had three songs on this album to hit number one on the R&B charts. They were “Superwoman,” “The Way You Love Me” and the duet single with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, “Love Saw It. White released two more albums: “Ritual of Love” in 1991 and “Make Him Do Right” in 1994. Now almost 20 years later, she’s back! The songbird from the 80s and 90s is doing what she does best--ringing her fans the gift of her voice. White’s 2012 album “Carpe Diem,” has grown woman music on it. The songs “Sista, Sista,” ”Seize The Day,” “Unbreakable” and “My Heart Cries” are picks. White has an amazing vocal range. She is truly seizing the day. You can listen to Karyn White songs on Streetwise Radio. Also listen to Streetwise Radio on MyGen365, Athena365, Live365, iTunes, Pandora and Gilroy Radio.
LM

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lyfe Jennings






Lyfe Jennings is talented, amazing, story teller with that true R&B soul sound. As I’m sitting here listening to all of his music, I am truly astonished how his lyrics tell a story. This forty year old singer-songwriter, record producer and instrumentalist from Toledo, Ohio has had his struggles throughout his life. He served for 10 years for felony arson that was in 1992. He was released from prison in 2002 and his debut album was out in 2004. It was called “Lyfe 268-192”. It went platinum. I really like this album, it is soulful and he is singing about his life struggles. Even though he has put out 4 more albums since his debut he seems to still struggle in his personal life. In 2008 he got into an argument with the mother of his child. The singer kicked down the door of a house in Smyrna, Georgia, in an attempt to find Joy Pound and later fired a gun outside. Smyrna police reported a 2005 Corvette fleeing the scene, and Jennings was caught after a high-speed chase that ended when the singer smashed the vehicle. He refused a sobriety test. Jennings was handed misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass, discharging a firearm near a public highway and refusal to take a DUI test, in addition to two felony counts of attempting to elude an officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He served 2 years (2010-2012). Even though with all his challenges Lyfe Jennings is an amazing talent that is so underrated. It was hard for me to choose my favorite songs from Lyfe Jennings but I put together a small list and here it is, “Hypothetically”, “Must Be Nice”, “Never Never Land”, “Let's Stay Together”, “Stick Up Kid”, “Will I Ever”, “Cry”, “If Tomorrow Never Comes”, “Goodbye”, “I'll Always Love You”, “ABCs”, "Haters", "Hero", “It Coulda Been Worse”, “26 years, 17 days”, “Made Up My Mind” and “She Got Kids”. Streetwise Radio is playing the gift to the music world, Lyfe Jennings! You can listen to Streetwise Radio on iTunes, Pandora, Athena365, Live365, MyGen365 and Gilroy Radio.

LM

Thursday, December 26, 2013

DJ INC & the Soul People





After listening to DJ INC & the Soul People’s song “Bubbs to do List” on Streetwise Radio, I knew I had to hear more. Their sound is pure harmony! The musicianship is fantastic. These Chicagoans with their pulse on a variety of music styles has been doing their thing for over a decade. I like their music because of the jazz, acid jazz, hip hop, house/dance, dancehall, soul, neo soul and Brazilian styles. It makes for an amazing trap sound. While listening to the CD “The Afterset Session, Volume 2,” I knew DJ INC and the Soul People’s songs were going on my playlist. Here are three songs that I like: “Outfit Together,” “Steppers Swagger,” and ‘Bubbs to do List.” Check out DJ INC & the Soul People’s music on Streetwise Radio. You can also listen to Streetwise Radio on MyGen365, Athena365, Live365, iTunes, Pandora and Gilroy Radio.

LM

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Shantel Robinson


We are playing the song "Just Tell Me Now" by Shantel Robinson on 

Streetwise Radio

We think this dynamic and beautiful singer from Jamaica is poised to 

take off .

BIOGRAPHY

Shantel Robinson was born on November 16, 1990 and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She attended Hydel Preparatory and Immaculate Conception High Schools. She is currently a student at the University of Technology, Jamaica where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and majoring in Finance and Banking.
Shantel Robinson recently released her debut single “Just Tell Me Now” in July 2013, and looking forward to release more singles soon. Her genres are Pop, R&B and Freestyle music. She commenced singing at the age of 4 and was a “Choir Leader” at Hydel Preparatory School and was given the honour to sing a solo-part as a “soprano singer” at the “Hydel’s Anniversary Celebration” and she was also a member of the church choir.

Shantel has always wanted to become a recording artiste and songwriter from she was in preparatory school but her mother kept telling her to complete her education first; then she can pursue her dream. She has a passion for singing and she thinks this is the time for her to pursue same and give it her best. Shantel has written all her songs and her inspiration comes from singers like Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Beyonce and Rihanna.

During her years in Preparatory and High schools, she began participating in tracks at the age of 8 years and accomplished medals and trophies at both the “JISA Inter-Prep. Championship” and the “Boys and Girls’ Track and Field Championship”. She was a former class two Champion Girl, Deputy Captain, Class Monitor, Prefect, Runner-Up Sports Girl, Runner-Up All-Round Girl and Sports Girl of the year.

After she graduated from high school, she competed in the “Caribbean Model Search Competition 2010” at Pulse Modelling Agency and was a finalist that same year and participated in Pulse’s “Talent Bikini Show” singing Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful”. She was one of the models on the Reality Television Show (Season 1) “Mission Catwalk 2011” and modelled in various “Fashion Shows” by walking the runway for local and overseas fashion designers.

Monday, November 4, 2013

2013 Soul Train Awards




Studded Lineup of Performers and Presenters for the 2013 Soul Train Awards
CHAKA KHAN, GLADYS KNIGHT, VANESSA WILLIAMS, WARREN G, BORIS KODJOE, VIVICA A. FOX, JON B., VANILLA ICE AND MORE ADDED TO THE STAR-STUDDED LINEUP OF PERFORMERS AND PRESENTERS FOR THE SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2013
The 2013 Soul Train Awards Tapes November 8th, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Featuring 90s Nostalgia Moments, a Blue-Eyed Soul Tribute and Special Honorees
NEW YORK, NY – October 30, 2013 – CENTRIC, a BET Network, today added to its star-studded lineup of performers and presenters for this year’s SOUL TRAIN AWARDS 2013. Presenters will include Bill Bellamy, Boris Kodjoe, Vanessa A. Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Kandi Burruss, Michelle Williams, Vanilla Ice, Dolvett Quince, Mario Van Peebles, Raheem Devaughn, Nicole Ari Parker, George Benson, E-40, Larenz Tate, Hanif Carter, E!’s Alicia Quarles, Sommore and Vawn. Additionally, performers Chaka Khan, Doug E. Fresh, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Gladys Knight, Bobby V, Dave Koz, Jon B., Kenny Lattimore, Ruben Studdard, Warren G., Big Daddy Kane, and Stokley Williams will join the lineup of previously announced performers including Jennifer Hudson, Tamar Braxton, K. Michelle, Ron Isley, Wale, Eric Benet, Candice Glover, Kem, Chrisette Michele, Bobby Caldwell and Joss Stone. Comedian and actor Anthony Anderson will host the event in Las Vegas on November 8th, which will air on CENTRIC and BET, December 1, 2013 at 8PM ET.
This year’s show pays homage to the soul soundtrack of the 90s, allowing fans to reminisce on a decade of influential black cinema and music. The night will feature special moments and tributes including a 90’s Hip-Hop performance with Warren G, Dougie E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane and more, as well as a Blue-Eyed Soul performance featuring Joss Stone, Bobby Caldwell, Jon B. and Dave Koz honoring yesterday’s and today’s biggest blue-eyed superstars.
“We have carefully curated our lineup of performers and presenters to bring viewers a mix of today’s hottest acts, legends in soul and our favorite 90s nostalgia moments,” said Paxton Baker, General Manager and Executive Vice President, CENTRIC. “Every year we are excited to bring the rich Soul Train brand to life and look forward to making this the most eclectic and entertaining Soul Train Awards yet.”
For the first time, The Soul Train Awards will expand to a second stage featuring a rotating mix of DJs including Big Tigger. Grammy Award winning producers 1500 or Nothin’ and legendary keyboardist Greg Phillinganes have been tapped as music directors for the show and keeping the party going throughout the night.
Check out the full list of nominees below!

Best New Artist
 Bridget Kelly
 K. Michelle
 Kendrick Lamar
 Tamar Braxton
 TGT

Centric Certified Award
 Joss Stone
 Luke James
 Lyfe Jennings
 Solange
 Stacy Barthe
 Talib Kweli

Best Gospel/Inspirational Performance
 Break Every Chain - Tasha Cobbs
 Confessions- Lecrae
 Every Praise - Hezekiah Walker
 God Will Make Away - Shirley Caesar
 If He Did It Before…Same God - Tye Tribbett
 Life & Favor - John P. Kee & New Life

Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year
 Bad - Wale feat. Tiara Thomas
 High School - Nicki Minaj feat. Lil Wayne
 Holy Grail - Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake
 Poetic Justice - Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake
 Power Trip - J. Cole feat. Miguel
 Started From the Bottom - Drake

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist
 Alicia Keys
 Chrisette Michelle
 Fantasia
 Janelle Monáe
 Kelly Rowland
 Tamar Braxton

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist
 Bruno Mars
 Charlie Wilson
 Chris Brown
 John Legend
 Miguel
 Robin Thicke

Album of the Year
 The 20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake
 Good Kid, m.A.A.d City – Kendrick Lamar
 Kaleidoscope Dream - Miguel
 Magna Carta… Holy Grail – Jay Z
 The Side Effects of You - Fantasia
 Unapologetic - Rihanna

Song of the Year
 Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I.
 Diamonds -Rihanna
 Fine China – Chris Brown
 Love and War – Tamar Braxton
 Poetic Justice – Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake
 Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z

The Ashford and Simpson Songwriter’s Award
 Crooked Smile – J.Cole (Jermaine Cole, Meleni Smith)
 Fire We Make – Alicia Keys feat. Maxwell (Gary Clark Jr., Warren Felder, Alicia Keys, Andrew Wansel)
 Lose to Win – Fantasia (Francine Golde, Dennis Lambert, Andrea Martin, Walter Orange, Harmony Samuels)
 Love & War – Tamar Braxton (Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper Jr., LaShawn Daniels, Makeba Riddick)
 Mirrors – Justin Timberlake (James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake)
 Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu (Roman GianArthur Irvin , Dr. Nathaniel Irvin III, Charles Joseph II, Janelle Monáe Robinson, Kellis Parker Jr.)
Best Dance Performance
 Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
 Body Party - Ciara
 Fine China – Chris Brown
 Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monáe feat. Erykah Badu
 Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z
 Treasure – Bruno Mars

Video of the Year
 Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. (Diane Martel)
 Fine China – Chris Brown (Chris Brown, Sylvain White)
 Love & War – Tamar Braxton (Walid Azami)
 Poetic Justice – Kendrick Lamar feat. Drake (The Lil Homie, Dave Free, and Dangeroo Kipawaa)
 Q.U.E.E.N. – Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu (Alan Ferguson)
 Started from the Bottom – Drake (Director X)

Best Collaboration
 Alicia Keys feat. Maxwell – Fire We Make
 Brandy feat. Chris Brown – Put It Down
 J.Cole feat. Miguel – Power Trip
 Janelle Monae feat. Erykah Badu – Q.U.E.E.N.
 Miguel feat. Kendrick Lamar – How Many Drinks
 Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. – Blurred Lines
 Wale feat. Sam Dew – LoveHate Thing

Best International Performance (CENTRICTV.com)
 Differentology - Bunji Garlin
 The Fog - Machel Montano
 Next To Me - Emeli Sande
 Personally - P-Square
 Ur Waist – Iyanya

Best Traditional Jazz Performance (CENTRICTV.com)
 George Benson feat. Wynton Marsalis – Unforgettable
 Jeffrey Osborne feat. Chaka Khan – Baby it’s Cold Outside
 Tony Bennett feat. Marc Anthony – For Once In My Life
 Nicole Henry – Waiting In Vain
 Terrence Blanchard – Pet Step Sister’s Theme Song

Best Contemporary Jazz Performance (CENTRICTV.com)
 Jose James - Trouble
 Boney James feat. Rick Braun – Batucada (The Beat)
 Michael Bublé – It’s A Beautiful Day
 Dave Koz – Got To Get You Into My Life
 George Duke – Missing You

Best Independent R&B/Soul Performance (CENTRICTV.com)
 Ashanti - Never Should Have
 Brian McKnight - Sweeter
 Kenny Lattimore - Find A Way
 Maysa - Love Me Good
 Raheem DeVaughn - Love Connection
 Ronald Isley – Dinner And A Movie
For more information, please visit BET.com/SoulTrain. Follow us at @centrictv and @bet, and join the conversation with #SoulTrainAwards #WeGot

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Up Close and Personal with L.J. Reynolds of the Dramatics By Shelah Moody






            When rapper Snoop Dogg (now known as Snoop Lion) called lead vocalist L.J. Reynolds of the Dramatics and asked him to appear on his album “Doggystyle” in the early nineties, the iconic singer said a quick no.
             After all, the Dramatics had 38 top 10 single from the 1970s to the 1980s, including “Watcha See is Watcha Get,” “Get Off My Mountain,” and one of the greatest “baby making” songs of all time “In the Rain.” Known for their flawless harmonies, natty suits and smooth choreography, the Dramatics have inspired a countless artists.
            “I had heard of Snoop Dogg, and I didn’t want anything to do with him from what I had heard,” said Reynolds. “That was before I got to know the man. Snoop said to me, ‘Mr. Reynolds, I didn’t hurt anybody. My mother plays your records all the time, man, and I just have to have y’all on my new album. He said to me, ‘My album’s got a million orders already and I haven’t finished it yet.’ I said, a million orders? What’s the address?  We went to the studio and cut the album, but I didn’t know that it would be a gangsta record. They had to do two versions, because if you listen to the uncensored version, you wouldn’t want your granddaughter to hear it.”
            Ironically, appearing on “Doggystyle” and in the video “Doggy Dogg World” in 1993 could not have been a better opportunity, because it exposed the Dramatics to a new generation of hip hop fans of all races. Working with Snoop Dogg and Da Dogg pound earned the Dramatics an MTV Award.
            Formed in Detroit, MI 1962 by Rob Davis, Ron Banks, Larry Reed, Robert Ellington, Larry “Squirrel” Demps and Elbert Wilkins, the group was originally called the Dynamics. Reynolds joined the group in 1972. Reynolds hails from Saginaw, Michigan, the city that produced Motown legends such as Stevie Wonder. 
            In a phone interview from his Detroit home, Reynolds said that he and the Dramatics are looking forward to shaking it well at Yoshi’s San Francisco this weekend.
            “We’re going to go all the way from the beginning, from ‘Whatcha See is Whatcha Get,’ to ‘In the Rain,’ ‘Get Off My Mountain,’ ‘Fell For You,’ ‘Shake it Well,’ ‘Get Up and Get Down’ and ‘Me and Mrs. Jones,’ said Reynolds, whose vocals range from first tenor to baritone. “We’ve got a lot of fans and a lot of songs to put out for them. I’ve never been to Yoshi’s, but I hear it’s a beautiful place, and I’m looking forward to being up close and personal. That’s what’s so good about it; the audience will be able to stand there and look us eye to eye and get the message, because we are sure going to deliver it. We have five singers, a three piece horn section, and a four piece rhythm section.”
            Veteran DJ, music historian and concert promoter Harry Duncan, producer of the San Francisco-based radio show, “In the Soul Kitchen” (http://inthesoulkitchen.blogspot.com) considers the Dramatics among the most important and influential of the '70's soul vocal groups, along with the Spinners and the Stylistics, the O'Jays and the Detroit Emeralds.
            “The harmonies, arrangements and production of their songs like ‘Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get,’  ‘In the Rain’ and ‘The Devil Is Dope’ gave them a signature sound and are '70's soul classics,” said Duncan. “Some of their songs like "The Devil Is Dope" have been liberally sampled by various hip hop artists.”
The Dramatics’ song “Oceans of Thoughts and Dreams’ was sampled by Beyonce and Destiny’s Child.  Cross culturally, the Dramatics have also influenced Jamaican harmony groups such as the Mighty Diamonds, the Tamlins and the Melodians.
            I asked Reynolds about the origin of the ubiquitous party anthem, “Watcha See is Watcha Get.” The song was written and produced by Tony “Uncle Fester” Hester, who also penned “In the Rain” and other early Dramatics hits.
            “It took us to the level where we needed to be, and all the other records followed,” said Reynolds.  I have several gold records here at the house, basically, every record after ‘Watcha See is Watcha Get.’ Some people from the seventies era know about ‘Watcha See is Watcha Get,’ and in the eighties, we developed a whole other audience with hit records like ‘Me and Mrs. Jones.’  All of those songs sold just as many records as ‘Watcha See is Watcha Get,’ but they were sold to an R&B audience.”
            After more than 40 years with the group, Reynolds is proud of the Dramatics’ diverse fan base.
            “We have a pretty decent group of people who come out to see us,” said Reynolds, who has performed at large scale music festivals such as the Stone Soul Picnic. “The great thing about us is that all nationalities like the Dramatics.”
            I asked Reynolds what was like recording for the iconic Stax record label during the peak of the R&B movement.
            “Al Bell was running Stax records when the Dramatics got there,” said Reynolds. “It was a great experience; I mean, Stax was the soulman’s company. A lot of people wanted to go and get that Memphis sound, that Stax sound, and we were fortunate enough to become part of Stax. I’m still friends with Al Bell today, and we still do a lot of Stax records songs, such as “Ship Won’t Sail Without You’ at our concerts.
            I asked Reynolds what was it like being a part of another great musical movement, the “Soul Train,” television dance show featuring Don Cornelius, whose life tragically ended in 2012.
            “We were on ‘Soul Train’ probably more than any other artists,” said Reynolds. “In a 15-year span, any time we released an album, we were on ‘Soul Train.’ I have a tape here at the house, and I watch myself performing on ‘Soul Train’ from age 21 to 30. Don Cornelius was a very business oriented guy. He only smiled for the camera. When he was off camera, he didn’t smile much. At times, it seemed like he had an unhappy face, but he was a great friend. He developed something that made a lot of people famous, because once you appeared on ‘Soul Train,’ you achieved a certain amount of notoriety in the record industry.”
            Reynolds is particularly proud of the Dramatics’   television history, which goes all the way back to appearances on the Mike Douglas show, Red Fox specials and Arsenio Hall.  
            Along with touring with the Dramatics, Reynolds is currently working on his solo career. He has two popular songs on Youtube, a remake of Marvin Gaye’s “Come Get to This” and “You Sure Love to Ball,” which he will also perform at Yoshi’s. Reynolds also runs his own record label, Motor City Hits. www.motorcityhits.com.
            In closing, I asked Reynolds for his personal definition of soul.


            “When you feel something and you put it out, the other person has to feel it, too,” said Reynolds. “If they don’t feel it, then you ain’t got no soul. When you put it out like James Brown singing ‘Get up off of that thing,’- that’s soul. Soul is a person who knows how to deliver, like Teddy Pendergrass and even L.J. Reynolds. You say to yourself, wow, he got soul!”

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mishon Ratliff



I remember seeing Mishon Ratliff on the television show Lincoln Heights in 2007. I was watching an episode and he was singing, I thought this guy man can sing. Well this 20 year old actor, dancer, musician and singer from Los Angeles California, has a single out called “Older Girl”. This song will have the Cougars jumping out of their skin. I had no idea that he had out put three mix-tapes and was doing his thing as a singer. The three mix-tapes are “The Homecoming” in 2010, “Introducing Yung Hustle” in 2011 and “The Gift” in 2013. Mishon had four singles that did well on the R&B charts they were “Break You Off”, “You're The One”, “Excuse Me Mama” and “Turn It Up” I like all of them. Tune into Streetwise Radio and listen to “Older Girl” and other songs from the talented Mishon Ratliff. You can also listen to Streetwise Radio on MyGen365, Athena365, Live365, iTunes, Pandora a Gilroy Radio Station.

LM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j_x5n4juVE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EafP8H1DLYs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIr4XMCgg9w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNsumrZC9Dc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuUn4nu_csc