• 0 5 Classic R&B CD Gift Picks for 2006

    • Review
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/30/2006

    Here are my 5 new classic R&B CD gift picks for the holiday season. These albums were all released within the past 12 to 14 months. I've ranked them in order. Even though the music is mostly new, the classic soul lover on your gift list will enjoy these... Luther Vandross - The Ultimate Luther Vandross Natalie Cole - Leavin' Jeffrey Osborne -From The Soul Earth, Wind & Fire - Illumination Lionel Richie - Comin' Home I've previously reviewed the Vandross, Cole, and Richie releases. Click on the links to read the reviews. All of the tracks are familiar songs on Jeffrey Osborne's From The Soul. He's had his share of solo hits in addition to memorable chart toppers with L.T.D. On From The Soul, he makes the most of his powerful mellow voice by interpreting ten classic hits made famous by other artists. Jeffrey does a great job too! Close The Door Until You Come Back To Me Yes I'm Ready For What It's Worth People Get Ready First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Knocks Me Off My Feet Every Little Bit Hurts All At Once Hey Girl Finally, Earth, Wind & Fire's Illumination is a very good combination of new and old styles fused together. Brian McKnight, Floetry, Kenny G, Kelly Rowland, and others join the party along with Maurice White, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire. Illumination is well balanced between the vintage sound you expect from the group, and a fresh contemporary edge that the younger participants add. This is the best Earth, Wind & Fire album in years, so treat yourself, or that special classic soul lover on your gift list, to a top notch mix from the provocative "elements of the universe." Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 2006 Colors of Christmas Tour Blends Four Soulful Voices

    Deniece Williams, James Ingram, Peabo Bryson, and Stephanie Mills headline the 2006 "Colors of Christmas Tour" appearing December 7th - December 20th across the USA. For over fourteen years, the tour has featured major artists performing together in a concert of traditional Christmas music. The charismatic vocalists also slip in some of their greatest hits into the show. Deniece, James, Peabo, and Stephanie will sing accompanied by a full orchestra and gospel choir. Here are some selected dates for the current tour: Thursday, December 7, 8pm, Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center, El Paso, Texas Saturday, December 9, 8pm, Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland Friday, December 15, 8pm Cerritos Center, Cerritos, California Saturday, December 16, 8pm Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA Sunday, December 17, 3pm Cerritos Center, Cerritos, CA Monday, December 18, 8pm, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA Tuesday, December 19, 8pm, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA Wednesday, December 20, 8pm, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA Friday, December 22, 8pm, Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit, Michigan Flashback: ten years ago today on November 29, 1996, Roberta Flack, James Ingram, Aaron Neville, and Peabo Bryson were featured in an early Colors of Christmas Tour in Clearwater, Florida. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Bobby Womack Shines Career Daylight on his Website

    • Website
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/28/2006

    Between 1962 - 1994, Bobby Womack had nearly 50 charted releases. Now in his sixth decade, Womack, nicknamed "the soul preacher," continues to crank out the music he loves. Bobby appears on the new Bootsy Collins Christmas CD. Womack is well respected as a legendary artist by both his R&B and pop music peers. His discography, along with many excellent photos, are highlighted on his official Bobby Womack website. Moving between the web pages on his site gets tricky, but the payoff is worth it. You'll be moving around as if you were leafing through the pages of a book. All of the Womack releases between 1961 - 1999 are documented, many of them with links so you can listen to tracks. I'm looking forward to several new features that are promised for the site. The enhancements will provide even more of Womack's perspective about the classic soul music era he helped create. 2021 update: Bobby Womack passed away in 2014. Rather than remove the dark bolded text above, we've left it in as a tribute. The Bobby Womack website has been sunset. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Christmas Favorites with an African Beat

    • Review
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/22/2006

    Some of South Africa's best talents are featured in a new collection of Christmas songs called, "African Christmas." You'll easily recognize the melodies on this 2006 release. Traditional Christmas carols are sung with melodic African voices in a variety of tempos. Stylistically, "African Christmas" reminds me of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Miriam Makeba, and other South African artists who have exported their culture to the world. "Christmas Favorites with An African Beat," (the CD's subtitle), kicks into high gear with Bongani Masuku, Mandisa Dlanga, Max Mthambo, Vernon Abdul, and other personnel. Zulu-flavored renditions of the following classics are featured: Oh Come All Ye Faithful Away in a Manger Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Joy to The World Little Drummer Boy When A Child is Born Silent Night We Wish You a Merry Christmas Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer Jingle Bell Rock The Sun Shines Down (on A Christmas Day) White Christmas Jingle Bells African Christmas (Acapella) This is a good CD. We'll definitely be playing a few tracks from it on Powerhouse Radio in the weeks ahead as we get closer to Christmas. Check out the Powerhouse Radio Christmas song playlist, and share it with your friends. Previous Post | Next Post  

  • 0 2006 American Music Awards are Fan Favorites

    The American Music Awards grab the spotlight tonight, Tuesday, November 21st. Last week we had the World Music Awards featuring a guest performance by Michael Jackson. Are these award shows canceling each other out? VH1's hip-hop Awards, BET's hip-hop Awards, MTV's video Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, The Grammy Awards, etc., etc., etc. People love to win awards. Entertainment companies love to promote their names. As a result, these programs are all over television. The 2006 American Music Awards are chosen by music fans rather than artists or experts making this event special. Dick Clark Productions has lined up Beyonce', Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Mary J. Blige, Nelly Furtado, Pussycat Dolls, Rascal Flatts, Snow Patrol and Tenacious D to perform. Look for lots of "B," "C," and "D" listers as presenters. Yes, there are a few "A" list presenters too. Here are the nominees in the category of R&B/Soul... Favorite Male Artist: Chris Brown Jamie Foxx Ne-Yo Favorite Female Artist: Mary J. Blige Mariah Carey Keyshia Cole Favorite Band, Duo or Group: The Black Eyed Peas The Isley Brothers Jagged Edge Favorite Album: The Breakthrough - Mary J. Blige The Emancipation of Mimi - Mariah Carey Unpredictable - Jamie Foxx The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California will have all the action on the ABC-TV Network with host Jimmy Kimmel. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Ruth Brown Revisted

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/18/2006

    We featured a guest article about Ruth Brown back in August, 2006. The R&B legend passed away Friday, November 17th. She led the fight for R&B artists to recover royalties owed from record companies. Rediscover The Fall and Rise of R&B Legend Ruth Brown one more time. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Stevie Wonder, Johnny Gill, and Angie Stone to Sing for Gerald Levert

    • News
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/17/2006

    A memorial service for Gerald Levert, who died of a heart attack a week ago, is scheduled for today at the Cleveland Music Hall in Ohio. Sean Levert, Gerald's younger brother, will perform. They sang together as members of the group Levert. An array of other artists are scheduled to sing in the tribute, including Stevie Wonder, Johnny Gill, and Angie Stone. Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 James Bond Music Shakes and Stirs Soul

    • Songs
    • by Kingsley H. Smith
    • 11/16/2006

    An update of the Casino Royale film, (the first James Bond novel written by Ian Fleming), hits movie theaters tomorrow, Friday, November 17th. Daniel Craig stars as the new super spy. Can you name all of the classic soul stars who have sung title or secondary songs for 007 films? Four ladies top the list. The Bond adventures with this music are: "Goldeneye" "Licence to Kill" "Thunderball" First the songs: "Goldeneye" "Licence to Kill" "If You Asked me To" "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" The number next to the song matches the number next to the artist: Tina Turner Gladys Knight Patti Labelle Dionne Warwick * * "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," recorded for Thunderball by Dionne, was included on the "30th Anniversary Best of James Bond" collection, but was not on either the original soundtrack (as a vocal), or in the screen version. The Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle songs are both featured in "Licence to Kill." An honorable mention to Louis Armstrong, for "We Have All the Time in the World," from the "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" soundtrack, (but not in the movie). Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Bootsy Collins Collars Christmas Funk

    I was thrilled to listen to Bootsy Collins' brand new 2006 Christmas CD, "Christmas Is 4 Ever." Early in his career, Bootsy played bass guitar in James Brown's band. He went on to much success with his own group "Bootsy's Rubber Band." Bootsy would eventually team up with George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic entourage to make more funky music for the masses. Mr. Collins has not lost his musical sense of humor. Along side of the laughs, funk fans get the real deal on these energized holiday classics. "Christmas Is 4 Ever" features Bootsy and recognizable friends serving up some soulful chestnuts. MC Danny Ray and Bobby Byrd hammer home the Yuletide theme on the opening track, "N-Yo-City." "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Jingle Belz" are delivered like you've never heard them before with the pulsating Bootsy beat. Snoop Dogg dazzles with Boosty on "Happy Holidaze." "Chestnutz," also known as The Christmas Song, is dedicated to Natalie Cole as Bootsy digs into the Mel Torme classic, (immortalized by Nat King Cole). The next three CD tracks keep the beat pumping. They feature appearances by Fred Wesley on "Boot-Off, and George Clinton on "Santa's Coming." "Silent Night," "Sleigh Ride," and "Dis-Christmas," (AKA "This Christmas") thump along, with clever holiday anecdotes from Bootsy introducing the songs. Two original tracks wrap things up, "Be-With-You," with Zapp Troutman on keyboards, and the title song, "Christmas Is 4 Ever," spotlighting vocals from Bootsy and Bobby Womack. "Christmas Is 4 Ever" is contemporary to the max. Bootsy has done a great job with these holiday classics creating some fresh funky arrangements. I'll pick "Santa's Coming," AKA "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," as the stand-out track, featuring Miss Candis Cheatham singing co-lead with Bootsy. George Clinton pops in the track to deliver a Christmas message. Here are the tracks again: N-Yo-City Merry Christmas Baby Jingle Belz Happy Holidaze Chestnutz Winter FunkyLand Santa's Coming Boot-Off Silent Night Sleigh Ride Dis-Christmas Be-With-You Christmas Is 4 Ever Bootsy puts this special message on the CD booklet, "Say it loud! I got funk and I got style." Not many Christmas CD's can say that! Previous Post | Next Post

  • 0 Aaron Neville's Christmas Prayer

    Christmas is getting closer. Let's look at a strong classic soul release that you may have overlooked from last holiday season. Aaron Neville's "Christmas Prayer" was released in October, 2005. Neville brings his unique soulful falsetto to this hearty collection of mainly traditional songs: A Christmas Prayer - Contemporary medium-tempo ballad. Go Tell it on the Mountain - A tambourine tapping gospel/soul hybrid featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama. Mary's Boy Child - Traditional ballad. White Christmas - Performed by Aaron in the Drifters classic style , with some do-wop background singing to spice things up. Joy to The World - Slow a cappella sung with the Blind Boys of Alabama. This track featuring Aaron is also included on the 2004 Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas CD "Go Tell it on the Mountain." Merry Christmas Baby - The classic sung with Neville gusto. Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Slow traditional. First Noel - Slow traditional showcasing Aaron's fine voice. Christmas Everyday - Contemporary medium-tempo reggae romp. O Come All Ye Faithful - Very slow traditional ballad sung with lots of soul. Ave Maria - A respectful performance of a classic. Piano and strings dominate this track featuring Neville's spiritual voice. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - A heaven sent ballad. Amen - A chorus of several Neville's sing joyful praise. The Neville Brothers also contribute: Cyril on percussion and background vocals, Charles on saxophone, and Arthur on organ. It's a full family affair with Ian Neville on guitar, and Jason Neville on background vocals. Aaron Neville has one of the most unique voices in contemporary music. He puts it to excellent use on "Christmas Prayer." Previous Post | Next Post

Home | Archive | Blog | Picture Sleeves | Airchecks | Contact | About